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Why VW sold its popular Golf as Rabbit in America

Why VW sold its popular Golf as Rabbit in America

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The Golf is perhaps the most popular VW model. But in America it was sold only as a rabbit. And for a good reason.

When you think of a rabbit, you first think of Easter, but not Volkswagen. The beetle and the new beetle already have connections to the animal kingdom here. There was actually a model named after the long-eared eagle. However, in America.

A practice unusual at VW: the VW Bora is sold as the Jetta in the US. The sixth generation also bears this name in Germany. The basis for the mid-size car is still the Golf (which received a facelift for its 50th birthday) or the Rabbit, as it was initially named in the USA.

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Golf didn't come to America until 1975 – under a different name

Both the Golf I and later the Golf V were given this curious name on the other side of the Atlantic. Beginning in 1975, Volkswagen exported the long-running model to the United States. Hare has been built in Westmoreland since 1978. However, success was managed Motor1.D writes

It looks like a golf, but it's called something different. © Volkswagen USA

However, Americans had to wait until the 1983 model year for a GTI version of the Rabbit. Coincidentally, a convertible version of the Golf and the first Caddy was sold in the US as the Rabbit. VW also sold “Rabbit” special models of the GTI in Norway and France.

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Rabbit instead of Golf: Very aloof and classy

But why did Volkswagen give its flagship model, which also has an electric future, a new name in the US? The answer is relatively simple: the name was too noble and aloof and too reminiscent of a game for the rich.

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It's an economical car and doesn't suit the younger target group it appeals to. Not named after the game of golf, but in honor of the Gulf Stream. The Jetta (strong jet stream wind), Scirocco (desert wind) and Passat (trade wind) were also inspired by climate. By the way, the rabbit or golf rolled off the assembly line in Mexico as the carib. As OCC.eu reports, then-Mexican President Luis Echevarría urged VW bosses to adopt the name. Trade relations should be improved. After all, VW didn't bother to use the toilet. However, this cannot be said about every model.