The People's Film


Our latest project, The People’s Film was made entirely by kiwis who have loved their Volkswagen over the last 60 years and was created from over 18 hours of footage and images submitted by passionate Kiwi drivers.

The Volkswagen Story

Volkswagen has a long history behind it.

  • 1931 - Ferdinand Porsche built a car he called the "Volksauto" from the ground up with a distinct "Beetle" shape

  • 1938 – Production begins of the Volkswagen Beetle, officially called the Volkswagen Type 1 (or informally the Volkswagen ‘Bug’)

  • 1948 - Ben Pon sketched his design of the ‘Bulli’; a commercial version of the Beetle

  • 1950 – Production begins of the Volkswagen Transporter, Kombi or Microbus, officially called the Volkswagen Type 2 (or informally the Volkswagen ‘Bus’ or ‘Bulli’).

  • 1954 – Jowett Motors (a company started by Arthur Turner, his stepsons Noel and Harry Turner and Roy Sheeran) became the first Volkswagen importer franchise in New Zealand and the very first Volkswagens arrived in New Zealand fully built up (FBU) then completely knocked down (CKD)

  • 1958 - VW Motors (formally Jowett Motors) completed its new assembly plant in Otahuhu

  • 1962 - The 10,000th Volkswagen to be assembled in New Zealand, rolls off the production line

  • 1974 – Production begins of the Volkswagen Golf. The step from the Beetle to the Golf was ‘revolutionary’. A new vehicle layout was created with the conversion from an air-cooled rear engine to a water-cooled front engine and from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive.

  • 1976 – The Volkswagen Golf GTI is launched, which defined a fundamental standard for dynamic performance that was more precise than any other compact car.

  • 1978 – Sir Colin Giltrap set up European Motor Distributors and obtained the Volkswagen franchise for New Zealand
  • 1985 – First all-wheel-drive Volkswagen is produced. Type 3 Transporter, branded as ‘Syncro’ (now known as 4Motion). 

  • 1986 – Motor Holdings (formally VW Motors) had produced its 30,000th Volkswagen in Otahuhu. This also represented the final assembly of Volkswagen’s in New Zealand.

  • 2000 – The ‘Autostadt’ in Wolfsburg opens. It features a museum, pavilions for the principal automobile brands in the Volkswagen Group and a customer center where customers can pick up new cars and take a tour through the enormous factory

  • 2002 - The Golf becomes Volkswagen’s most successful model, passing the Beetle’s production total of 21,517,415.

  • 2002 – The ‘Transparent Factory’ in Dresden opens. Its main purpose is the assembly of Volkswagen’s luxury sedan, the Phaeton. It also features visitor attractions such as the Virtual Test drive,; a computer-based Car Configurator ; and a media-enhanced Delivery Experience for customers taking possession of new vehicles.

  • 2003 – The 4Motion brand evolves; with the introduction of the 5th generation Transporter. As opposed to the earlier ‘Syncro’ models, a Haldex clutch now ensured power distribution to the axles. From then on, the four-wheel drive VW bus bore the additional name 4Motion.

  • 2009 – Production begins of the Volkswagen Amarok; the first European Ute ever designed and a model that unifies the robustness demanded of a Ute with innovative technology, high safety standards and top values in fuel efficiency, comfort and ergonomics.

  • 2013 - The world's 30 millionth Golf (now in its 7th generation) was produced – a new production record for the most successful European car ever

Experience some of the milestones of true automotive culture in this great special feature here


Us (1)





BlueMotion Technologies

Our BlueMotion range of innovative energy-saving technologies, from automatic start/stop to low rolling resistance tyres, work in synergy with our advanced engines and gearboxes to cut fuel consumption and reduce harmful emissions. Other fuel-saving features include improved aerodynamics and the recuperation of energy from braking. Best of all, this increased efficiency also helps cut the cost of running your car.

Start/Stop System

The start-stop system in BlueMotion Technologies models switches off the engine when you are stationary, which helps to save fuel. This works completely automatically. Imagine stopping your Volkswagen at a red traffic light, switching into neutral, and taking your foot off the clutch. In cars with DSG dual clutch gearboxes, this all happens completely automatically. The start-stop system then switches off the engine automatically, and the optional multi-function display reads “Start Stop”. As soon as the traffic light turns green and you engage the gearbox and accelerate, the engine starts again. The start-stop system is one of our most efficient technologies, and it allows you to reduce your consumption by between 3% and 10% depending on vehicle model.


Brake regeneration

Use brake energy to travel further – that sums up the principle of brake energy regeneration, one of many green technologies from Volkswagen. Also known as recuperation, this process makes it possible to reuse the energy required for braking. As soon as you take your foot off the accelerator or apply the brakes, the tension is raised on the generator and used to recharge the vehicle’s battery. This means that the battery always remains well charged, load is taken off the engine, and consumption drops. Brake energy regeneration is used in all BlueMotion Technologies models. Sustainability without compromise – brake energy regeneration demonstrates once again how easy that can be.


Gear suggestion

The biggest potential for saving fuel is sitting right behind the wheel: driving with foresight can save up to 25% on fuel. That is why we have developed a system which helps drivers to do just that. If your Volkswagen has a multi-function display, then our gear suggestion system will show you which gear you are driving in, and suggest to you which one is the most economical for your current situation. That way your car will always be at its optimum operating point and will use less fuel.



As you will probably have noticed when riding a bicycle, a strong headwind slows you down. More air resistance also costs a car more energy. This results in higher consumption and therefore higher CO2 emissions. Improving aerodynamics, conversely, makes a vehicle quieter, more economical, lower on emissions, and therefore easier on the environment. Good aerodynamics are the key to lower consumption, especially at higher speeds.  That is why our engineers and designers place so much emphasis on optimising the vehicle’s profile every time they develop a new Volkswagen.


Optimised Rolling Resistance Tyres

Low Rolling resistance tyres are fitted with a silica compound. Low Rolling resistance tyres minimise wasted energy as a tyre rolls, thereby decreasing required rolling effort.

DSG dual clutch gearbox

Lively driving while saving fuel – that’s what everyone wants. With the optional DSG dual clutch gearbox this has become reality, since it combines the dynamics of a manual gearbox with the comfort of an automatic. Thanks to its extremely fast hydraulic system, the DSG switches gears without interrupting traction, meaning smooth gear-changes and improved acceleration figures. This is made possible by the gearbox controller communicating permanently with the engine control system to determine the ideal moment at which to change gear. The DSG’s intelligent control system allows it to achieve an efficiency which makes optimum use of the engine’s power output. This saves fuel, reduces CO2 emissions, and also makes driving more pleasurable.

Autostadt – The city of Cars

The Autostadt invites its visitors to journey into the world of mobility. 28 hectares of rolling hills and lakes together with extraordinary architecture and design form the background to the numerous and multi-facetted Autostadt attractions: The ZeitHaus Museum houses over 5 floors of definitive car classics allowing a view into the past;  Pavilions for each Volkswagen Group brand where once inside, the visitor is enveloped by the illustrated world of this particular brand; The Ritz-Carlton 5-star hotel boasting 147 luxurious rooms and 23 suites; and the two Car Towers, each housing 400 new vehicles, which are the heart of vehicle delivery at the Autostadt.

Visit Autostadt here.

Transparent Factory - A car factory in the centre of town

In Dresden, the 'Die Gläserne Manufaktur’ or ‘Glass Factory’ could be considered a successful statement of the connection of technology and culture, of a modern environment of production and adventure. As such, the entire assembly of the Phaeton is made into a public spectacle. “Rethinking the concept of work – this is what 'Die Gläserne Manufaktur' has made reality” says its architect, Prof. Gunter Henn. The transparent tower features 16 levels and enough space to store 280 individually configured vehicles before they are handed over to their new owners.

Visit The Transparent Factory here.


NZ Olympics

Driving our Olympic hopes

We are pleased to partner with the New Zealand Olympic Committee to help our Olympic athletes in their drive for success in the 2014 Commonwealth and 2014 Winter Olympic Games. We’ve made a four year commitment to our sporting heroes, including the previous Olympics, and will extend to at least the Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro in 2016.

Blair And Pete

Simon Child

Brand Ambassadors – Part of the Family

We are thrilled to have on board proud Olympian and Emirates Team New Zealand yachtsmen Blair Tuke and Peter Burling, along with the talented Kiwi Black Stick hockey athlete Simon Child as official Volkswagen New Zealand ambassadors. Their good old Kiwi determination, drive and commitment to achieving sporting excellence at the highest level is a passion we are very pleased to support.

Motatapu – Supporting Kiwi adventures

The South Island’s Motatapu mountain bike and off-road running event is about testing your limits, embracing your sense of adventure and enjoying our magnificent landscape. Volkswagen is getting behind this thrilling event by providing support vehicles in the form of our latest 4WD range. With our new Amarok ute, and Tiguan on the ground between Wanaka and Arrowtown, Volkswagen will be close at hand to assist race goers. A great challenge for everyone on the day, it’s the ‘bring it on‘ Kiwi attitude that makes us proud to support this event. The 2015 event is scheduled for March 7th, 2015. Check out all the details here.

Calf & Rural Scheme

The IHC Calf & Rural Scheme combines the efforts and generosity of farmers with one of New Zealand’s largest rural supply company PGG Wrightson to raise funds for New Zealanders with an intellectual disability. Launched in 1984, the scheme encourages farmers to donate a weaned farm animal which is then sold, with all proceeds going to IHC. The scheme contributes enormously to IHC – more than 5,500 calves are donated annually raising approximately $1.5m.

Image show features from left to right; Alistair Siddell, Scott Stewart, Daimen Jones, Patti Freeman, Colleen Vliestra, Paul Rangihika, Nathan Wickenden and IHC staff member David Archibald.

Das Auto Magazine

Das Auto Magazine features a wide range of content from right throughout the world of Volkswagen. From WRC action, events, new technologies, videos and feature articles on Volkswagen ambassadors and engineers, Das Auto Magazine gives you the greatest insight into the Volkswagen brand.

Visit the Das Auto Magazine website here

Volkswagen Concept Cars

Take a glimpse into the future of driving.

Here you’ll find some of our top pioneering innovations and potential that we're currently working on for our vehicles. From the Beetle Ragster, to our vision of the ideal Volkswagen, to the XL1 the most fuel-efficient car in the world, you'll find plenty to fire your imagination.


Recycle your Volkswagen

Volkswagen has been conducting detailed dismantling inspections on its own vehicles for many years. The findings of these inspections are used in new vehicle projects to continually enhance the dismantling and re-utilisation properties of our cars.

Here are just a few examples of how such enhancements are achieved through the intelligent use of a variety of materials and techniques:

  • Replacing adhesives with insert links on large surfaces (e.g. noise insulation of the bulkhead).
  • Using standardised plastics (luggage compartment lining and panelling made of PP modifications).
  • Easily accessible and easily separable connecting elements (instrument panel).
  • Reduced usage of PVC (introduction of underbody liners).
  • Minimised usage of antidrum (Vibration damping) sheeting through acoustic optimisation.

Even in the early phases of construction, our engineers join forces with Volkswagen suppliers to devise recycling concepts for components and assembly groups. This is an important step towards further improving the dismantling properties and recyclability of our vehicles – especially in the face of mounting demands on new cars, most notably in areas such as comfort, safety and fuel economy.


European Motor Distributors is the official importer for Volkswagen vehicles in New Zealand. Currently we have 16 Volkswagen dealerships which are located all over the country. Expansion plans are in place to increase this to 17 full dealers and an additional 8 service points over the next few years. These dealerships are all fully corporate and/or multi-franchise, selling and servicing both commercial/passenger vehicles.

Opportunities are always becoming available for employment in our network particularly for qualified Volkswagen Technicians. If you have more than 5 years of experience including completion of a recognised apprenticeship and if this was completed in an official Volkswagen dealership there could be an opportunity for you.

If you think you qualify and are interested in working in New Zealand then you should apply to the Volkswagen National Service Manager at European Motor Distributors Ltd.

Forward your CV to:

Careers at Volkswagen 
PO Box 959 
New Zealand

For more information on working in New Zealand and qualifying criteria please refer to the official government website at
This website carries all you need to know about qualifying to work in New Zealand.

Training Manager - Volkswagen New Zealand

Training and People development are one of the pillars of our growth strategy.  As such, we have identified the need for a Training Manager who will be charged with the task of overseeing the training programme for our dealer network, as we continue to challenge traditional mainstream brands.

With one of the largest and most diverse product ranges in the NZ automotive market, it is imperative our people are well equipped and educated to stay abreast of the market leading technology advances we're known for.

This role represents a unique challenge, encompassing the following:

  • Management of the National training program, including technical and non-technical 
  • Implementation of a variety of National level initiatives, content and delivery
  • Project Management and experience, in particular in bespoke, custom projects
  • Delivery and management of local and factory training requirements
  • Key input as a Senior Manager in the VWNZ team, take a significant role in the  delivery of the overall long term strategic training plan
  • Relationship management of key stakeholders and suppliers, both internally and externally
  • Management of the Volkswagen Dealer of the Year programme

We're looking for people with the following experience:

  • Substantial commercial acumen, with demonstrable experience in the automotive industry
  • Sound financial,  and commercial agility and literacy
  • Personal drive, motivation and commitment fulfilling your own factory pathway training qualification
  • Ability to inspire results and successfully manage people at all levels of business
  • Demonstrable experience in a similar Education focussed role at a National level
  • The aptitude to motivate, manipulate and inspire a dealer network to effect change
  • Confident networking and relationship management skills
  • Robust and engaging presentation skills with motivation and determination to achieve both personal and professional success 

If this sounds like the occupation contest for you, apply in confidence and send us your CV, along with a one page covering letter, outlining your key drivers and how you would plan to fulfil the objectives of this role to; Destiny Swann

Alternatively for a confidential discussion please call Destiny Swann Ph 09 355 7776

Please note all applications and enquiries will be treated with complete confidentiality and discretion.

Apply here

European Motor Distributors Ltd.

European Motor Distributors Ltd (EMD) is a fully owned subsidiary of Giltrap Group Holdings Limited, and was established in 1977. EMD holds the distribution rights for New Zealand for Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Skoda. EMD's vision is to become the "Benchmark Automotive Distributor in New Zealand".

European Motor Distributors Ltd
1 Nixon Street
Grey Lynn Auckland
PO Box 959

Phone +64 (9) 360 2911
Fax +64 (9) 355 7774