Volkswagen builds some of the most popular vehicles on the road, and they have been a part of the automobile scene for as long as we can all remember. But how much do you know about the world-famous German car manufacturer? Here are some fun facts about Volkwagen that will impress even the most die-hard car fanatics.
1. The company took shape during World War II – but it’s outgrown its roots.
Volkswagen, also known as VW, was founded on May 28, 1937. The company originated in Wolfsburg, Germany – and, at the time, they were overseen by the Nazi state under Adolf Hitler. Thankfully, VW has long since decried its origins.
2. VW’s name is a clever marketing technique.
“Volkswagen” may not mean much to non-German speakers, but, in fact, it holds a clever marketing meaning. “Volkswagen” means “people’s car” in German. The company was initially established to produce an affordable and practical car for the many, hence the apt name.
3. The VW Beetle is one of the best-selling cars of all time.
Even if you don’t know much about cars, the chances are that you have already seen and/or heard of the Volkswagen Beetle. Also known as the “Bug,” this iconic vehicle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche and went into production in 1938. It popularly featured in a series of Disney movies, with a magic car called “Herbie” taking the lead.
Impressively, over 21 million Beetles rolled out by the time production ceased in 2003, and even post-production, they are highly sought-after by collectors.
4. VW has expanded beyond its German roots.
In under a century, Volkswagen has become one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers. From its German origins, VW now produces and sells cars in more than 150 different countries worldwide, meaning you’ll see plenty in left and right-hand drive.
5. The Volkswagen group is made up of multiple car brands
The Volkswagen Group is a conglomerate that includes several well-known car brands such as Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, SEAT, and Škoda! VW became a brand acquirer as well as a vehicle producer, which has helped extend its global reach.
6. The VW Golf helped the company bounce back from the Beetle.
The Volkswagen Golf, introduced in 1974, is known for its versatility and performance – but did you know that it helped get the manufacturer out of a slump? By 1974, the company had grown dependent on sales of its Beetle cars – and it needed a new face for the brand. The Golf Mk1 – the brainchild of Maserati legend Giorgetto Giugiaro – was, thankfully, a smash hit.
7. VW’s “Dieselgate” put the company in poor light when it came to emissions.
In 2015, Volkswagen faced a major scandal involving the manipulation of emission tests in its diesel vehicles, which led to significant legal and financial consequences. Suspected “tweaking” of emissions figures to meet US standards reportedly resulted in cars emitting 40x more gas than advertised.
8. Volkswagen has produced many different award-winning cars.
VW is responsible for producing some of the most prestigious family vehicles on the planet – the Golf, the Rabbit, and the GTI are all mult-time winners of the Car and Driver awards, which are revealed every year.
9. The heart of the Volkswagen operation is in Wolfsburg.
The Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, is one of the biggest automobile manufacturing plants on the planet. Also serving as VW’s headquarters, the factory is said to measure around 6.5 million square meters, or 70 million square feet!
FAQs about Volkswagen
Is Volkswagen a German brand?
No, Volkswagen, or the Volkswagen Group, is a German automotive manufacturer – but it’s technically a multinational corporation. It’s headquartered in Germany, however.
Are VW cars high quality?
VW cars are well-known for being highly reliable, affordable and enduring years of use. They’re a key example of what many in the industry refer to as precision German engineering.
Do VW cars last long?
Yes, Volkswagen cars are known for enduring years of driving! Generally speaking, Volkswagen owners have found that, as long as their cars are well maintained, they can endure between 100,000 and 200,000 miles within their lifetimes. However, many have also been known to go beyond that!
Do you know any fun facts about Volkswagen? Share them in the comments below!