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The fourth generation of Transporters.

1990

Production of the fourth generation of Transporters (T4) begins on 6th January. The new concept is similarly revolutionary as the change from the Beetle to the Golf was: front engine, front-wheel drive ("pulling principle") with a water-cooled in-line engine of 45 to 81 kW fitted transversely to the direction of travel, new double wishbone front axle, semi-trailing arm rear axle. Two wheelbases: 2,920 mm and 3,320 mm; three payload categories of 800 kg, 1,000 kg and 1,200 kg (point load). The launch of the T4 causes a small sensation in the market as the vehicle does away with all conceptions of the Type 2 – and is nevertheless a genuine Volkswagen, just as the Beetle's successor, the Golf, has come to be.

All characteristics of the new vehicle have become so much better that it is not an exaggeration to speak of a quantum jump. The T4 is even more versatile than its proverbially universal predecessor as it is supplied with even more possibilities for variation on the body (e.g. a second sliding door or a wing door available as an option). The fourth generation of the Type 2 is given an enthusiastic reception in the market. The order books are filled months before the first vehicles are delivered. The T3 continues to be built for a while before production is shifted to Austria, restricted to construction of the syncro, and finally discontinued altogether.

40th anniversary of the Volkswagen Transporter: nearly 6,700,000 Transporters of three generations were built during these four decades.

The Czech government issues approval on 10th December for Volkswagen to take over the Czech car manufacturer Skoda. Skoda therefore becomes the fourth brand in the Group next to Audi and Seat.

1991

Restructuring at Volkswagen as of 1st January. Group management is separated from brand management for Volkswagen, Audi and Seat – and, in the near future, Skoda.

1992

The Volkswagen Group with its four brands leads in the fields of electronic traffic guidance, the development of alternative drive concepts and in the use of environmentally compatible production technology.

The joint venture Ching Chung Motor Co. Ltd. is founded in Taipei/Taiwan. Volkswagen AG has a one-third share of total capital in this company. From 1993 onwards, the new Transporter is to be sold and produced there with an annual capacity of 30,000 vehicles.

Production of the third Transporter generation is discontinued at Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG in Graz. 61,903 vehicles have been built there since the end of 1990.

Change in the Board of Management at the end of the year:
Dr. Carl H. Hahn leaves the company.

1993

Dr. techn. h.c. Dipl.-Ing. ETH Ferdinand Piëch takes over as Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG on 1st January.

The "environmental diesel" – 4 cylinder 1.9 litre TD, 1896 ccm, output of 50 kW at 3700 rpm – comes on to the market in January.

1994 – the L80

Presentation of the L80, produced in Brazil. It completes the top end of the Volkswagen range.

The 500,000th T4 is built in Hannover.

1995

The Chairman of the Management Body of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Bernd Wiedemann, presents Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as an independent brand to the public at a press conference in July. Vehicles are produced above all in Europe and South America. The significance of the new brand: turnover of 10 billion marks per year on the world markets.

The LT is discontinued after 20 years. This model was never pampered by prolonged boom phases – 471,221 vehicles were manufactured in Hannover until production was discontinued.

1996

Differentiation of the products within the range runs parallel to the new Group policy. In 1996, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles catches up with a development which was almost indicated in Ben Pon’s notebook. The best-selling vehicle from Hannover becomes a twin line:

  • the Transporter
  • the passenger car line with Multivan (Allstar and Classic) and Caravelle.

On the occasion of the anniversary, this comfortable vehicle receives two exciting new engines: a sporty 2.8 litre in-line V6 engine with catalyst and 103 kW, and a lively, thrifty unit, the 2.5 litre TDI® with catalyst – a direct injection diesel which can drive the Transporter to nearly each of its European core markets on one tank of fuel.

The LT is presented at the Motor Show in Leipzig shortly after the factory's 40th birthday. It offers an attractive shape, the latest technology, modern design, best possible driving comfort, and more safety and economy so that it is well equipped for all transport requirements.

Even after some 30 major building projects in the course of its 40-year history, things are still on the move at the Volkswagen Hannover factory – further extensions are planned. This "impossible Transporter" that implemented changes in the automotive world from its Hannover base has also shaped the face of the world, our awareness of life, and our memories – maybe even more than we know.

Four Transporter generations from Volkswagen – each individual type unmistakable, likeable, and every time a step forward to the forefront of automotive technology.

1997

The 8,000,000th Volkswagen Transporter is produced. In September, Volkswagen Poznan GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, becomes part of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The brand is responsible for the business result and production at the Polish site. The company was founded on 1st December 1993 as a joint venture between Volkswagen AG and Tarpan, a Polish manufacturer of agricultural vehicles.
1998

One million T4s. The best-selling model now receives new, powerful diesel units: 65 kW TDI®, 75 kW TDI® automatic and 75 kW TDI® syncro. A 111 kW TDI® is now available as the most powerful diesel engine.

1999

The revised Multivan with improved interior design is presented – it has, for example, swivelling single seats in the second row. The product range of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand includes the Caddy light town delivery van; the best-seller, the Transporter, with its passenger car versions Caravelle and Multivan; and extends to the LT models with a gross vehicle weight of 4.6 tonnes.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles fulfils all wishes from a simple Delivery van to complete vehicles for specific lines of business and a fully equipped mobile office with multimedia facilities, the Caravelle Business MPV. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles leads the field worldwide with superior direct injection diesel technology and a dynamic top of the range engine of 111 kW. The vehicles are characterised by economy, quality, functionality, safety, design and technology, and are continuously optimised.

At the end of November 1999 the 250,000th vehicle leaves the assembly line at the Poznan factory. There has been strong expansion at Volkswagen Poznan since its foundation in 1993. This development is particularly evident in the increase in production volume (1993: 235 vehicles/1995: 15,000 vehicles/ 1997: 60,000 vehicles), in the continuous increase in quality, and in the further development and broadening of production technologies. The main products are the VW Transporter and Skoda Fabia.

2000

Since 1st January, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is responsible for the industrial control of commercial vehicle activities with regard to the trucks (7-42 tonnes) and Bus chassis models (8 and 16 tonnes) produced in Resende (Brazil).
The Brazilian factory at Resende is one of the most up-to-date truck and omnibus production plants in the world. The "Consórcio Modular" as it is called was founded there with an investment of 250 million dollars in 1995 by Volkswagen do Brasil and seven partners from the supply industry. This production concept provides for suppliers being directly integrated in the production process.
Other main markets besides Brazil are Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. 120 Dealers represent the truck range from Resende in the South American market.

In February 2000 the truck product range is presented with 15 models in the 7-42 tonne weight categories ("Series 2000") – with technical innovations which increase the productivity and profitability of the Resende products. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles opens a new Customer Centre at the Hannover factory in June 2000.
It is a meeting point for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles' employees, private customers and many retail and trade customers for whom Volkswagen commercial vehicles are often the most important means of transport. Customers also take delivery of vehicle fleets, for example for the police or large companies, at the Customer Centre.
In July 2000 Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles receives its own Management Body. Bernd Wiedemann is spokesman of the Management Body. The Management Divisions include product development, product manufacture, sales and marketing, and personnel. The earning power of the brand puts Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in a position to restructure and modernise the Hannover factory using its own funds. Money is not only spent on the development of new products and setting up new equipment – social investments also amount to millions. Car parking areas are improved; roads, footpaths, entrance areas and a large part of the green areas are redesigned.

In the course of the year 2000 a large new transfer press costing 70 million euros is set up in Hannover. It is one of the largest press lines in the world. The exterior dimensions of the production hall are an impressive 195 metres long, 40 metres wide and 29 metres high.
Production at Hannover, Poznan and Resende reaches a record level in the year 2000: 178,000 vehicles are built in Hannover (139,000 Transporter, Caravelle and Multivan models, and more than 39,000 LTs). The total figure is the highest ever reached for the T4 and LT model ranges at the Hannover factory. The factories in Poznan (Poland) and Resende also set production records in the year 2000. This is reflected in the turnover, sales and results of the brand. The Caravelle and Multivan receive the new 150 kW V6 petrol engine.