The History of Volkswagen
The Volkswagen Group, often shortened to VW, is a major car manufacturer founded in 1937 by the German government. "Volkswagen" directly translates to "people's car", which is exactly what framed the ethos of VW – a company with a goal to mass-produce low-priced vehicles for all Germans.
VW Production was initially delayed due to the outbreak of World War II in 1939, as Volkswagen's factories were repurposed to manufacture military equipment and vehicles. However, post-war production grew at an exponential rate during the 1950s, seeing the introduction of the Volkswagen Transporter Van, as well as the VW Karmann Ghia Coupe.
The most popular model was the VW Beetle, and a substantial number of cars were exported to the United States.
The introduction of sportier models, such as the VW Golf, came in 1974 - formally known as the Rabbit in the US. This new direction came as part of Volkswagen's attempt to phase out its rear-engine cars, in replacement for front-engine, front-wheel-drive designs. With the VW Golf proving to be an instant success, and sales overtaking the Beetle, it quickly became Volkswagen's best-selling model worldwide.
Volkswagen went on to acquire a series of awards, validating their manufacturing success, as well as becoming four time-winner of the 'European Car of the Year' and being named fourth most influential car of the 20th century with the VW Type 1 Beetle.
Recognising their responsibility to reduce carbon emissions, in 2012 Volkswagen announced plans to introduce hybrids of popular models, including the Jetta, Golf and Passat. Volkswagen refused to compromise performance when designing these diesel-electric hybrids, setting the world record for the fastest hybrid car with the VW Jetta by reaching 187mph.
Although production of the favoured VW Beetle ended in 2019, Volkswagen continues to evolve and innovate. Most of Volkswagen's popular models are being redesigned with the environment in mind, and with the aim of creating a future filled with all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.