Volkswagen sets up its first foreign production company, "Volkswagen do Brasil Ltda." in São Paulo. The Brazilian government's restrictive import policy, which aims to promote the domestic car industry, means that the only way of achieving long-term success in the South American market is to manufacture directly in the country. Volkswagen has an 80% share in the Brazilian firm which operates as a limited company from July 12 1955. Initially the imported components sets are assembled in rented property. At the end of 1956, however, assembly is transferred to a newly-built factory in São Bernado do Campo. The first Transporter made out of mainly Brazilian components rolls off the line in September 1957; production of the sedan starts in January 1959 and becomes the most popular car in Brazil.
São Paulo, Brazil