There was a time when the ‘people’s car’ was the Volkswagen Beetle. But after a few decades on the market, the model became outdated, and in the early 1970s demand began declining.
In that period Volkswagen was struggling financially, and the need for something new was dire.
Volkswagen had to carry on the success of what until then had been the world’s most successful car. After years of development, in 1974 the first Golf was born. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the MK1 Golf appeared in a period when the hatchback genre itself was in its infancy.
The new rectangular design was so well received that, within two years, Volkswagen has already sold one million Golfs. In 1976 engineers from Volkswagen made a performance model for Golf, naming it the GTI. It was the first hot hatch of the era, and today it's still one of the most coveted Golf ever made. They also produce a convertible version.
The second generation was even better built, and the sale numbers were a testimony to that, Volkswagen selling over seven million of MK2s. And by 1988 Golf broke the ten million-cars barrier. VW Golf was arguably the car that turned the sector into the enormous market it is today.
Since the first Golf rolled off the production line in 1974, the model grew in popularity, and even today it remains the most successful model that Volkswagen makes, selling over 30 million cars over the world since its first generation hit the streets.