The US Volkswagen Westmoreland Factory's Fate in China

Did you know the US VW Westmoreland factory lived on in China? It's a little known fact in Volkswagen history.

The Westmoreland Volkswagen factory was set up in Pennsylvania during the late 1970s to produce Volkswagen parts and vehicles for the North American market. It became the home for many beloved USDM versions of the Volkswagen models.

The American "Westy" versions of the Mk1 and Mk2 Volkswagens produced at the Westmoreland factory had certain design changes from the original European design, which are now very sought-after in the Volkswagen scene.

In particular, the Westy grill and light setup is very sought after in the Mk2 VW scene.

MK2 Mayday 2019 – RUBADUB MEDIA

Due to slow sales and Volkswagen's decision to move production to Mexico, the VW factory at Westmoreland, Pennsylvania was closed in 1988. A deal was struck between FAW VW and VW of America, and the Westmoreland production line and tooling were crated and shipped to Changchun, China.

The Mk2 Jetta started production in China in 1991 using production equipment and tooling from Westmoreland. Although most of the equipment and tooling were for the US market vehicles, the Chinese Mk2s were much closer to European market spec.

Similar to the VW B2 Santana, the Mk2 Jetta achieved widespread market success in China. From 1991 to 2012 over 3 million Mk2 Jettas were produced in China, becoming one of China's best loved cars. The Mk2 production line and the cars themselves were continually modernized to improve production quality, engineering and efficiency until the end of MK2 production in 2012. 

What didn't change was the love people had for the cool little Volkswagens that rolled out of the factories. Just like the Mk1 and Mk2 VWs made in the Westmoreland factories in the US, the Chinese Mk2s were popular with enthusiasts and regular folks alike.

Read more about the history of the Mk2 Volkswagen in China, as well as the Mk2 20V and Mk2.5 facelift variants on our article here.

As Chinese Mk2 parts and restoration specialists, we can supply almost any Mk2 Jetta part. From window seals, rain gutter seals to full NOS shells and engines, we have it all. Worldwide shipping to your door. View our catalog here or give us an email at

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