Volkswagen is one of the brands history most major automobile manufacturers. It is headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany, and integrates the Volkswagen Group, the automotive transnational largest in Europe and one of the most important in the world because it encompasses also Audi, SEAT, ?koda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Scania.
It has more than 60 production plants worldwide and sells its vehicles in more than 153 different countries. The company's name means 'village auto' (Volks Wagen).
Sources of Volkswagen
In the 1930s, in Germany did the initiative make a car accessible to all people. When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, promoted the automotive industry to make it so or more competitive than the English and French. Launches a contest that Ferdinand Porsche ends up winning, in order to develop a simple and inexpensive car. The idea was to be able to carry five people and reach 100 km/h. And go that they did, with the legendary "Beetle" or "Beetle".
Initially it manufactured a sedan called "type 12" made by Porsche at the request of the company's motorcycles Zundapp. Then came the "type 32","60", "V1", among others. In 1936 was a prototype with 70 cc and 22 HP engine. That same year was upgraded to the "V1" under the name of VW3, which was very similar to the KdF Wagen Wagen (Kraft durch Freude: 'strength through Joy', a name chosen by the own Hitler) that was later. The later version was the "VW30".
Then Porsche traveled to the United States to learn American techniques. Driving to the final prototypes testing was performed between October 22 and December 22, 1936. Finally in the 38 year old began to build the KdF Wagen factory. In 1939 came various pre-production cars.
Volkswagen and the Second World War
At the outset the second world war, were military models, even an amphibian known as "type 128". But the plant was attacked by enemies, due to its strategic importance. On April 8, 1944, fifty-six bombings caused material and human damage. Three weeks after a Boeing B-17 unmanned, crashed causing considerable damage. Then there were four major attacks, causing about 50 dead and 150 wounded.
On April 18 of 45 American troops took possession of the plant. It is almost destroyed, but the then Chief responsible for factory - Rudolf Br?rmann - opposed fiercely. At the end of the war, the creator of beetle (Ferdinand Porsche) was imprisoned for involvement with the nazi regime, but then came free and founded his own company.
Consolidation of Volkswagen
On December 27, 1945 it began to produce in series the Beetle itself, this time in purely civilian version. In the 1950s he had finished become car of the people both in Europe as America. In the 55' left the exemplary number a million, and in 1972 broke the record of the Ford T with more units manufactured in the world, with nothing less que15.007.034 made Volkswagen. Although it stopped production within Germany, until 1985 continued in Brazil (returning in 1993 to 96), and in Mexico without interruption until 2003.
But the beetle has not been the only flagship model in the history of Volkswagen. Golf with immediate success was introduced in 1974. Then came the Lupo and Polo. In 1998 appeared New Beetle, based on the old but completely modernised and powered by new times.
As we see, the history of this German brand has a lot to do with the of its legendary beetle model. Today Volkswagen is one of the world leaders in production of vehicles, permanently contested the post #1 with General Motors and Toyota.