Volkswagen: The People’s Car

Published on 12 October, 2021

The company was first originally operated by the German Labor Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront) which was a Nazi organization. Before getting the name Volkswagen, the company was initially named ‘Gesellschaft ZurVorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH’ but, the company then realized it was too long to be on a car badge thus, they just stuck with Volkswagen.

Shortly after the establishment of the company, Volkswagen hired an Austrian designer called Ferdinand Porsche who designed their first car. But things get rough just before starting production due to the breakout of World War II. Instead of focusing on producing cars, Volkswagen started to produce arms and military concerns but shortly after, the factory was bombed and the company went to ruins.

Volkswagen resumed making cars in 1949 and the company broke through in the 50s when the infamous Beetle rolled off the plant. There were many variations introduced of the car in the coming years and it quickly became the most sold passenger car of the world at the time, beating the record of the Ford Model T which had the upper hand at the time.

The beetle was not always popular though. In the 1970s it was declining sales due to its unconventional shape and RR technology so Volkswagen quickly introduced the Volkswagen Passat which had the more preferred FF layout. After that, the company introduced the infamous Golf in 1974 which was an instant success from Volkswagen's side, and by that time, Volkswagen managed to acquire major car manufacturing companies such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Audi, Seat, and Skoda.

Volkswagen faced a scandal in 2015 where the company was charged with faking emission results of their diesel cars. Volkswagen reportedly admitted their fault of using software to alter the results thus; the company had to recall 10 million vehicle units sold worldwide and faced a $4 billion fine in the USA alone.

 

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