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As of 2016, Volkswagen was the largest automotive brand in the world by the number of sales. The name Volkswagen stands for “people’s car” in German. The syntagma is also used as the company’s slogan worldwide. The company was established in 1937.
During the 30s, most of the German auto market featured luxury models that weren’t affordable to the average German population, most of the time people orienting towards motorcycles. To benefit from the existing demand, various automakers started the people’s car trend, aiming to offer a cheap car.
Ferdinand Porsche, a renowned designer of high-end luxury vehicles and the founder of Porsche decided to build a small car from scratch. Instead of stripping down a luxury vehicle, the engineer built an air-cool rear engine platform with torsion-bar suspension and an aerodynamic shape to compensate for the small engine.
After the second World War was over, Volkswagen represented one of the pilons of economic regeneration of the West Germany. Apart from the Type 1 (Beetle)), Type 2 van and Karmann Ghia sports car, VW held a one-model policy up to 1968, imposed by Heinrich Nordhoff, former manager at Opel.
During the late 60s and 70s, Volkswagen extended its operations by opening manufacturing facilities in Brazil and also increased marketing efforts in the United States to boost sales. The same period witnessed the switch from the Beetle to the Golf, also introducing the monocoque construction as well as electronic fuel injection and automatic gearbox.
The product line continued to expand during the 80s and early 90s by Volkswagen adding new vehicles to its range in order to compete against other major players on the European market. The Polo was introduced, then in 1993 VW Jetta was sold for the first time in the United States. The Scirocco, a Golf-based coupe was added to the lineup.
After the year 2000, Volkswagen cars enriched the higher-end area of the lineup with the addition of the Passat executive sedan as well as the luxury Volkswagen Phaeton, which was eventually terminated due to poor sales.
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