Background to the Emergence of Volkswagen

Volkswagen Logo
Volkswagen Logo

Volkswagen (commonly abbreviated as VW) is an automotive manufacturer based in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. Volkswagen was founded by the German Labor Union (Deutsche Arbeitsfront) in 1937.

Volkswagen is the original brand of the Volkswagen Group, which also oversees several other car brands such as Audi, Bentley Motors, Bugatti Automobiles, Automobili Lamborghini, SEAT, Škoda Auto and a commercial vehicle manufacturer.

Scania. In 2009, the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG approved the establishment of an automotive group integrated with Porsche under the auspices of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen New Polo

In German, "Volkswagen" means "people's car". Volkswagen's current tagline is Das Auto (in Indonesian it means car). His previous motto was Aus Liebe zum Automobil (meaning: Love of Cars).

Volkswagen currently has 3 cars that are included in the list of the 10 best-selling cars in history according to the 24/7 Wall St website: Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Beetle and Volkswagen Passat. With these 3 cars, Volkswagen has the highest number of cars on the list that are still being produced.

Background to the emergence of Volkswagen

Volkswagen was originally founded in 1937 by the Nazi trade union, the German Labor Union (Deutsche Arbeitsfront). Until the early 1930s German auto manufacturers were still largely luxury car manufacturers, and the average German could buy no more than a motorcycle.

Seeing a potential market, several car manufacturers created their own projects for “people's cars” such as the Mercedes 170H, Adler AutoBahn, Steyr 55, Hanomag 1.3L, and others. This trend is not really a new trend, because Béla Barényi has been noted as the designer of the first "people's car" in the mid-1920s. Josef Ganz himself developed the Standard Superior (and in advertisements he called the "German People's Car" (German Volkswagen)).

In addition, in Czechoslovakia, Hans Ledwinka also developed the Tatra T77, a very popular car among the German elite. These cars have recently become smaller and more affordable. However, as of 1933, many of these projects were still in development or early production.

Adolf Hitler said he would build a "people's car" (Volkswagen). Hitler wanted a standard car with a capacity of 2 adults and 3 children and a speed of 100 km/h (62 miles/hour). This people's car would later become available to the Nazi people for 990 Reichsmarks, the price of a small motorbike at the time (the average income of the population at that time was around 32 Reichsmarks per week).

Adolf Hitler said he would build a "people's car"
Adolf Hitler and Team

The engineer chosen to develop this car project was Ferdinand Porsche. By that time Porsche was already the designer of the Mercedes 170H and had also worked with Steyr for some time in the late 1920s.

Porsche opened its first design studio and then created the "Auto für Jedermann" (car for all) project with NSU and Zündapp, both motorcycle manufacturers. June 22, 1934, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche agreed to build the people's car for Hitler.

Thus, the change began with efforts to improve fuel efficiency, durability, ease of use, and cheap and efficient spare parts. In the aid scheme provided by the government to the German people, the words ("Fünf Mark die Woche musst Du sparen, willst Du im eigenen Wagen fahren" – "Five marks per week you have to save, if you want to drive your own car") The prototype of the car appeared in 1936 under the name "KdF-Wagen" which was made in Stuttgart.

The engine is air cooled, 4 cylinder, and is located at the rear. The company name was also changed to Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH on 28 May 1937. On 16 September 1938 the name was changed to "Volkswagenwerk GmbH".

Erwin Komenda, the designer of Auto Union, developed the body of this car, which is now known as the unique Beetle shape. This car was one of the first cars to be perfected using a wind tunnel.

The factory building itself began May 26, 1938 in a town called KdF-Stadt (now Wolfsburg). Unfortunately this factory produced very few cars because World War II broke out in 1939.

One of its productions, the Type 1 Cabriolet was presented to Hitler on April 20, 1938, on Hitler's 49th birthday. When World War II began, the factory was used to manufacture military vehicles.

The factory was used to produce the Type 82 Kübelwagen (VW's most famous war car model) and the Schwimmwagen amphibious car. However, in the middle of the war, the city of KdF-Stadt and its factories were bombed and heavily damaged.

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