The History of Volkswagen Essay example

The History of Volkswagen Essay example

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The History of Volkswagen

In 1937, the German government founded Volkswagen to mass produce a low priced "peoples car." A Nazi organization called the German Labor Front operated the company originally. They brought in Ferdinand Porsche to design the car. He used elements from his type 32 prototype NSU that he designed in 1934. Such elements were an air cooled horizontally opposed four cylinder rear mounted engine and torsion bar suspension. Production was supposed to start at the Kdf-Stadt factory in September 1939, but this turned out to be the same month that world war two was declared and the car was put off. As the war raged on, the factory was used to produce military vehicles. By 1943 the factory had 12,000 prisoners of war repairing aircraft inside it. Near the end of the war, the factory was used to manufacture the V1 buzz bomb. For most of the war the factory was not bombed because it was so new it was not on many allied maps. However, several daylight allied attacks finally took it out. After the war, West Germany help rebuild itself with the Volkswagen. In merely a decade, nearly half the cars on the West German roads were Volkswagens.

By the 1950's Volkswagen exports were strong to all the world except the United States. This was because of its unusual rounded shape, small size, and historical connections to Nazi Germany. In 1953, out of 6.6 million new cars sold in the US, 330 of them were Volkswagens. This figure was partially caused by the lack of foreign service stations. So by the turn of the century, Volkswagen had 807 dealerships scattered across America. In the spring of 1959, a full page advertisement appeared in The New York Times with a picture of a man drinking coffee while his ...

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... with the first ever Volkswagen V-6 called the VR-6. In 1995 the VR-6 was named one of the top ten engines by Ward's Auto World. In 1998 Volkswagen introduced the New Beetle. It was quickly named the most original car in the world.

The Volkswagen holds a unique place in automotive history. It started from next to nothing after the war, and grew into a world class car company through introducing many new innovations to is various models.



Auto World, "Volkswagen Celebrates 50 years on American roads," [WWW
document],no date,(accessed 3-6-01) URL:

Barber, Chris, "VW in history, early design," Dune Buggies and Hot VWs, April
2000, pp. 56-57,104.

Seume, Keith, VW BEETLE Custom Handbook, Bideford, Devon, Bay Veiw
Books Ltd., 1989, 1992, pp. 6-35.

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