Volkswagen. The people’s car

Volkswagen Tiguan 2020. Bodywork, Exterior. SUV 5-door, 2 generation, restyling

Volkswagen is a German car brand, after which one of the world’s automotive giants is named - the Volkswagen Group concern or Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, which is the German for Volkswagen, JSC. In Germany, it is often called the Volkswagen Konzern, in English-speaking countries - the Volkswagen Group, or simply - VAG.

Besides the Volkswagen brand, VAG owns Audi, Seat, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, Scania, Škoda, Ducati, MAN AG, and 49.9% of Porsche shares… Volkswagen Group is one of the main shareholders of Suzuki Motor Corporation. The largest European automotive manufacturer, VAG owns 342 companies and factories all over the world.

Reliability and accessibility made Volkswagen a truly popular car. Actually, the name of the brand is the German for ‘people’s car’. Perhaps the most beloved and recognizable car of this brand is the funny Volkswagen Beetle. How was it invented? The origin of the Volkswagen Beetle is associated with the name of the famous designer Ferdinand Porsche, the founder of Porsche AG.

The origin of Volkswagen Beetle

Porsche, despite all his love for expensive and powerful racing cars, dreamed of an inexpensive compact car that everyone could afford. In 1931, he began to release a compact car called ‘Volkwagen’ (from ‘volks’ - ‘people’s’ and “wagen” - “wagon” or “car”), its interior was resemble to that of the Beetle that we know. And already in 1936, the first prototype of the popular Volkswagen Beetle appeared under the name KDF-Wagen, which stands for “Kraft durch Freude”, the German for “Power through joy”. Then the production of the Volkswagen VW30 began. It had a rear engine and a rounded bodywork shape, for which it was nicknamed “Beetle”. By the way, the first Beetle did not have a radiator, the engine was air-cooled and required no water.

After the war, the Volkswagen plant could be demolished, but was saved by an officer of the British army. He sketched the Beetle and showed it to the officers of the headquarters of the British army. As a result, the UK government ordered 20,000 of these cars at once. But even after that, the fate of the plant and the little Beetle hung on a thread. The Beetle was offered to many companies. Henry Ford II refused to accept the production as a ‘gift’, the head of Rootes Group, William Rootes, called the car ‘too ugly and noisy’ and said that the future of this Beetle would last at most two years. The company was saved by the fact that it was able to start selling its Beetle in the US. This is where the compact and cheap car for mom, dad, and two kids came in handy! In the 1960s, Volkswagen was selling its cars in 80 countries!

This time, however, the car didn`t have the official name ‘Beetle’ but the nickname was very popular that in every country where it was exported, so that it was translated into each language: ‘Beetle’ in English, ‘Kafer’ in German, ‘Fusca’ in Portuguese, ‘Escarabajo’ in Spanish… Beetle was available in many modifications: coupe, cabriolet, and even pick-up truck.

Volkswagen Beetle exceeded the record of Ford Model T and became the world’s best-selling car. Ultimately, over 21 million Beetles have been sold worldwide until our time!

In 27 years after the end of the Second World War, Volkswagen Beetle exceeded the record of Ford Model T and became the world’s best-selling car. Ultimately, over 21 million Beetles have been sold worldwide until our time! Only in 2019 Volkswagen’s management officially announced phasing out Beetle. For this event, the company had released the ‘farewell’ modification of the ‘Beetle’, which is called the Final Edition.

Modern models

Well, Volkswagen has many other famous and saleable models: Passat, Scirocco, Golf, and Polo. Golf became Volkswagen’s best-selling car, segment leader, and the second-best-selling car in the world after Beetle. For 23 years from the beginning of production, as huge number as 17 million VW Golfs of three generations has been produced. VW Golf gave a name to a whole class of cars, the “golf class”.

Did you know that Volkswagen Passat is named after famous winds blowing between the tropics all year round? And the VW Golf is named after the Gulf Stream! VW Jetta is named after the jet stream. VW Scirocco is named for the southeast Sirocco wind.

Volkswagen Touareg SUV and Volkswagen Tiguan crossover are popular all over the world. And there is also the stunning Volkswagen Phaeton luxury sedan and 5-door minivan for a large family…

And also, if you remember that the Bugatti brand also belongs to VAG, then the fastest car in the world, developing a speed of 432 km/h, is also produced by… Volkswagen!

And yet… legendary Beetle is the symbol of Volkswagen. This car is a favorite pet for many people around the world.

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