The first Transporters leave the production line at the newly built Volkswagen Transporter factory in Hanover on 8th March. Series production begins on 20th April. Volkswagen goes to South Africa. The factory acquires the shares of the South African Importer and founds a subsidiary as an assembly plant: Volkswagen of South Africa (Pty) Ltd. in Uitenhage, C.P. South Africa. The very first Transporter was a light-weight vehicle: it weighed 890 kg with a full tank but without the driver or spare wheel. Even with these weights added, the Type 2 (Type 1 was the Beetle) remained under one tonne – it had an unladen weight of 990 kg. Its payload was 750 kg and therefore not so very much less. With room for 2 or 3 in the cab and a load compartment of 4.6 cubic metres the Volkswagen Transporter proved to be agile and, at least by standards at that time, quite lively. It had a continuous top speed of 75 kph. This was assured by its small (1131 ccm) and rather weak-chested rear engine which had an output of 18 kW at a moderate 3300 rpm. This unit was designed for reliability rather than top performance. Consumption on the road of 9 litres per 100 km and a high life expectancy were the reward for this modesty. Over the years, the T1 grew so to say with its tasks. However, below the divided windscreen it retained its face, a “family face” that gave it close ties with the Beetle, until it was succeeded by the T2. Not until 1996, when the passenger car versions received the "happy face" of their smaller siblings, did this family resemblance return to the Transporter.