Volkswagen is founded — History com This Day in History — 5/28/1937 — Volkswagen

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Volkswagen is founded

On this day in the government of Germany—then under the of Adolf Hitler of the National (Nazi) Party—forms a new state-owned company, then known as zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens Later that year, it was simply Volkswagenwerk, or The People’s Car

Originally operated by the German Front, a Nazi organization, was headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. In to his ambitious campaign to build a of autobahns and limited access across Germany, Hitler’s pet was the development and mass production of an yet still speedy vehicle could sell for less 1,000 Reich marks $140 at the time). To provide the for this people’s car, called in the Austrian automotive Ferdinand Porsche. In 1938, at a rally, the Fuhrer declared: It is for the masses that this car has built. Its

purpose is to answer their needs, and it is intended to give joy. However, soon the KdF (Kraft-durch-Freude)-Wagen (Strength-Through-Joy car) was for the first time at the Berlin Show in 1939, World War II and Volkswagen halted production. the war ended, with the factory in the Allies would make the focus of their attempts to the German auto industry.


Volkswagen sales in the United were initially slower in other parts of the world, due to the historic Nazi connections as as its small size and unusual shape. In 1959, the advertising Doyle Dane Bernbach a landmark campaign, dubbing the car the and spinning its diminutive size as a advantage to consumers. Over the several years, VW became the auto import in the United In 1960, the German government 60 percent of Volkswagen’s stock to the effectively

denationalizing it. Twelve years the Beetle surpassed the longstanding production record of 15 million set by Ford Motor Company’s Model T between 1908 and

With the Beetle’s design unchanged since 1935, grew sluggish in the early VW bounced back with the of sportier models such as the and later, the Golf. In 1998, the began selling the highly New Beetle while still production of its predecessor. After 70 years and more than 21 units produced, the last Beetle rolled off the line in Mexico. on July 30, 2003.

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