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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)






All our cars go through a comprehensive programme of crash tests, before they are launched onto the market. We also welcome Euro NCAP's tough independent crash tests which are carried out on many of our cars. Euro NCAP aims to encourage manufacturers to go further and make their cars even safer.

Who are Euro NCAP?

Euro NCAP (The European New Car Assessment Programme) is a respected motoring standards body that carries out tough crash tests on new cars. These include front and side impact crash tests and assessments of child protection and pedestrian safety. The aim is to give drivers - and the motoring industry - a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe. Euro NCAP is backed by five European governments, the European Commission and motoring and consumer organisations in every EU country and is seen as one of the most important benchmarks for the passive safety of cars today.

So if you want to know the safety performance of your current car - or one you are thinking of buying - this is where to look.

How do we perform?

The latest tests carried out by Euro NCAP awarded many of our cars with a maximum 5-star overall safety rating. To see the full details of each test visit the Euro NCAP website here.

As of 2009, Euro NCAP only releases one overall star rating for each car tested, with a maximum of five stars. This is made up of scores in four areas: adult protection, child protection, pedestrian protection and safety assist. The overall rating is calculated from the four scores, while making sure that no one area is under-achieving. The crash tests are the same as before, except for the addition of a test for whiplash neck injury protection in a rear impact. Euro NCAP also now rewards not only seatbelt reminders, but also speed limiters and the standard fitting of electronic stability control, such as our ESP system. The up! was also awarded with the Euro NCAP advance 2011 award for its City Emergency Braking feature.

What does that mean for you?

Safety will always be a vital factor when you come to choose a new car. So checking your new Volkswagen's Euro NCAP rating will give you extra peace of mind.

Please refer to your Volkswagen Owner's manual for official guidance on use and operation of all our technology.

BlueMotion Technologies

Developing the mobility of tomorrow always comes with responsibility. We are deeply aware of the trust placed in us, and we will bear this responsibility even more transparently and sustainably in future.  "Think Blue." is what we call this approach, that we as a responsible manufacturer transport into our product range. This comprises not only efficient technology, but also plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles. Moreover, we have initiated numerous projects, such as developing new mobility concepts like "Quicar", our car sharing project, or our "Think Blue. Factory." programme.

Find out more at Think Blue

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.


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.


It’s a special year for Volkswagen as 2014 marks our 60th Anniversary in New Zealand.


"Since the first Volkswagen arrived on our shores 60 years ago we have been driving Kiwis the length and breadth of the country. In that time, we have also been lucky enough to share some special experiences with our drivers."


To celebrate we will be offering special pricing across selected models. Watch this space.


VW 60Th Logo 580X280 Web

Volkswagen Magazine

Volkswagen 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, Volkswagen Magazine gives you the greatest insight into the Volkswagen brand.

Visit the Volkswagen 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.

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

AdBlue: Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR)

Advanced emissions control for diesel engine

What is AdBlue®?

To help protect our environment, some Volkswagen TDI models are now fitted with AdBlue® emissions control equipment which cleans exhaust gases helping cars to comply with the new EU6 exhaust emissions regulations.

AdBlue® is a non-toxic, non-flammable; biodegradable urea and water-based liquid additive that processes the gases in a car exhaust system to remove harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

The AdBlue® solution is stored in a tank positioned near the car’s conventional fuel tank, accessed through a cap usually found at the rear of the car; its location will depend on the model. The System works by injecting minute amounts of the solution into the exhaust system when the engine is running. The chemicals in AdBlue® break down the polluting NOx emissions into harmless water vapour and nitrogen gas.

The size of the AdBlue® tank fitted to your car will vary depending on which Volkswagen model you have, therefore the interval between top ups will vary. In addition many factors such as mileage covered, journey types, driving styles and environmental conditions can influence how much AdBlue® is consumed. A passenger car will consume approximately 1.5 litres of AdBlue® approximately every 1000km. 

AdBlue® belongs to the lowest water pollution hazard category but is a skin irritant and a corrosive liquid that can cause injury if it touches the skin, eyes or respiratory organs (see further advice below)

Here, we look at key points about the use of AdBlue® in your Volkswagen.

How do I know if my Volkswagen uses AdBlue®?

A simple visual check will reveal if your car uses AdBlue®

The AdBlue® filler nozzle is located either next to the main diesel fuel cap (Passat) under your car’s filler flap (or in the boot on Touareg and Sharan) and looks like a smaller filler nozzle. Simply opening the filler flap will reveal the AdBlue® nozzle (if fitted). The AdBlue® cap is unscrewed either using the screw cap or using the car’s wheelbrace, which is found in the toolkit.

Please refer to your car’s handbook for further information.

The Volkswagen low emission system 

How AdBlue® helps cut emissions

Reduced raw exhaust emissions are achieved in TDI engines equipped with AdBlue® through a modified fuel injection system, exhaust gas recirculation and optimised turbocharging.

The Volkswagen low emission system uses a DeNOx catalyst, diesel particulate filter and injection of AdBlue®

The AdBlue® solution is stored separately from the fuel tank and is pumped in small quantities into the exhaust pipe ahead of the DeNOx catalyst when the engine is running.

The quantity of AdBlue® injected depends on your driving style, engine loading and atmospheric conditions.

Refilling with AdBlue®

How to replenish your AdBlue® tank

A dash message will inform you if the AdBlue® reservoir is running low (see below). It is important to note that the engine will not run if the AdBlue® supply is exhausted. AdBlue® consumption often increases when driving under load (exacerbated by high engine load driving or towing a trailer or caravan, for example), with the result that the low AdBlue® message may deploy earlier than usual.

Your Volkswagen authorised repairer can refill the AdBlue® tank, and it is important to visit the workshop when the light comes on for the first time to avoid running out, whereupon the engine will not re-start.

Alternatively, you can self-refill the AdBlue® tank with half-gallon (1.89 litres) refill containers of AdBlue®, available from your Volkswagen authorised repairer. Use only the AdBlue® approved by Volkswagen in accordance with the Volkswagen standard.

To refill the tank, a fill adaptor must be screwed onto the AdBlue® refill container, which can then be screwed onto the filler neck of the AdBlue® tank. By applying pressure to the bottle, the valve in the fill adaptor opens allowing the AdBlue® to fill the tank.

The Volkswagen 1.89litre top-up comes complete with the adaptor, part number: G052910A2

What models use AdBlue® in New Zealand?

Currently, it is available on the new Passat and Alltrack Diesel engines. To check your Volkswagen, contact your Dealer. 

Further advice

AdBlue® needs to be handled with care

If handling AdBlue®, wear suitable protective clothing such as rubber gloves and glasses.

If AdBlue® comes into contact with eyes and skin, rinse for at least 15 minutes with plenty of water and seek medical help. If AdBlue® is swallowed; wash the mouth with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Do not try to induce vomiting unless recommended by a doctor. Seek medical advice immediately.

AdBlue® damages surfaces such as painted vehicle parts, plastic, items of clothing and carpets.

Spilt AdBlue® should be removed as quickly as possible using a damp cloth and plenty of cold water.

If the mixture is spilt, wash the area immediately as it can be slippery and may cause structural or staining problems with brick or concrete surfaces.

To avoid contamination, do not reuse AdBlue® which has previously been drained off.

Only fill the AdBlue® tank using the Volkswagen approve tools and containers.

Keep all refilling equipment free of dirt and dust.

Avoid mixing AdBlue® with diesel fuel, and do not use it if it is contaminated with water or fuel of any kind.


Please refer to your Volkswagen Owner's manual for official guidance on use and operation of all our technology.