A little before the milestone of 60 years of operations in Brazil, due later in this first quarter of 2013, Volkswagen announced it had exported 3m cars and light commercials since 1970.

Northern Hemisphere shipments included a hefty volume of the Voyage (aka Fox in the 1980s) and Golf to the US and Canada plus a later Fox for the European Union.

Like Toyota, the automaker chose Brazil for its first plant outside its homeland. There has long been a focus on exports and vehicles have been shipped to 147 countries so far.

Volkswagen has for decades been the country’s top vehicle automaker and exporter despite losing local market leadership to Fiat 10 years ago.

The Gol, the most exported model of the Brazilian auto industry, totalled 1,121,215 units shipped to 66 countries.

In 2012, the compact, sharing the Polo’s PQ24 architecture from 2008, achieved 26 years of continuous domestic leadership.