Deliveries of the all-new Volkswagen Golf GTI have commenced in South Africa with the first customer being Avis car rentals. The German brand confirms that 1 000 customers showed strong interest in the new product when the pre-order campaign kicked-off in July.
“Part of our success as a brand is attributed to sales to the rental industry. Volkswagen has the highest passenger car share of the rental market which is 34 per cent. Avis remains a key strategic partner for the Volkswagen brand because it accounts for 50 per cent of our rental channel sales,” said Steffen Knapp, head of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand.
Over 7 000 Volkswagen units are sold to Avis each year, which is approximately 10 per cent of Volkswagen’s total annual vehicles sold in South Africa.
“2021 is a special year for Volkswagen and Avis as we celebrate our 50-year partnership. We are proud of how the partnership between the two organisations has grown since the humble beginnings in 1971. We are also excited to be the first customer to take delivery of the Golf 8 GTI in South Africa which will be an important model of our AVIS Luxury Cars fleet,” Rebone Motsatsi, Avis Executive Car Rental Operations.
The partnership between Volkswagen and Avis began in January 1971 with the delivery of 96 units of the Beetle 1300. A year later, Avis tripled the order which included 1 600 cc Beetles, Type 4s and Microbuses. By 1981, Volkswagen has sold its 10 000th car to the rental agency which was a Golf. In 1996, the company became Volkswagen’s biggest customer when a record number of 3 805 vehicles were delivered to them during that year. In 2008, Volkswagen delivered the 100 000th vehicle and to date over 200 000 units have been delivered.
In 2020, the Golf range was top selling in the hatch segment with a share of 29,1 per cent. Volkswagen says that the eighth-generation Golf GTI is set to continue the success of the hot hatch.