Volkswagen is the name that has made a significant place on the list of successful automakers. Apart from having one of the most interesting cars in the world, Volkswagen has also some of the most interesting history and facts that come with its name. Check them out:
A Brief History of Volkswagen Production
The German chancellor, Adolf Hitler (representative of Daimler-Benz) and the famous German inventor and developer, Ferdinand Porsche had conducted an important meeting regarding the future of the German automobile industry. Hitler asked vehicle manufacturers to make a suitable small car which should be a cheap, reliable, and of good quality so that every working person can afford it. In 1934, Porsche gave the best design and got the contract. The new car was named as, “The People’s car” (in German: “Volkswagen”).
Since then, the two companies had worked on several projects and been strong business partners until 2012, when Volkswagen bought out Porsche’s remaining shares. This made Volkswagen as Porsche’s parent company.
The Volkswagen Beetle is Created by A Legend – Ferdinand Porsche
The Volkswagen Beetle took only 10 months to be fully developed which met all the needs and requirements of a good car. It became the best-selling car over the decades. And in those years a total of 21,529,464 Beetles were made.
The orders for the Volkswagen Beetle were increasing very fast. By the year 1955, Volkswagen was demanded in more than 150 countries all around the world.
Read more about Beetle’s history and how it reached the heights of success in this amazing book “The People’s Car” by Bernhard Rieger.
Volkswagen Sold Three VW Beetles on the Island of Nauru
This was an excellent chance for the advertisement, and the company happily took it. The marketing department proudly mentioned that sales in comparison with the previous year increased by 200%.
Modification of The Company
After a period of time, Volkswagen modified 5,002 out of 5,008 elements in the Volkswagen Beetle. The only thing they left unchanged was its signature body design.
Fascinatingly, the VW Beetle became the first foreign mass vehicle which was imported to the United States market.
Volkswagen Values Its Employees Down-Time
In 2011, Volkswagen agreed to cease sending e-mails to the company’s Blackberry smartphones half an hour after the employees’ shift ends and to start sending again half an hour before another workday begins. This implementation was made in response to the employees’ complaints of too much stress and the expectations of answering e-mails immediately during their after-work hours.
Ford Refused the Offer to Take Over Volkswagen For Free
In 1948, Ford Motor Company was offered the Volkswagen Company free of charge, but founder Henry Ford declined it by saying “it wasn’t worth a damn.”
The 1950s Were the Success Years of Volkswagen
Volkswagen produced over 100,000 cars in 1950 which gradually increased to 500,000 in 1951. By the year 1955, the German automaker courtly held a dignified ceremony to mark the release of the one-millionth Volkswagens.
Participation of Volkswagen in Other Businesses
The Volkswagen group readily participated in different business activities. For instance, in the production of large diameter diesel marine engines, turbochargers, gas and steam turbines, chemical reactors and compressors.
Currently, Volkswagen has 119 factories distributed all over the world including 20 countries of Europe and 11 American states, Africa and Asia. The company sells its cars over 153 countries around the globe.
In 2010, The VW Group Ranked Third on The Top Car Producing Company
With 7.3 million units produced globally, Volkswagen is now behind Toyota in Japan and General Motors in the US, in terms of production. VW won the prestigious award, “European Car of The Year” in 2010. The next generation Volkswagen won the same title in 2013 again.
Volkswagen is Aiming for World Dominion
It looks like Volkswagen is inching closer to becoming the top automaker in the world, and it’s not a long shot at all. In 2008, it became the world’s third-biggest automaker, and in 2012 it rose to become the second largest. Currently, it is still second on the list of “The Largest Car Companies in the World”.
Germans Were Promised a Volkswagen On Layaway
The Nazis devised a scheme that allowed German workers to buy a Volkswagen Beetle on weekly installments. The workers were encouraged to pay 5 Reichsmarks a week into the scheme, for a total of 990 Reichsmarks to purchase the car. The program would have been a hit — a total of 336,000 workers were attracted to program and started their savings for their dream cars. However, it went all for nothing as World War II broke out.
What happened to all the savings? Well, it went to the hands of the Russians in 1945.
The Volkswagen Originated in Hitler’s Nazi Germany
It’s rather ironic that Adolf Hitler came with the idea of Volkswagen. Actually, it wasn’t exactly an original idea of his, but Hitler was inspired by the work of an engineer and a car designer named Joseph Ganz (who was Jewish)
The 60s Was A Great Time for Volkswagen In America
Was it because hippies loved the Beetle, or was it because “Beetle” sounded like “Beatle”? Whatever the reason, the Volkswagen Beetle was an immense hit in the US during the counter-cultural 1960s. In 1962 alone, Volkswagen accounted for 60% of the entire import car registrations in the US.
VW Set Seven 24hr World Records for Speed at The Nardò Ring
In 2002, the Volkswagen W12 coupe broke the world record for speed over 24 hours over the Nardò Ring in Lecce, Italy.
Volkswagen Means “People’s Car” in German
Volkswagen’s present slogan is “Das Auto” which means “The car.”
Volkswagen Group Owns Most Luxurious and Sports Car Brands
The company sells the passenger cars under the names of Bugatti, Bentley, Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, SEAT marques, Skoda and Lamborghini. It also includes motorcycles under the brand Ducati and commercial vehicles as marques Scania, MAN SE, and Volkswagen commercial vehicles.
German Automakers Are the Experts in Making A Good Engine
It comes as no surprise that Germans know how to make a high-quality engine. The international jury of motoring journalists has chosen the numerous times, the engine of Volkswagen 1.4-liter TSI twin-charger, as the best engine of the year. It is the record of VW that it was chosen so many times and no other engine was nominated more often than this. Volkswagen TSI is most often awarded the prestigious International Engine of the Year award.
VW Cars That Rendered to Fall in The List of Top Selling Cars
The Volkswagen Beetle, the Volkswagen Passat, and the Volkswagen Golf are the three cars that constitute the place in the list of all time, top 10 best-selling cars.
Many VW Cars Are Named After Some Natural Phenomena
A number of VW cars are named after some natural phenomena like prevailing winds and oceanic currents. Some modes include Golf, Vento, Passat, Jetta, Corrado, and Santana.
Volkswagen Microbus – The Oldest Continuous Vehicle in The World
Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus was first launched way back in 1950 and was being continuously manufactured until 2013; for a whopping 63 years! Its last edition is known a Blue Kombi and about 600 units of it were built and sold solely in Brazil.
The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal
In 2015 Volkswagen announced plans to retrofit nearly 11 million vehicles as a result of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finding that the company had violated the Clean Air Act by falsifying laboratory tests to give different results compared to real world conditions. The company had to pay a $2.8 Billion dollar fine in addition to several executives being charged.