History Volkswagen was founded in 1938 by Ferdinand Porsche and Robert Lay. Under the idea that every person should be able to afford and drive a car, Hitler asked Ferdinand Porsche to redesign his previous models and make it affordable for the working class. Volkswagen means “town’s car” or “people’s car” and under this idea, in 1938 the “KdF-Wagen” was born. This model was the first Volkswagen Beetle. This first Beetle model tried to be more economically efficient, user friendly and affordable than any other car in the industry.
The Beetle body shape was a success and it was the first one developed with the wind tunnel. The first factory was located in Wolfsburg or also known as the KdF-Stadt in 1938. In order to buy a car the workers would have a savings stamps book, where they would put five Marks a week. The first years the factory in Wolfsburg just produced a couple of cars and they were not given to the workers. After the Second World War the factory was handed over to the British. At first the facility was used to produce items related to the war.
Around 20000 war and concentration camp prisoners labored at the factory. Ivan Hirst restarted the mass production of the Beetle after showing one of the old models in England. In 1950 the new design of VW is introduce allowing the company to acquire new costumers, because of the many functions the new Type 2 offered. The success of this product allowed the company’s expansion to Hanover. This time is recognized as the basis for the vehicles Volkswagen produces now. Volkswagen keeps a steady and strong growth throughout 1949-1960. The company reaches the one millionth Beetle production at this time. VW also breaks the record established by Ford and increases production to 15,007,034 units.
The Beetle becomes more popular than Ford’s Model T. During the mid-seventies a new model is born. The Golf is introduced and is welcomed with great expectation. More models like the Scirocco, the Golf GTI are welcomed during that decade. The GTI amazed consumers because of its 110 bhp power. In 1983 a new technology is incorporated and the new generation of Golfs is assembled by robots. The design of this car made the mass production easier. The automated assembly process revolutionized the production of VWs. Fuel efficiency became an important matter for Volkswagen. With the creation of the Lupo 3L TDI, the company positions itself in the top of the market.
The Lupo was the first car to use only 3 liters every 100km. VW revolutionized the market and set a trend to create more fuel efficient cars. Volkswagen has factories in countries like Germany, Brazil, Mexico, and Belgium. In 2008 an assembly factory was open in Tennessee. VW is not only expanding its factories but also its models. With the production of the Touareg, the company enters the luxury market.
The Touareg shares many characteristics with vehicles like the Porsche Cayenne and the Audi Q7. The new CEO Winterkorn is planning on maintaining the brands that belong to Volkswagen Group successful and growing. These brands include Volkswagen, Seat, Audi, Skoda, Lamborghini, Scania, Bugatti and Bentley. (Volkswagen Group History)