Historical Overview of Volkswagon - Research Paper Example

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Historical Overview of the Volkswagen The Volkswagen is the leading automobile company in Europe. However, this has not always been the case. The word Volkswagen literally denotes people’s car. The idea of a people’s car was not a new one in Germany before the introduction of the Volkswagen…
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Historical Overview of the Volkswagen The Volkswagen is the leading automobile company in Europe. However, this has not always been the case. The word Volkswagen literally denotes people’s car. The idea of a people’s car was not a new one in Germany before the introduction of the Volkswagen. There had, before the 1930’s, been attempts to create simple cars that would be affordable by most people. However, none of these attempts met the desired success (Price 100). All cars made before 1930, even if intended to be sufficiently simple for all people, ended up costing more than the average person would afford. In 1930, Ferdinand Porsche designed an automobile company known as Porsche Buro. The company came up with an independent and refined front postponement structure that was made up of diagonally raised torsion slabs that were connected to two rambling arms on either side. At this time in history, this was lighter compared to other types of suspension that were used. In 1931, Zundapp, a motorcycle company in Germany, asked Porsche to design a car that was suitable for them. He came up with a streamlined, tow-door car, which had lines similar to a beetle, and was known as the type 12. In 1933, Porsche designed a car for NSU that was known as the Type 32. It looked more similar to the forthcoming Wagen than the type 12 (Price 121). The history of the company can be traced back in 1933. In this year, Adolf Hitler decided that the population of Germany deserved a people’s car. He felt that the car should have four seats to accommodate an average German family. The afterward success of the beetle and the eventual success of the Volkswagen happened from these humble beginning. Hitler met with Ferdinand Porsche to discuss on the former’s idea of a Volkswagen. Hitler had proposed a people’s car that would carry five people. Porsche took this opportunity to push his plan of a small car a bit ahead, while at the same time helping Hitler achieve a real people’s car for the German citizen. Later, Porsche designed the Type 60, which was later changed to V1. Hitler further proposed a convertible version that was designed V2. These cars were put into taste in 1936. They looked similar to the Volkswagen that was to appear with time (Copping and Cservenka 176). A number of engines were tested, and eventually, an engine was chosen. The engine chosen was more reliable and cheaper than for ones that were previously used. It was roughly similar to the engines that were later to be used in the Volkswagen Beetles. A next version that was known as VW30, was produced. As a result of Hitler’s regime, the company’s control was given to an organization within the government. The company known as Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagen mbH was founded in 1937. No one, at this time, could have imagined that this would, one day, be Europe’s largest automobile maker. This company was renamed Volkswagenwerk GmbH in 1938 (Copping and Cservenka 176). In 1938, work began in the attempt to construct a Volkswagenwerk plant, which would house the manufacture of new automobiles designed by Ferdinand Porsche. Several VW39s were produced in 1839 as evidence that the factory actually worked, and to show how the ultimate edition of the cars would look like. These cars significantly differed from their forerunners. For instance, these cars had split windows in the rear, front hinged doors, large hoods, among other differences. This edition formed the basis of the Volkswagen Beetle. The beetle is a significant foundation to the success of the Volkswagen. Volkswagen has been going from strength to strength in the recent past. It has raised the ranks of automobile industries to becoming the third biggest manufacturer worldwide. This has been achieved through a combination of some smart acquisitions, sheer business insight, and significant amount of good affluence. The Volkswagen Group, also known as VW AG, is the biggest car manufacturer in Europe with Wolfsburg in central Germany as its headquarters. The company is currently selling more cars than it ever sold before. For instance, a record of 7.2 million units sales were made in 2010, with its intention to sell over eight million in the year 2011 (Taylor 120). Four important elements behind Volkswagen’s success have been documented. One of these factors is its success in deriving scale economies from its widespread brand selection. These benefits of higher production have been combined with cost reductions. This has significantly led to its success. A second factor behind this success is the growth of Audi. Audi stands complete comparison with Mercedes-Benz and BMW as a key player in the world’s premium division. Audi is the prominent division in Volkswagen, which has for a long time, made the greatest contribution to the Group’s profit. The third key factor is centered to the success of China. Chinese are increasingly raising its demand for the VW. As a result of its presence, VW has derived significant benefits. The fourth factor is the acquisition of Scania. Including Scania in Volkswagen’s scope of consolidation has also boosted the company’s profit margins (Taylor 124). Work cited Copping, Richard and Cservenka, Ken. VW Golf: Five Generations of Fun: The Full Story of the Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit, with the Accent on the High-Performance Models. New York: Veloce Publishing Ltd. 2006. 1-200. Print. Price, Ryan. The VW Beetle: a production history of the world's most famous car, 1936-1967. Arkham: Penguin. 2003. 1-200. Print. Taylor, Blaine. Volkswagen Military Vehicles of the Third Reich: An Illustrated History. New York: Da Capo Press. 2004. 1-190. Print. Read More
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