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.
Volkswagen’s present slogan is “Das Auto” which means “The car.”
When Volkswagen was first launched, Adolf Hitler employed Ferdinand Porsche to design the original Volkswagen car. Since then, the two companies have 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 had been produced for 65 years. And in those years a total of 21,529,464 Beetles were made.
In 2011, Volkswagen agreed to cease sending e-mails to the company’s Blackberry smartphones half and hour after the employees’ shift ends, and to start sending again half an 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.
In 1948, Ford Motor Company was offered the Volkswagen company free of charge, but founder Henry Ford declined it, saying “it wasn’t worth a damn.”
Volkswagen is now behind Toyota in Japan and General Motors in the US, in terms of production.
Looks like Volkswagen is inching closer to becoming the top auto maker in the world, and it’s not a long shot at all. In 2008, it became the world’s third biggest auto maker and in 2012 it rose to become the second largest.
The Nazis devised a scheme which allowed German workers to buy a Volkswagen Beetle on weekly installments. The workers were encouraged to pay 5 Reichmarks 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 the savings? Well, it went to the hands of the Russians in 1945.
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 engineer and car designer Joseph Ganz (who was Jewish)
Was it because hippies loved the Beetle, or was it because “Beetle” sounded like “Beatle” (a white Beetle is seen on the Beatles’ Abbey Road cover, by the way)
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.
In 2002, the Volkswagen W12 coupe broke the world record for speed over 24 hours over the Nardo Ring in Lecce, Italy.