The history of this famous automobile brand dates back to the mid-30s of the last century. According to legend, it all began in the fall of 1933, when Ferdinand Porsche and Adolf Hitler met in an informal hotel room. The latter was interested in creating a small car that can accommodate a family of two adults and three children, and even accelerate to 100 km / h, consuming no more than 8 liters per 100 km. An important requirement was an affordable price that would be affordable for any self-respecting burgher. Porsche by that time had already become famous as a great designer, so it is not surprising that the solution to this problem was offered to him. According to the same legend, Hitler demanded that the new car be easily converted for military use - three soldiers and a machine gun should have been placed. In those years in Germany, everything was built with this condition; for example, when creating merchant ships, already at the design stage, the goal was to ensure the possibility of easy conversion into an auxiliary cruiser.
It was decided to name the new brand "People's Car" – "Volks-Wagen". One of Hitler's promises was to put all German families behind the wheel.
|1939 wall calendar advertisement (taken from here)|
Porsche was able to provide the first developments already in January 1934. Then they had already developed the general concepts of the new car. The project was approved by the Reich Chancellery, which allocated the necessary amount of Reichsmarks for its implementation, provided that a working prototype would appear by the end of 1934. But these plans were not destined to come true - it took two long years to complete the project. When the necessary prototypes were ready, the process of their most thorough testing began. The most severe requirements were put forward, but the cars proved their suitability for transporting representatives of the Aryan nation. In 1937, the first VW30 appears, ready for mass production. Avtomobilchik made a splash at all the exhibitions where he was represented. Journalists immediately dubbed him "Beetle" - this name will remain with him forever. However, Hitler himself called this creation KdF-Wagen, in honor of the Nazi organization Kraft durch Freude ("Strength Through Joy"), dealing with the improvement of leisure and life of the population.
In 1938, the construction of factories began Volkswagen. They built on a grand scale - a new city was even founded around the factory premises, called Wolfsburg. It still houses the head office. Volkswagen Group. The new car was priced at 990 Reichsmarks - less than the average worker received in a year.
Mass production KdF-Wagen began in 1939, several dozen copies were produced. But the outbreak of war crossed out all plans and factories Volkswagen urgently switched to the production of military products of all-wheel drive amphibians Kubelwagen, which were actively used by the Wehrmacht troops. At the company's factories in those years, prisoners of war were driven to forced labor. Later, in 1998, the management Volkswagen officially recognizes this fact and begins paying compensation - 2050 people from all over the world fell under this action.
After the defeat of Germany in World War II, factories Volkswagen went to the British. They carefully studied "Beetle"but were not particularly interested. So, although its production was restored, it provided only the needs of the burghers. A miniature and inexpensive car turned out to be an ideal solution for a war-torn country. Return in 1949 Volkswagen the Germans. The company is named Volkswagen Finanzierungs Gesellschaft GmbH.
During its post-war history, this company became famous not only for the Zhuk, which sold millions of copies around the world, but also for many other extremely popular models of various classes and types. What are only such models as Golf, Polo, Passat, Bora, Touareg, Tiguan… By the way, talking about the interesting past of the company, one cannot fail to mention the minibus Volkswagen Bulli ("Bullhead"), better known as the "hippie van" - this model made other manufacturers take a different look at cars in this class. Bulli became the progenitor of the now popular Transporter.
As for the legendary "Beetle", then this model was produced Volkswagen long 25 years. After that, its production was transferred to the countries of Latin America. It seems that this little car would be popular in Europe to this day. But the Germans were forced to stop its production, as the model no longer met the strict European safety and pollution standards. In 1998, the Germans tried to revive the legend by introducing a model Beetle II - front-wheel drive car, externally and in size reminiscent of a classic "Beetle". But the new product did not even close to repeat the success of its predecessor (the company did much better with the reincarnation of the classics bmw with her new Mini).
To date, Volkswagen Group is a large concern that owns many world-famous brands: in fact, Volkswagen, as well as Audi, Skoda, SEAT, Porsche, Bentley. would belong to Rolls Royce, do not take him away, literally from under his nose, in 1998, the company bmw.
Headquarters Volkswagen Group, as already mentioned above, is still located in Wolfsburg. The concern's factories are scattered in 15 countries around the world.
The very first variation of the logo Volkswagen perfectly informs about in what years and in what country the company was created. According to legend, it was developed by someone Franz Reimspiess, one of Ferdinand Porsche's employees. What deserved a prize of 100 Reichmarks (approximately the monthly salary of a worker). In the future, the logo was somewhat simplified, the Nazi essence was removed from it, retaining the most basic - the letters "V" и W. With minor improvements, the emblem has survived to this day, becoming one of the most recognizable in the world.
However, a certain Nikolai Borg, an Austrian by nationality and an artist by profession, claims that the authorship of the logo belongs to him. In those years, he worked for the Nazi government, from which he received this assignment. And it seems that he even managed to make a sketch of it. Borg wooing from Volkswagen one - recognition of authorship. However, he has no direct evidence. The court recognized that Borg did create the logo, but this time based on the submitted sketch. His work consisted in drawing up proportions and the final form. For this reason, the automaker refuses to recognize its authorship.