According to Auto car, a site for first car news and reviews, Volkswagen group has overtaken Toyota to become the world’s largest carmaker in Europe today. However, it was not always this way. The production of Volkswagen began in 1937 where Hitler teamed up with a man named Ferdinand Porsche, a Austrian automotive engineer, because of the ‘great ideas’ he had for his people. “Hitler declared that he knew no good reason why millions of good hard-working people should not own their own cars”, (Terrance , 1996). So began the quest for a small car for the common people of Germany, hence the name Volkswagen meaning “peoples” car when translated.
At the time the German auto industry was still largely composed of luxury models, and the average German rarely could afford anything more than a motorcycle. Hitler introduced the a savings scheme—“Fünf Mark die Woche musst Du sparen, willst Du im eigenen Wagen fahren” – “Five marks a week you must put aside, if you want in your own car to ride”, which around 336,000 people eventually paid into it. After working on the new models for quite some time, the Volkswagens were first exhibited and sold in the United States in 1949. It only sold two units in that first year. Since then sales have continued to increase/decrease over the years.
Volkswagen does not have a public mission statement but within written reports produced on November 25, 2012, the Volkswagen Group joined 21 German companies in agreeing to a “mission statement for responsible actions in business”, this mission statement is used collectively by most German companies. They overall focus on the benefits of responsible business to consumers.
The six principles of this shared mission statement are that business must serve the good of the people, business that serves the good of the people requires competition, business that serves the good of the people is based on merit, business that serves the good of the people takes place globally, business that serves the good of the people must be sustainable and business that serves the good of the people demands responsible, (Retail Industry, 2010).
The general relationship between the employees and the Volkswagen group is a clear line of communication. In an interview that was done with the wall street journal, Volkswagen states “Our responsibility to our employees is clear—to provide those [employees] a voice in the company to the extent that the local law will allow, (Fuhrmans & Ramsey, 2011)
The hierarchal system of authority that defines the roles of managers and subordinates is believed to be one of an Eiffel tower culture. Within this type of culture there is an emphasis on hierarchy and orientation to the task, (Luthans & Doh , 2011). Everybody knows what is expected of them and they have a process to help them achieve clearly identified goals. Germans put authority and hierarchical differences in front.
Formal communication is the choice for Germans’ business people, as they act towards autocrats. Autocratic leaders give order in certain manner which shows directness and straightforward. Management is the final decision maker on the company policy matters and they are responsible for the overall management of the company. Orders come from top level and are structured. These types of behaviors advance them to use formal communication with downward direction of communication.
Works Cited Retail Industry. (2010). Retrieved December 4, 2012, from About.com: http://retailindustry.about.com/od/retailbestpractices/ig/Company-Mission-Statements/Volkswagen-Group-Mission-Statement.htm Fuhrmans, V., & Ramsey, M. (2011, July 25). UAW Focuses on VW's Tennessee Facility. Retrieved December 4, 2012, from The wall street journal : http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903461104576462380420737972.html Luthans, F., & Doh , J. P. (2011). International Management. Irwin Professional Pub. Terrance , P. (1996). Volkswagen's Nazi History. Seattle Times Company.