Are you a fan of Volkswagen vehicles? Think you know everything about the German brand’s history? Some of these facts from Austin’s Automotive Specialists might surprise you!
Who does Volkswagen have to thank for its start and initial success in the automotive industry? Adolf Hitler. He commissioned Ferdinand Porsche (yes, the same one who went on to create Porsche cars) to engineer an economical automobile option for families in Germany. He wanted it to comfortably carry two adults and three children and travel at least 60 miles per hour — a version of a vehicle for the people! Porsche came up with the VW Beetle. That explains where the name comes from, too. Volkswagen translates to “the People’s Car.” During the Nazi Regime, no one who purchased a VW Beetle received it.
Despite a lawsuit against Volkswagen, the Beetle gained popularity around the world. VW was sued for the design of the Beetle by Tatra, a Czechoslovakian car maker with a similar model, the Tatra T97. That didn’t stop the manufacturer from producing millions of cars over 65 years. The Beetle was produced from 1938 to 2003. Throughout its reign, multiple car manufacturers turned down the opportunity to make it, including Ford, who had the option to take over Volkswagen for free! America was slow to accept the Bug. Only two were sold in its first year in the states in 1949.
Volkswagen stands out for more than their vehicle designs. The company won the top advertising campaign of the century with their promotion for “Think Small.” The brand also awarded savings bonds to babies that were born in their Beetles.
Unfortunately, some of VW’s public favor was lost with their emissions scandal. The US Environmental Protection Agency issued a violation of the Clean Air Act against the German automaker. It was later discovered that 1 in 10 UK VW vehicles were fitted with software to cheat emissions tests. During one month in 2017, at least 20,000 scandal-affected vehicles were fixed each week in Britain. Volkswagen’s share prices fell 35% in the first days after the news of the scandal broke. Despite all of this, VW celebrated a record year in 2016, with 10.3 million cars sold globally.
When your Volkswagen needs repair, visit the experts at Austin’s Automotive Specialists in Round Rock, Texas!