Built and marketed as the “People’s Car,” the history of Volkswagen can be traced back to 1904 when Adolf Hitler called for the manufacture of the People’s car. Designs would begin to pour in from across Germany and the world. Ford would eventually begin producing prototypes. But it wasn’t until 1925 that an 18-year old Hungarian student, Bela Barenyl, submitted the Chassis design, credited as the first basic design for the beetle car. This design did not make it to production though, since Adolf Hitler approved the 1933 design by Ferdinand Porsche.
The name “Volkswagen” is German for “people’s car” and at the time, many brands such as Ford, Opel, Mercedes and even BMW marketed cars as the people’s car but there was no Volkswagen as a brand. This however changed in 1937 when the German Labor Front established the Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. In 1938, the company was renamed to Volkswagenwerk GmbH. Production of vehicles under the Volkswagen brand.
By the 40s, the company went into the production of military vehicles thanks to the war. It was at this time that the famous Type 82 Kubelwagen also known as the Bucket Car was introduced. The Scwhimmwagen, a very popular military jeep also made its debut and was very useful in equipping the German forces.
It should also be noted that during the war, most of the vehicles on the Volkswagen plant were manufactured using slave labor. More than 15,000 slaves made up to 80% of the company’s workforce at the time. By 1948, Volkswagen had become an important economic symbol for Germany.
In that year, the company recruited Heinrich Nordhoff, Senior manager at Opel to manage the running of the company. In 1949, the company’s famous split rear window sedan was introduced and it gained a lot of success around Germany and the world. Four years later, the Volkswagen Cabriolet made its debut at the now extremely popular Type 1 Beetle was made. Proceeds from the success of the decade helped the company build a new 32-acre factory in 1957.
By the 60s the company had expanded its production line to include four different type 3 models. These models gained a lot of attention and were almost successful. The company’s fame was further expanded when Disney released the “Love Bug” film with a loveable VW Beetle that had its own mind.
In the 70s, Volkswagen merged with two other motor companies including Auto Union and NSU Motorenwerke. This led to the creation of the Audi motor company, making the Audi brand a luxury division of the Volkswagen Company.
By the middle of the decade, the company’s growing reputation made it outrank many more popular brands like the Ford Model T. By 1973, production of Volkswagen models had exceeded 16 million. It was also at this time that the company introduced its second famous vehicle “the Golf.”
Volkswagen 1980- Present Day
In 1982. Volkswagen took the tentative steps towards expanding outside of Germany by signing an agreement with SEAT, a famous Spanish car maker. 2 years later, the company gained global recognition and it was renamed Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft (AG). At the same time, it acquired 51%of SEAT and towards the end of the decade would come to own SEAT completely.
In the early 90s the company introduced the Jetta, Golf and MK3 in North America. In 1988, the new Beetle made its debut, becoming just as popular the first model ever produced. As the nineties rolled to a close and the new Millennium beckoned, the company made a few acquisitions including Lamborghini, Bugatti and Bentley.
By 2003, the company had stopped production the Type 1 Beetle and place the last 21,259,464th model in the Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg. Classic refurbished Beetles are still on sale throughout the world. Whatever model of Volkswagen you have, we can guarantee the best in number plates to help you further personalize it.