Each car brand has a story behind it that has forged its current identity. After all, they are all different in their own way and special at the same time. For this reason, it is very good to know it and to know the ins and outs that explain many of the things that dominate its present, such as the logo, the name, its philosophy and even its value proposition if we get very marketing-oriented.
That said, and as we have done on previous occasions with other firms, at AutoUsaPremium we are going to tell you 10 things you did not know about Volkswagen, a benchmark in the automotive industry where there are any. For this reason, everything that is going to be told below is a must for all motor lovers.
You will not believe it: 10 surprising facts and curiosities about Volkswagen
After this brief introduction, it is time to go to the crux of the matter and talk about what is different about the “people’s car” in terms of its experiences, identity and the reason for the various elements that make it up. to the mess
1. Nazi roots
The truth is Volkswagen was founded at the express wish of Adolf Hitler, who wanted to motorize the German population through accessible cars.. The first models from the Wolfsburg factory were aimed at civilian use, although with the Second World War in between, another path was taken, so that more and more vehicles focused on the military using the Beetle as a reference.
These cars for the people were to receive the name of Kdf-Wagen, which would be available to those workers who could pay about five marks a week. However, the idea was a dead letter due to the great war and was not implemented. After it, the English took control of the factory as compensation and that gave rise to the Beetle.
2. Ford did not want to buy it for free after the war
Three years after the end of the war, In 1948 Ford had an offer from the British on the table to acquire Volkswagen. Also, at no cost and totally free. As we have just mentioned, the British took control of the factory, which had been partly destroyed as a result of the hostilities of the contenders.
The decision was made by Henry Ford, who followed the advice of his executive vice president, Ernest Breech, not to do so because both the plant and the vehicle that came out of it were worth absolutely nothing. If the good old Henry had known what would come in the following decades, surely his decision would have been totally different and today those synergies would have given real gems to drivers from all over the world.
3. The Beetle, the one that has been in production the longest
The history of four wheels could not be understood without the Volkswagen Beetle, the car that has been in production for the longest time in all of history. This mythical car saw the light of day in 1938, when the first unit of all became a reality, and said goodbye in 2019 when the last one was finished. Or what is the same: 81 years of life.
Although we all associate it with Volkswagen, it must be said that its design was a copy of another vehicle: the Tatra T97 that was born in Eastern Europe. This brilliant idea was expensive for the Germans, since they had to pay about three million marks to the manufacturers of that original car. However, at first it seemed that the Beetle could bankrupt the company, since the first ones used to run out of gas and until 1962 they had no gauges.
4. The inauguration of its factory brought together more than 70,000 people
The opening ceremony of the first Volkswagen factory was quite a mass event. Not surprisingly, his birth was intended to lead Germany to have the singing voice of the automotive industry. The expectation was maximum that day, which was attended by more than 70,000 people who attended from all corners of the German country. It was like seeing the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium full.
Nor should we forget that feeling of belonging that Hitler wanted to establish with the people’s car between the people and the vehicles that it launched on the market, and it seems that, judging with this data, it succeeded in excess.
5. The wind, a source of inspiration for many names
There are countless ways to choose a name for a car, and each brand chooses a way to do it: an object with which it bears a great resemblance (Rolls Royce Boat Tail), the cities of the company’s country of origin (Toledo, Ibiza , León and Tarraco in the case of Seat) or a word that defines the identity of the car in question and what it brings to the driver (Renault Arkana).
In the case that concerns us with Volkswagen, the truth is that a meteorological phenomenon is used for several of its models: the wind. The Golf refers to the Current that runs through the Gulfthe Scirocco does the same with a very strong wind that frequently occurs in the southeast of the Mediterranean Sea, the Passat is the name given to the trade winds in the German language, Bora is the cold and dry that can be felt in the Adriatic and the Jetta is a current that occurs 10-12 kilometers above sea level and can reach speeds of 300 kilometers per hour.
6. A different way of advertising
At the beginning of its journey, Volkswagen entrusted its advertising to Bernd Reutter, a well-known German poster artist in the country who made the first advertisements for the brand. However, Reutter passed away suddenly and that forced the company to explore alternatives in search of his successor.
The solution finally adopted was the contracting of the company DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc.. Time showed that it was a success to bet on her, despite her risky strategy. And it is that he shied away from showing the benefits of the product, as is customary in this professional field, to emphasize the defects most criticized by users, so that they were turned around and became virtues.
For this, one example is enough: the arrival of Volkswagen in the American market. Accustomed to larger vehicles, consumers complained that the Beetle was extremely small compared to the cars their eyes used to see, which were typically five meters long. The ad featured a small Beetle accompanied by a tagline that read “Makes your home seem bigger” and below that a longer description of the benefits of its compact body with interior space equivalent to larger cars.
7. The Transporter, a great idea from its workers
One of the best-selling vans of all time is the Transporter, which has a rather peculiar origin. Employees at the Wolfsburg plant made a transformed Beetle in order to carry heavy materials from one part of the factory to another. The design was a bit random, despite having the same platform as the Beetle, and the possibility of commercializing it for the public was not conceived.
Nevertheless, Things were going to change their minds in 1950, when Ben Pon arrived at the factory, a businessman from the Netherlands who wanted to sell his cars to the Germans, came across this car and came up with a sketch that was the starting point for the Volkswagen Transporter. He thought that people also needed practical transportation vehicles. So much so that today it is valued at a price of approximately 90,000 euros.
8. The Beetle with the Beatles
Volkswagen has also had a certain role in the world of music, and at the hands of one of the best groups in history: the Beatles. On the cover of the last album they released, Abbey Road (1969), a copy of the Beetle appears next to several cars parked on the street that was used as a background.
However, the license plate of that car was not hidden and led to it being stolen many times. In fact, in 1986 it was auctioned for about 3,000 euros. Seeing is believing.
9. The Typ 3, the first to have a computer on board
It might seem that technology has not been immersed in the interior of cars for so long, but it is not true. And it is that the Volkswagen Type 3 was the first to equip one in 1968, despite the fact that the rest of its elements and accessories were very archaic. On the contrary, within it it housed an electronic injection system for its engine that made use of a computer that controlled the mixture of air and gasoline, something never seen before until that moment.
10. What sells the most are sausages
Since 1973, the Wolfsburg factory has been making its own sausages for its workers, who also prepare them with a secret recipe that is registered by the company. Part of its preparation and its flavor is due to the curry that they put on the meat it uses. Having said that, Some 20,000 sausages leave their kitchens every day.