Founded in 1937 by the German Labor Front, Volkswagen is a German motor vehicle manufacturer, commenced to accelerate mass production of a low-priced automobile. The German term Volk means people; thus, Volkswagen is synonymous with “people’s car.”

Originally operated by a Nazi Organization, they are currently the biggest car manufacturers in the entire world, ranking number 7 in the list of the world’s largest companies and have a bright future in electric vehicles. VW is known for its iconic Beetle car, along with being headquartered in Wolfsburg, the historic home. The mega-brand produces models consisting of global and regional standards for the enormous market. 

Here are some lesser-known facts about the automobile giant.

1. Hitler’s Devising

Adolf Hitler was one of the major contributing factors to the invention of Volkswagen. Hitler wanted an affordable car for the German public envisioning two adults and three children, a common German family set up. For the majority of the population who did not own a car, he wished for a car coming at the affordability of a motorcycle. He even was the first customer to Volkswagen. These factors were quite challenging but this had set a strong foundation for the company’s success grounds.

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Adolf Hitler and the first VW Beetle in Stuttgart, 1936_© https://www.dw.com

2. Mastery of Ferdinand Porsche

The first working prototype of the Volkswagen vehicle was forged by legendary Ferdinand Porsche. It is said that it took him 10 months to formulate the original Beetle model. Further, it became the highest-selling vehicle in the world at approximately 25 million. He was one of the most talented engineers and designers during those times.

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Ferdinand Porsche and the Volkswagen_© https://www.bosshunting.com.au/culture/volkswagen-group-porsche/

3. Enormous Volkswagen production

Volkswagen is the biggest car manufacturer in terms of automobiles. In Germany, the brand accounts for 36% of the cars sold to the US market remains a big challenge for them. In addition, it holds records for the longest car production in the world, unlike any other company. Between 1938 and 2003, Beetle was continuously produced, counting the manufacturing of more than 21 million models. 

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Beetle and the Volkswagen_© Getty Images

4. Hometown Wolfsburg

Wolfsburg is the inseparable element of Volkswagen; when you talk about the mega-brand, the mention of the place is integral. It is home to a couple of German car brands, but the Volkswagen car manufacturing plant accounts for the largest plant in the world. It is also where the majority of the company’s cars are produced, with a production of 45 million cars, till date since its establishment. The unit is also the largest plant in the world for manufacturing electric vehicles; around 70,000 units of E-Golf have been manufactured in the plant.

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Wolfsburg and the Volkswagen_© Volkswagen

5. Luxurious ownership

Volkswagen being the second-biggest automaker in the world, owns the most luxurious and sports car brands like Bugatti, Bentley, Porsche, Audi, Skoda, Lamborghini, and SEAT marques. Volkswagen is inching towards becoming the automobile giant. You think of the brand, and it keeps on expanding, aiming for world dominion.

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Subsidiaries and the Volkswagen_© https://firmsworld.com/volkswagen-group-list-of-brand-owned/

6. Volkswagen is one of the most valued companies for a day

In 2008, for a day, Volkswagen was one of the most valuable companies in the entire world. According to the Washington Post, the situation was an outcome of a “complex series of events” during a time of “unique global uncertainties”. It was when the stock’s value topped $370 billion for a brief period.

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Large Production and the Volkswagen_© https://firmsworld.com/volkswagen-group-list-of-brand-owned/

7. Bugatti loss bearers, Volkswagen

World’s fastest vehicle, Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, sold by its subsidiary, Bugatti, incurs a loss of $5 million on every unit sold. The supercar has reached a speed of 253mph and can go from 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds. It has a whopping price of $15 million. So, how can the supercar incur a loss to the brand with these stats? 

According to a report published by Bernstein Report, the high research and development cost invested in the car is one of the main reasons. The other highlighted cause was a smaller number of units manufactured, counting less than 50.

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Bugatti and the Volkswagen_©https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-23/bugatti-sells-last-veyron-ending-era-for-volkswagen-supercar

8. Volkswagen Dieselgate Scandal

The Volkswagen Dieselgate Scandal Started on September 18, 2015, when the environmental protection agency sent a notice regarding the “violation of the Clean Air Act”, according to New Theory. As the news spread through the market, the company eventually faced a 30% drop in shares within a week. 

The company was even ordered to buy back a huge number of vehicles. This scandal cost the brand a loss of customers who failed to regain the trust in the company.

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The Diselgate Scandal and the Volkswagen_© https://economico.gr/

9. Volkswagen Golf

The declining revenues of Beetle led to the existence of the Golf. The car is manufactured to date, first assembled in 1974. It is one of the most successful models of Volkswagen, accounting for 29 million unit sales worldwide. Volkswagen adapted to the changing times and came into the market with the Golf, which is still being manufactured with many different models from 7 generations of the company.

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The Golf and the Volkswagen_©https://www.volkswagenag.com/en/news/stories/2019/10/the-glorious-seven.html

10. Volkswagen struggle

The US market is the biggest market in the world but remains a disappointment to the German car manufacturer, Volkswagen group. They only have been able to capture 1.7% of the US market. The emissions scandal ignited this and erased the little success of the brand, despite the global success. The graph has been steady with 3% of the market till 2012 but has shown, Continuous decline with 2017 being the lowest.

Volkswagen Company in Europe and the Volkswagen_© https://www.volkswagenag.com/en/news/stories/2018/11/the-changing-automotive-city-of-zwickau.html

REFERENCE LIST

Staff, H.C. & Staff, H.C., 2018. 20 facts few people know About Volkswagen. HotCars. Available at: https://www.hotcars.com/20-facts-few-people-know-about-volkswagen/ [Accessed September 21, 2021]. 

Sachdeva, S., 2018. 10 interesting facts About Volkswagen you don’t know. Marketing Mind. Available at: https://www.marketingmind.in/10-interesting-facts-volkswagen-dont-know/ [Accessed September 21, 2021]. 

Anon, 14 things you never knew about Volkswagen. Carponents. Available at: http://www.carponents.com/content/14-things-you-never-knew-about-volkswagen-156 [Accessed September 21, 2021]. 

Anon, 2018. Fun facts About Volkswagen. Hall Volkswagen. Available at: http://www.hallvw.com/blog/fun-facts-about-volkswagen/ [Accessed September 21, 2021]. 

Author

She is an architecture student, envisioning to mold the stereotyped perspective of architecture, beyond the walls and roofs. Practicing to craft song of words, which would do justice to the unseen and unheard beauty of the built world dancing around us. In hope that they will make a difference someday. Other than that you can find her gardening!

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