On this day in auto history – April 9th

Fri 9th Apr 2021

It was on this day in 1978 that the very first American-made Volkswagen rolled off an assembly line in Pennsylvania.

Volkswagen had broken new ground by becoming the first foreign automaker to begin producing cars in the US when opening sprawling premises in New Stanton to build the American version of the Golf - the Rabbit.

Unfortunately, the venture wasn’t a long-term success. The Rabbit failed miserably to gain any traction with US buyers and, just 10 years later, the New Stanton plant was closed.

The VW Passat was, however, well-received in North America and by 2011 - 23 years after the failure of its Pennsylvania experiment - the company had opened the giant Chattanooga Assembly Plant in Tennessee to cope with demand.