The Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturer with headquarters in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the largest automaker in the country, and the Volkswagen is the company’s most popular product. The company has undergone several changes, and currently 17% of it is held by Qatar Holding LLC.
The company is known for the legendary Beetle, Passat and Golf models, but its origins go back to 1937 where it was designed to provide Germans with an affordable car, hence the name “The People’s Car”. Mass production of the Beetle began after the end of World War II, and between the end of the war and the middle of the 1950s, had become increasingly popular. By this time, production had gone past the one million mark.
The 1960s and Beyond
By the 1960s and 70s, the Beetle had become a household name, thanks to its reputation for durability and dependability. Unlike other cars, the Volkswagen needed very little maintenance and could be counted on for the long haul. At the end of 1972, the Volkswagen had overtaken the Ford Model T and sold more than 15 million units.
In 1964, the company bought Auto Union and five years later in 1969 bought NSU. The experience and expertise of the two firms allowed Volkswagen to expand operations and implement technological innovations in the car, such as water cooled engines and front wheel drive.
Following the success of the Beetle, Volkswagen scored another hit with the Passat in 1973. The Passat, which was inspired by the Audi 80, became a huge hit as was the Volkswagen Golf, which was known as the Rabbit in the United States. The Rabbit was also popular in Canada and became known as the hatchback for families, and two years later in 1975, Volkswagen introduced the Polo, which was designed after the Audi 50.
By the 2000s, Volkswagen began focusing on product expansion, and 2008 saw the release of the 6th generation VW Golf. The success of the Golf led to the development of other models like the VW Jetta and its cousin, the SEAT Altea. Three years earlier in 2005, the fifth-generation Jetta and the sixth-generation Passat made their debut to critical acclaim, and VW announced that the company was intent on bringing back the Scirocco too.
Apart from producing quality cars, the company is also focused on developing eco-friendly engines, and as proof of their commitment, VW recently opened a solar plant in Tennessee in the US.