In Germany in the 1930s cars were mostly manufactured for only the wealthiest individuals, and so most people were left to walk, use public transport, or ride a motorcycle. Then came the idea of the “people’s car.” Several independent companies picked up the idea of manufacturing a vehicle that could be made and sold at prices that the average person would be able to afford. One of the largest and most popular companies to take up the charge was Volkswagen, which actually translates to “People’s Car.”
By 1955 sales and services for the Volkswagen were standardized in the United States, and production of the Type 1 Volkswagen Beetle reached 1 million. The Type 2 vehicles were also made early on, and included the van, pickup, and camper. For many years, these were the only Volkswagen cars on the market, until 1961 when the Type 3 Notchback, Karmann Ghia, and Squareback and Type 4 larger models were created. A couple of the bigger changes in these newer models were their unibody construction and automatic transmissions. In 1971, they also introduced the Type 113, or Super Beetle, which came with a new front suspension and was made with a nose that was 2 inches longer. In the 1970s there was an entirely new lineup introduced, which included the Passat, Scirocco, Golf and Polo. These cars helped to keep the company current and in line with other foreign manufacturers that were constantly changing and growing with the day’s technology. In the 90s there cam another bump to the manufacturer’s lineup, when they streamlined some of their models and introduced the Jetta in the United States.
5 remarkable facts about Volkswagen
Today, Volkswagen cars are still at the top of the industry, staying at the forefront of safety standards and engineering. Here are a few things you might not know about the company:
- The Golf and the Polo have each been winners in the European Car of the Year competition.
- The first manufacturing plant was made under the orders of Adolf Hitler.
- Since private companies could not afford to build a car at prices people could afford, the German government originally owned the company.
- The original manufacturing plant was rejected by American car manufacturers after WWII.
- The VW company also owns Audi, Bentley, Porsche, and several other brands.
Great selection of popular Volkswagen models
The Jetta remains a hot item in their sales rankings, with well known low prices and high gas mileage. The Jetta comes with an Intelligent Crash Response System, Electronic Stability Control, and many more features that make it incredibly safe.
As far as fuel efficiency goes, the Touareg is the top of the line for Sport Utility Vehicles. The Touareg has sturdy, off road capable construction and suspension, while also offering a lot of interior space for the comfort of passengers and drivers alike.
Of course, every VW list should include the Beetle. With a low buying price and a body style that everyone in the world should recognize, the Beetle is still at the top of the market in safety and reliability.