Volkswagen

Volkswagen AG, German automobile concern producing passenger cars, trucks and minibuses. The headquarters is located in Wolfsburg. In 1934 Ferdinand Porsche, a famous German constructor (founder of the globally known German automobile company Porsche AG) received an order from the National Socialist German government to develop a modern passenger car. In 1935 such an auto was assembled and was called Volkswagen that meant people`s car in German. After biennial testing in 1935 series VW 30 was launched and by 1938 car received appearance familiar to many generations. Volkswagen was immediately assessed by constructors, engineers and drivers. People started talking about it, numerous publications appeared and Volkswagen was compared with «a beetle» because of its appearance. This nickname became so widely used that became a visiting card of the car. In 1938 the construction of the largest European automobile plant for producing «people`s car» started in Wolfsburg but the upcoming war interrupted manufacturing of the car. The company released only a dozen of them.

During the Second World War works on the construction of the plant were suspended and unfinished plant was redesigned for production of military products. After the end of war the enterprise fell under control of Englishmen who occupied Wolfsburg. In 1945 Englishmen passed order for twenty thousands of cars to Volkswagen`s plant. However, only after ten years the company launched series production of cars in their initial modification. In 1947 Volkswagen was presented at the fair in Hannover and attracted much attention. The plant received the first overseas order from Holland for manufacturing thousands of cars and in 1948 the company began to receive orders from Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden and other countries.

By 1951 the company released 500 000 cars and in 1955 solemn ceremony related to production of the millionth model Volkswagen 2 was held. Popular phrase associated with Volkswagen «He is member of my family» became a slogan of Germans. In 1965 Volkswagen acquired the firm Audi which belonged to Daimler-Benz and created concern known as VAG. Later, Spanish firm CEAT and Czech plant Skoda joined it. Nowadays Audi AG is a subsidiary of the concern Volkswagen and completely independent.

Model Golf that appeared in 1974 turned out to be the most successful: contemporary, fuel-efficient and reliable, namely this model managed to make international market more active. Golf marked a new step of competition in manufacturing compact cars which were called «golf-class». The family of models Passat of the fifth generation was presented in 1996. In contrast to the previous models produced since 1988 these cars were unified with similar models A4 and A6 of Audi. It allowed to use modern powertrains of Audi.

Nowadays Volkswagen is one of the largest concerns in terms of sales volumes, has its plants in 15 countries and produces products under five brands Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, SEAT and Rolls-Royce.