Public Radio International, 2/6/2013
If you’ve ever been to Mexico City, chances are you’ve sat in an old Volkswagen Bug taxi, painted in muted red and gold, stuck in Mexico City’s notorious traffic. “Here we call them ‘Donkeys,’” says Victoriano Luna, a taxi driver who has been driving a Bug for 32 years. “A horse can run fast, but it doesn’t endure. A donkey does endure, just like this car.”
Volkswagen first came to Mexico in 1967, when it opened a plant in Puebla, a few hours drive from Mexico City. For decades, the Bug was the biggest-selling car in the country. Today, the Peubla plant has expanded to become the largest auto factory in North America, employing 18,000 people. It’s a state-of-the-art facility full of industrial robots and blinking computer equipment. The plant has the capacity to produce 2,500 cars a day, in popular models such as the Jetta and Golf.