VW 181 Facts & Figures


Production figures

Information about production figures is conflictive. Numbers range from 70,495 to almost the double at 140,768.

Bob Miller did a lot of research into the production figures and what follows below is largely his work. Bob obtained data from
VW sources, taken from actual copies of official VW production records and confirmed by VolksWagen AG in 1995.
 

Year  Wolfsburg  Hannover  Emden  Puebla  Indonesia  Yearly totals 
1968  16  16 
1969  2,373  2,373 
1970  5,386  323  5,709
1971  11,026  4,057  15,083
1972  6,682  3,105  9,787
1973 21,598  18,729 (incl. 14,197 Things) 40,327
1974  10,493  8,747  18,844 (incl. 14,733 Things) 38,084 
1975  1,882  307 6,562  8,751
1976  1,506  4,965  6,471
1977  477  1,480  1,957
1978  33  3,408  3,441
1979  2,086  2,086
1980  695  695
Totals  57,574 10,629 2,323 64,254 5,988 140,768

Germany
VW 181s were built in Germany at VW's Wolfsburg, Hannover and Emden plants. Main production was for military orders, only a very limited number for civilian orders. A limited number of VW 182s were built for the British market. Sixteen pre-production vehicles were built in 1968, regular production started in 1969 and ceased in 1978. Total German production: 70,526 vehicles.

Mexico
The VW plant at Puebla, Mexico, assembled VW 181s in 1970 and 1971 from KD (knock down) kits as there were no stamping facilities. In 1973 and 1974 a total of 28,930 THINGs were built for export to the USA. Other Mexico production included a civilian version for non-US markets (the Safari) and many different versions for governmental and military use. Production ceased in 1980 with only 695 cars being built. Total production at the Puebla plant for all versions was 64,254.

Indonesia
In addition (although exact yearly production figures were not available from VW) a VW assembly plant in Indonesia assembled 5,988 CKD (completely knocked down) kits between 1972 and 1980.
(Note: there are also rumours of CKD kits being assembled in Ireland.)

Thus production from all sources totals 140,768 vehicles. These numbers are considerably higher than those published earlier and in other sources, as many of the vehicles were ordered for military use and, for that countries security reasons, the numbers were not always included in VW production figure break-outs.

Source: [Boschen, 1983, p.586-587]; Arnd Klinkhart (e-mails 96-11-01, 96-11-06); Bob Miller (e-mails 96-08-12, 96-11-02, 98-05-24, 99-08-24); Hanno Spoelstra.


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