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Volkswagen is founded


On May 28, 1937, the government of Germany–then under the control of Adolf Hitler of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party–forms a new state-owned automobile company, then known as Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. Later that year, it was renamed simply Volkswagenwerk, or “The People’s Car Company.”

Originally operated by the German Labor Front, a Nazi organization, Volkswagen was headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. In addition to his ambitious campaign to build a network of autobahns and limited access highways across Germany, Hitler’s pet project was the development and mass production of an affordable yet still speedy vehicle that could sell for less than 1,000 Reich marks (about $140 at the time). To provide the design for this “people’s car,” Hitler called in the Austrian automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche. In 1938, at a Nazi rally, the Fuhrer declared: “It is for the broad masses that this car has been built. Its purpose is to answer their transportation needs, and it is intended to give them joy.” However, soon after the KdF (Kraft-durch-Freude)-Wagen (“Strength-Through-Joy” car) was displayed for the first time at the Berlin Motor Show in 1939, World War II began, and Volkswagen halted production. After the war ended, with the factory in ruins, the Allies would make Volkswagen the focus of their attempts to resuscitate the German auto industry.

Volkswagen sales in the United States were initially slower than in other parts of the world, due to the car’s historic Nazi connections as well as its small size and unusual rounded shape. In 1959, the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach launched a landmark campaign, dubbing the car the “Beetle” and spinning its diminutive size as a distinct advantage to consumers. Over the next several years, VW became the top-selling auto import in the United States. In 1960, the German government sold 60 percent of Volkswagen’s stock to the public, effectively denationalizing it. Twelve years later, the Beetle surpassed the longstanding worldwide production record of 15 million vehicles, set by Ford Motor Company’s legendary Model T between 1908 and 1927.

With the Beetle’s design relatively unchanged since 1935, sales grew sluggish in the early 1970s. VW bounced back with the introduction of sportier models such as the Rabbit and later, the Golf. In 1998, the company began selling the highly touted “New Beetle” while still continuing production of its predecessor. After nearly 70 years and more than 21 million units produced, the last original Beetle rolled off the line in Puebla, Mexico, on July 30, 2003.


Who Founded Volkswagen

Ferdinand Porsche created the first affordable Volkswagen car. Volkswagen, also known as the “people’s car” was Hitler’s project that involved the development of an affordable and speedy car. The car was sold at one thousand Reich or less than it. Hitler wanted this car to be used by the mass and enjoyed by the common people. The project of designing the car started before World War II but the production got halted due to the war. After the war had ended the project of designing this car became the focus of Hitler’s attempts in resuscitating the auto industry of Germany.

Ferdinand Porsche – Founder of Volkswagen

The original operator of Volkswagen is the German Labour Front. It is under Hitler’s project of making cars for the mass Ferdinand Porsche was called in by Hitler to design the “people’s car.” Ferdinand Porsche was born on 3rd September 1875 in Austria. From a very early age, he showed immense interest in technology and electricity. After joining Bela Egger & Co. he continued his job along with his education at Technical University in Reichenberg. In the year 1897 and 1898, he made a number of inventions like the wheel-hub motor run on electricity, the electric car, etc. The wheel-hub engine invented by Porsche received acclaims worldwide in 1900 at World’s Fair. Porsche was honored with a doctorate degree in 1917 because of his achievements at the Imperial Technical University. In 1931 Porsche formed his own company. It is during this time in 1934 he got busy in Hitler’s project of making “people’s car” and came up with the Volkswagen Car. Porsche later along with his son made history by designing the famous Porsche cars for sports in 1950. German Labour Front was the real founders of Volkswagen. It was founded on 28 May 1937.

German Labour Front

Though now this car is a famous well-acclaimed car in the world with continuous upgrades, primarily this car helped in stabilizing the economy of Germany which got imbalanced or shattered after World War II.

volkswagen car

The organization which has faced so much and is a live witness of the famous historical events has traveled a long way to become one of the most desirable car manufacturing organizations in the world. Not only in Germany, but Volkswagen has also gained huge fame and popularity over the globe, this is why it is widely being exported to various countries. These days, cars such as Volkswagen denote the class and status of a certain individual who is the respective owner. India and its people are fond of Volkswagen which is why the organization has good communication with the country.


Founding of the Company and Integration into the War Economy

This impasse was broken in January 1937, as responsibility for the project was assumed by the Deutsche Arbeitsfront (DAF), or German Labour Front, a unified organisation encompassing both employers and employees, which was looking for a prestige project to polish up its image. In the same period, in early April 1937, testing of the 30-vehicle W30 series began, involving more than two million kilometres of trials in total. On May 28, 1937, the DAF in Berlin established the “Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens”, or “Corporation to prepare the way for the German People’s Car”, which on September 16, 1938 was renamed Volkswagenwerk GmbH. In February 1938 work began on a site east of Fallersleben on the Mittelland canal to construct the main plant, which was designed to operate as a vertically structured and largely autonomous model factory. The target was to produce 150,000 units in the first year after the plant’s scheduled opening in Autumn 1939, and 300,000 in the second year, with capacity increasing to 450,000 units by the year after. The medium-term target was to build 1.5 million “People’s Cars”. The workforce was planned to grow from 7,500, to 14,500, and ultimately to 21,000 people. There was no financing for the estimated investment of some 172 million Reichsmarks in the site and 76 million Reichsmarks for the machine plant. Revenues from the sale of property confis­cated from the now disbanded independent trade unions were earmarked to help pay for the investment.

The size, technical equipment and manufacturing depth of the facility were oriented to that of Ford’s River Rouge plant in Detroit, which was considered the most advanced car factory in the world and was visited twice by Ferdinand Porsche and the planning team. In parallel with the construction of the main plant in what is today Wolfsburg, a facility was built in Braunschweig (Brunswick), known as the “Vor­werk” (outworks), to provide tools and dies and to serve as a training centre for the skilled workforce required. Shortages of labour and raw materials delayed the progress of both construction projects.

At the propaganda-laden foundation-laying ceremony on May 26, 1938, Hitler christened Ferdinand Porsche’s vehicle the “KdF-Wagen” (based on the Nazi slogan “Kraft durch Freude”, or Strength through Joy). Accompanied by a massive advertising campaign, on August 1, 1938 the DAF launched an instalment savings scheme for buyers of the KdF-Wagen. The car could be acquired through a minimum payment of just five Reichsmarks a week to the DAF. But the ambitious plans were thwarted by lack of buying power – a Volkswagen was still realistically unaffordable for an industrial worker. Some 336,000 people ultimately signed up to the instalment savings scheme – far fewer than the target envisioned by the gigantic manufacturing plan.

While the Vorwerk did in fact begin training apprentices and making tools and dies in 1938, fitting-out of the main plant was continually postponed as priority was given to armaments. Not a single car had been produced by the time the war began on September 1, 1939. Instead, the retooling of the plant for armaments production meant that the company’s entire operations were re-aligned. In late 1939, Volkswagenwerk GmbH began carrying out repairs for the German Air Force on the Junkers Ju 88 combat aircraft, as well as supplying wings and wooden drop tanks. As the Army became more motorised in 1940, the company started making cars. Mass production of military utility vehicles (Kübelwagen), and then from 1942 amphibious personnel carriers, established a second arm of the business. By the end of the war the plant had built a total of 66,285 vehicles. Between 1940 and 1944 sales turnover rose from 31 to 297 million Reichsmarks.

The company’s involvement in the German armaments industry led to the acquisition of subsidiaries, including in Luckenwalde and Ustron, from 1941 onwards. In 1943/44, Volkswagenwerk GmbH expanded its production capacity by outsourcing to France and by repurposing iron ore and asphalt drift mines to create underground manufacturing facilities. Following a number of bombing raids on the complex on the Mittelland canal, in 1944/45 the business was increasingly decentralised as production departments were relocated to temporary premises. The productivity needs of the growing armaments operation were met from Summer 1940 onwards by the increasing use of forced labour. The first group of such slave labourers were Polish women deployed at the company’s main plant. Later, prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates were assigned to work there – an estimated 20,000 people in total. They came from European countries which had been occupied by, or were under the control of, the German Reich, and in 1944 accounted for two thirds of the company’s workforce. In Nazi Germany forced labourers had no rights, and were subjected to varying levels of racial discrimination. Insufficient food, physical violence and exploitation undermined their health and endangered their lives.

The US troops who arrived on April 11, 1945 stopped the plant’s armaments production and liberated its slave workforce. The longed-for end of the Nazi dictatorship marked the beginning of a new era for Volkswagen too.


Today in History: Volkswagen is founded in 1937

Today in History: Volkswagen is founded in 1937
83 years ago today, the German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen was established. The idea for a small, affordable family car was introduced years earlier by the engineer, Ferdinand Porsche, who wanted to create an automobile that was easy to build and inexpensive to buy. In 1933, Adolf Hitler got involved and contracted Porsche to design and build the Volkswagen (“People’s Car”) that could fit 2 adults and 3 children, drive 100 km/h (62 mph) and would cost no more than 1,000 Reichsmark (approx. $396). Hitler quickly funded the building of a brand-new Volkswagen factory to create Ferdinand Porsche’s design. Construction began on May 26, 1937. Volkswagen was founded two days later on May 28.

The People’s Car was to be made available to all German citizens through a state-sponsored savings plan at a price of 990 Reichsmark (comparable to the price of a small motorcycle at the time). The car was initially called a KdF-Wagen (Kraft durch Freude / Strength through Joy). But by the time the first cars had been produced – the KdF-Wagen was displayed for the first time at the Berlin Motor Show in 1939 – World War II started. All production was halted and re-focused on military vehicles. No cars were ever delivered through the savings plan. One early Type 1 convertible model was given to Hitler on his 50th birthday.

At the end of the war, with the factory plant in ruins, the Allies used Volkswagen to help revive the German auto industry and thus the success story of the VW Beetle began. In 1950, the “beetle”-shaped car sold for approx. 4000 Deutsche Mark (approx. $2000). In 1955, VW had produced its one millionth car. In 1972, the Beetle broke the long-standing worldwide production record of Ford’s legendary Model T with 15 million vehicles. By 2003, when the last original Beetle rolled off the production lines in Puebla, Mexico, almost 22 million Beetles had been sold in over 150 countries – a true world record.


History of Volkswagen Financial Services

Second highest operating result in company's history

The year 2020 was marked by the Covid 19 pandemic. Despite this, Volkswagen Financial Services achieved its second-best operating profit in the company's history at €2.8 billion. Comprehensive support measures for dealer partners and joint campaigns with the Volkswagen Group's automotive brands for end customers mitigated the impact of the Corona pandemic.

At the same time, Volkswagen Financial Services also invested in future business models and new mobility offerings. For example, the business travel start-up Voya from Hamburg was acquired and a car subscription model for private customers was launched.

With the car subscription, customers can flexibly book different vehicle classes and sign a contract for three months, which can then be terminated on a monthly basis. All operating costs, except for fuel, are included in the offer.

Mobility expert

Volkswagen Financial Services are further strengthening their position as a mobility expert in 2019. Three important shareholdings provide the necessary foundation for this growth:

The 60 percent stake acquired in the fleet management company FleetLogistics means an extended range of products and services can now be offered in international fleet and mobility management through a strategic partnership with TÜV SÜD. To this end, Volkswagen Financial Services AG took a 60 percent stake in FleetCompany GmbH, based in Oberhaching, Bavaria, which operates worldwide under the brand name FleetLogistics in over 70 countries.

More muscle for truck parking is the result of a majority stake now held in PTV Truckparking B.V. Volkswagen Financial Services AG acquired 75.1 percent of the shares to ensure the strategic expansion of its business field Parking Services. The company purchased, which is based in Utrecht/Netherlands, operates the "Truck Parking Europe" web platform for truck drivers, which makes it easier to find and reserve truck parking spaces along motorways. With more than a million downloads, Truck Parking Europe is the most successful trucker community-based platform/app in its field.

The 100% acquisition of LogPay Financial Services GmbH (LPFS) paves the way for a further expansion of the mobility business. In 2017 Volkswagen Financial Services had already acquired a majority interest in LogPay Transport Services GmbH, a company operating throughout Europe in the refueling and toll payment business that until then had been a wholly-owned LPFS subsidiary.

20 million contracts, EUR 200 billion in total assets

A successful year for Volkswagen Financial Services: the company's total assets exceed the EUR 200 billion mark for the first time. The portfolio of current contract grows to over 20.3 million units.

The heycar online platform for premium used cars also picks up speed. A large-scale advertising campaign is launched and Daimler is brought on board as a new investor.

Realignment as of September 1, 2017

Powerful new structure: Volkswagen Bank GmbH is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG. Volkswagen Financial Services initiated a corporate restructuring in November of last year. The aim of the realignment has been to bundle the credit and deposit business within the European Economic Area (EEA) in Volkswagen Bank GmbH. All other activities, such as the leasing, insurance, service and mobility business, as well as the credit business outside Europe, remain with Volkswagen Financial Services AG. Through a new company, Volkswagen Financial Services Digital Solutions GmbH, selected services are developed and made available to its parent companies Volkswagen Bank GmbH and Volkswagen Financial Services AG.

Cash-free payment solutions

The takeover of PayByPhone makes Volkswagen Financial Services the world's largest provider of cash-free payment solutions for parking procedures. The Vancouver-based company acquired provides services in Canada, the USA, Great Britain, Switzerland and Australia.


Volkswagen’s Child Victims

One of the most egregious crimes committed at the Volkswagen Works was the treatment of the children of “Eastern workers” who labored at the complex. Some female civilian forced laborers arrived pregnant upon deployment. I n addition, because there were male and female workers at the facility , pregnan cies oc curred due to relationships among laborers. Before 1943, pregnant “Eastern workers,” as well as those in capacitated by illness or exhaustion for more than three weeks, were simply sent back to their countries of origin. As the war progressed, however, the German General Plenipotentiary for Labor Allocation, Fritz Sauckel, reversed this strategy. The advance of the Soviet Army and the pressing need for all available resources in support of retreating German lines made such deportations impossible. At this time, German administrators began to open the first so-called “nursery facilities” [ Ausländerkinderpflegestätten ] for the children of foreign laborers.

Such installations ostensibly provided a place where female “Eastern workers” could give birth and where they and their infants might receive postnatal care . The notion that Germany’s Ausländerkinderpflegestätten were infant care facilities, however, was pure fiction. These establishments existed only to ensure that pregnant laborers returned to their work sites as quickly as possible, unencumbered by their newborns. Labor officials were not interested in the fate of the children. Death rates at most of these establishments were extremely high. Infants perished of starvation, lack of medical care, and neglect.

In February 1943, Volkswagen executives opened such a facility on site, first in the barracks of its so-called Eastern Camp (Ostlager). Medical supervision of the maternity ward and “children’s home” became the responsibility of the factory physician and overseer of Volkswagen’s medical facilities, Dr. Hans Körbel. In time, children were sent to a similar home in the nearby town of Rühen, where mortality was close to one hundred percent. It is thought that 365 infants and toddlers, the children of female “Eastern workers” who labored at Volkswagen, died at Rühen. In 1946, British occupation officials sentenced Dr. Körbel to death for criminal neglect in the “Rühen Baby Fame Case,” executing him in 1947.


Posterconnection blog

78 years ago today, the German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen was established. The idea for a small, affordable family car was introduced years earlier by engineer, Ferdinand Porsche, who wanted to create an automobile that was easy to build and inexpensive to buy.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler got involved and contracted Porsche to design and build the Volkswagen (“People’s Car”) that could fit 2 adults and 3 children, drive 100 km/h (62 mph) and would cost no more than 1,000 Reichsmark (approx. $396). Hitler quickly funded the building of a brand-new Volkswagen factory to create Ferdinand Porsche’s design. Construction began on May 26, 1937. Volkswagen was founded two days later on May 28.

The People’s Car was to be made available to all German citizens through a state sponsored savings plan at a price of 990 Reichsmark (comparable to the price of a small motorcycle at the time). The car was initially called a KdF-Wagen (Kraft durch Freude / Strength through Joy). But by the time the first cars had been produced – the KdF-Wagen was displayed for the first time at the Berlin Motor Show in 1939 – World War II started. All production was halted and re-focused on military vehicles. No cars were ever delivered through the savings plan. One early Type 1 convertible model was given to Hitler on his 50th birthday.


At the end of the war, with the factory plant in ruins, the Allies used Volkswagen to help revive the German auto industry and thus the success story of the VW Beetle began. In 1950, the “beetle”-shaped car sold for approx. 4000 Deutsche Mark (approx. $2000).

In 1955, VW had produced its one millionth car. In 1972, the Beetle broke the long-standing worldwide production record of Ford’s legendary Model T with 15 million vehicles. By 2003, when the last original Beetle rolled off the production lines in Puebla, Mexico, almost 22 million Beetles had been sold in over 150 countries – a true world record.

We recently started a new blog where we show vintage original poster art as it relates to historical or memorable events. Our “Poster Spotlight” blog is published 1-3 times per week and is generally shorter than the stories you find here. Here is a link to the new site. Enjoy and please let us know what you think.


How the Volkswagen Bus Became a Symbol of Counterculture

When Jerry Garcia passed away in 1995, Volkswagen remembered the Grateful Dead frontman by running an ad featuring a VW Microbus with a tear streaming from one headlight. It was an epochal moment when two counterculture symbols came together in tender recognition of their influence on mainstream society.

In the 1960s, both Garcia and the Microbus came to represent a growing angst in America about the country’s role as a nuclear superpower and its reliance on commercialism to feed a voracious appetite for more, more, more. A certain segment of society decided to “turn on, tune in and drop out,” as Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary put it, by focusing on the psychedelic rock music performed by bands like the Grateful Dead and traveling around in Microbuses covered with depictions of peace signs and flowers.

“For many people, the VW Microbus became the symbol of protest with Detroit’s overpowered cars and society in general,” says Roger White, curator of road transportation history with the Division of Work and Industry at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. “It was a way of thumbing their noses at the establishment.”

Concert-goers sit on the roof of a Volkswagen bus at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair at Bethel, N.Y., in mid-August 1969. (AP)

That’s quite a transition for the vehicle, considering its roots. Known as Type 2, the Microbus was an offshoot of the VW Beetle, called Type 1, which dates to 1933 when Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany, proposed a “people’s car”—or Volkswagen—for the masses. Postwar, the company was looking to expand its product line by offering a vehicle that would shake up the automotive industry.

“This was the first van,” White says. “Before this, people used large cars, trucks and buses to haul people and cargo around.”

Regardless of its origins, the VW Microbus marks its 70th anniversary as both an icon and mode of transportation. The first vehicle went into production March 8, 1950, at a Volkswagen plant in West Germany, and changed the way the world looked at cars.

The Microbus design was created by Ben Pon, a Dutch importer of VW Beetles. He was inspired to sketch the first van in 1947 after seeing a flatbed parts-hauler made from a Type I chassis while visiting the Volkswagen plant. The German car manufacturer began tinkering with the idea and finally went into production in 1950. Two versions were initially offered: the Kombi, with side windows and removable middle and rear seats, and the Commercial, essentially the first panel van.

Volkswagen’s marketing approach for the new product line was an extension of its advertising for the Beetle: promote its simple styling and usefulness as a vehicle for home, work and play. People loved the fact that the VW Microbus could transport goods of all kinds—human and otherwise. With a roomy interior, rear-wheel drive and air-cooled engine, it was easy to operate and maintain. In the United States, it was seen as a cost-effective alternative to the family station wagon.

The first VW Westfalia campers were exported to the United States in 1956. (dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images)

And it was fun to customize. Almost as soon as it rolled off the assembly line, owners began adapting the Microbus to their own needs. Soon, it was being used as a camper by outdoor enthusiasts who outfitted it with beds, sinks and more. Volkswagen took note of this trend and contracted with Westfalia, a German company known for building carts and wagons, to begin making camper conversion kits. The first VW Westfalia campers were exported to the United States in 1956.

As the Microbus became more accepted in America, it began to take on a cult status with fringe groups. Its boxy appearance—so unlike anything the major auto manufacturers in Detroit were producing—became a symbol for counterculture types, who wanted to stand out from the rest of crowd. Some owners painted peace signs on the Microbus, earning it the nickname “hippie bus.”

“It became popular with people who were rejecting mainstream American culture,” White says. “It was their way of saying, ‘We don’t need your big V8 cars.’”

The VW Microbus was also a favorite of marginalized members of society, who could use the versatile vehicle to transport people to rallies, polling stations, protests and more during the political and cultural upheaval that laced the 1960s.

"Love is Progress, Hate is Expensive" was the motto that Esau Jenkins painted on his VW bus. The rear hatch is on display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. (William Pretzer)

One Microbus in particular stands out today as an emblem of the racial strife that plagued much of America during the decade. It was driven around the Sea Islands near Charleston, South Carolina, by Esau and Janie Jenkins, civil rights activists who wanted to make a difference in their community. They used this 1966 VW Transporter to take African-American children to school and adults to work in the segregated South.

“Esau would drive the Microbus while Janie would teach passengers about the South Carolina constitution,” says William Pretzer, senior curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. “They wanted people to know their rights so they could stand up for themselves. They did this for years.”

Two pieces of that now rusted and faded green Microbus are on display at the museum, which opened in 2016 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.: a side panel and rear hatch. Still visible on the latter are the words painted by the Jenkins, “LOVE IS PROGRESS. HATE IS EXPENSIVE.”

“These pieces enlarge the narrative of what was happening at that time,” Pretzer says. “They help us all to understand the rejection of rights and citizenship that existed then. It’s not black history it’s American history.”

The I.D. Buzz, the newest version of the Microbus, will deliver 369 horsepower from electric motors on each axle. (Thomas Frey/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The VW Microbus persevered through a tumultuous time in America. Millions were made, but eventually the social revolution subsided and so did interest in the vehicle. Production ceased in 2014. However, all is not lost! This counterculture symbol is about to make a comeback in 2022—as an electric vehicle.

Currently known as the I.D. Buzz, the newest version of the Microbus will deliver 369 horsepower from electric motors on each axle. The original Type 2 sold in the United States in 1950 had all of 30 horsepower.

Still, it’s a far cry from those disorderly days as a hippie van hauling long-haired young people to rock concerts. Just ask William Pretzer. He recalls such a scenario from 1971, when he and his friends tried to make it to Oakland Coliseum to see the Rolling Stones play.

“The fan belt broke and the van filled with smoke,” he recalls. “That air-cooled engine was fried.”

Maybe an electric Microbus isn’t a bad idea after all.

About David Kindy

David Kindy is a journalist, freelance writer and book reviewer who lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He writes about history, culture and other topics for Air & Space, Military History, World War II, Vietnam, Aviation History, Providence Journal and other publications and websites.


This Day in History: May 28, 1937: Volkswagen is founded

On this day in 1937, the government of Germany--then under the control of Adolf Hitler of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party--forms a new state-owned automobile company, then known as Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. Later that year, it was renamed simply Volkswagenwerk, or "The People's Car Company."

Originally operated by the German Labor Front, a Nazi organization, Volkswagen was headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. In addition to his ambitious campaign to build a network of autobahns and limited access highways across Germany, Hitler's pet project was the development and mass production of an affordable yet still speedy vehicle that could sell for less than 1,000 Reich marks (about $140 at the time). To provide the design for this "people's car," Hitler called in the Austrian automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche. In 1938, at a Nazi rally, the Fuhrer declared: "It is for the broad masses that this car has been built. Its purpose is to answer their transportation needs, and it is intended to give them joy." However, soon after the KdF (Kraft-durch-Freude)-Wagen ("Strength-Through-Joy" car) was displayed for the first time at the Berlin Motor Show in 1939, World War II began, and Volkswagen halted production. After the war ended, with the factory in ruins, the Allies would make Volkswagen the focus of their attempts to resuscitate the German auto industry.

Volkswagen sales in the United States were initially slower than in other parts of the world, due to the car's historic Nazi connections as well as its small size and unusual rounded shape. In 1959, the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach launched a landmark campaign, dubbing the car the "Beetle" and spinning its diminutive size as a distinct advantage to consumers. Over the next several years, VW became the top-selling auto import in the United States. In 1960, the German government sold 60 percent of Volkswagen's stock to the public, effectively denationalizing it. Twelve years later, the Beetle surpassed the longstanding worldwide production record of 15 million vehicles, set by Ford Motor Company's legendary Model T between 1908 and 1927.

With the Beetle's design relatively unchanged since 1935, sales grew sluggish in the early 1970s. VW bounced back with the introduction of sportier models such as the Rabbit and later, the Golf. In 1998, the company began selling the highly touted "New Beetle" while still continuing production of its predecessor. After nearly 70 years and more than 21 million units produced, the last original Beetle rolled off the line in Puebla, Mexico, on July 30, 2003


[vc_single_image image=�″ img_size=”article-image”] As you may remember, the design of the first ever Volkswagen was accredited largely to Ferdinand Porsche. Porsche maintained a close relationship with VW in the years following. Fast forward to 2005 and Porsche increases its shares in Volkswagen from 5% to 20%.
After increasing its stake in the company to 30.9%, Porsche attempted to acquire Volkswage, but VW is much larger than Porsche and left the company on the edge of bankruptcy. And so began the war between the two brands . An attempted merger in 2009 failed due to legal risk and finally in 2012, VW bought Porsche. This was a particular blow to Porsche’s chairman, Wolfgang Porsche. Why? Because his older cousin, Ferdinand Piech, is Volkswagen’s chairman. Ouch.

And so we would have come to the end of our history. VW would reign as the one of the biggest firms in the world, with cars sold in 153 countries across the globe. But that’s not the case. Instead, we come to the great emissions scandal of 2015.

In September 2015, US officials uncovered software in some Volkswagen and Audi models that were designed to cheat emissions testing. These so called ‘defeat devices’ have been used to artificially alter results of the strict emissions testing in the United States. They designed it so the car would know it was being tested, and would switch the engine to a different mode, essentially lowering the emissions of the car. What this meant was that these VW engines emitted nitrogen oxide pollutants up to 40 times above what is legally allowed in the US.

It was also uncovered that this was the case for many cars across the UK and Europe. VW admitted that the illegal software had been in some 11 million cars, and 8.5 million of those in Europe. The emissions scandal led to VW announcing their first quarterly loss in 15 years.

This sort of brings us to the present day. The emissions scandal is still making headlines – the most recent being that VW may have broken EU consumer laws. This summer they agreed to pay £11.8 billion to its customers and regulators as compensation for the scandal. However, they are still currently being sued by Australia and may face criminal charges in the US. Only time will tell what’s going to happen to VW in the future. 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


Watch the video: The History of Volkswagen, The Peoples Car (January 2022).