A Brief History of Volkswagen Essays

A Brief History of Volkswagen Essays

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“The car is quite unattractive to the average motorcar buyer, is too ugly and too noisy … If you think you're going to build cars in this place, you're a bloody fool, young man."(Volkswagen, 2008, p. 1 ) This is what was once said about the Volkswagen Company; as time has passed no words could have ever been so wrong. Nazi Germany established Volkswagen through Hitler’s persistence in an effort to create an affordable automobile for the German people, but over time the late 1930’s people’s car quickly evolved into a modern day auto enterprise.
Before World War II Hitler had plans to create an automobile for the masses of Germany, he envisioned an affordable vehicle capable of transporting three children, two adults and able to reach speeds of 100 kilometers per hour. After failed attempts at creating the ideal car he enlisted the help of Ferdinand Porsche. With the help of Porsche they created the Kraft durch Freude- Vagen, or Strength through Joy-Car. After the Kdf –Vagen, a new design by Erwin Komenda emerged and turned out to be the legendary beetle shape known across the world today. Komenda’s design was put through one million miles of testing before being deemed complete. On the 26th of May 1938 a factory built to produce these cars emerged in the new town of KdF- Stadt. As war emerged production of the KdF -Vagen slowed and the factory began to produce military vehicles.
During the war a new factory was built at Fallersleben on the Luneburg Heath to produce more military vehicles. This new factory, built by loaned workers from Mussolini, was modeled after the Ford Manufacturing plant at Rouge River. Even though the German people saved their money for the new car, wartime forced the factories to produce very little Beetle...

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...les began to decline again in the 80’s with the rise of Japanese auto manufacturers. The Japanese car companies such as Nissan and Toyota delivered cars at a price that Volkswagen couldn’t compete with. A new revision of the Beetle proved the be the savior of the company once again, reviving its sales and making it once again a leading auto manufacturer. Now the company owns many other auto companies such as Audi, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Scania, a portion of Suzuki, and Porsche.
The Volkswagen Company born out of the Third Reich and Hitler’s demands turned out to be much more than a little 1930’s German people’s car, but rather a world leading car company. The company, born out of the flames of war, withstood the test of time to become what it is today. “No present-day company is more a product of military might than Volkswagen.”(Lee, 2006, p.1)

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