The firm intention of VW do Brasil was to strengthen the brand image in the country, through effective advertising of the new sports coupe. Thus the production capacity was limited, initially to three vehicles per day being produced at the plant in São Bernardo do Campo / SP, with the production maximum of 20 cars reached daily by the end of 1972. Each of the 850 dealers could then count on an allocation of SP’s. Moreover, the new Director of Volkswagen do Brasil, Werner P. Schmidt, recommended dealers to heavily promote the first cars to boost immediate sales.
10,193 Volkswagen SP2 (1679cc engine) were built between June 1972 and February 1976 plus only 162 of the type SP-1 (1584cc engine). Due to the small difference in price equivalent to 1100 Dmarks the choice of most buyers fell on the higher-powered SP-2. The SP was supposed to be a world car and some 3000 were built by the start of 1973.
The regulations in Germany and the United States prevented this. Principally this was to do with the height of the headlights. A design change would have had to have been made at great expense. For this reason many carmakers chose to use folding headlights at the time, e.g Porsche 914, Opel GT.
It is probably true that it was planned to export the SP2 to Germany. How else can one explain German-language brochures? A handful of cars were brought by Volkswagen for experimental purposes to Germany, but by then developments (e.g Scirocco) had already taken VW down a different path. This prevented the official export to mainland Europe, and therefore only a few private imports found their way to Europe by various routes.
Thanks to Marc Poulton for translation