Beginning.The company was established in 1937 as a response to the market demand. Before Volkswagen, the German automotive sector was dominated by manufacturers of luxury cars. At best, an average German could afford a motorcycle. This is why Adolf Hitler wanted to create a model in which two adults and three children could travel, and which could reach a speed of 100 km/h. Such a car would cost approximately 990 Deutschmark (as much as a motorcycle). Ferdinand Porsche was entrusted with this project; however, it was not implemented on a larger scale because World War II broke out.
Development. The idea was revisited after the war. The Volkswagen Beetle began to be manufactured in 1945. This car met Hitler's initial requirements. Altogether, 22 million Volkswagen Beetle cars were manufactured. The Transporter model was another important car in the company's history. It has been produced since 1950. Of course, a lot of modifications have been implemented in the process. In 1973, the first Passat left the assembly line. A year later, the Beetle production was discontinued at the Wolfsburg plant in Germany (the last model was manufactured 20 years later in Mexico). The Golf model became its successor and it was warmly received. The Polo model was presented two years later — it was smaller than Golf.
Present. In 1997, the company decided to relaunch the Volkswagen Beetle. The New Beetle—this is what its reincarnation is called—became a hit in the United States; in Europe it was received a little less enthusiastically. Today, the Volkswagen Group is the third largest car manufacturer in the world—preceded only by Toyota and General Motors—and the largest car manufacturer in Europe. The Volkswagen Group includes: Seat, Audi, Škoda, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti. The company Dr. Ing. h. c. Ferry Porsche AG is still its major shareholder, holding a 50.76% share of the company. In the years 2008 and 2009, the company increased the proportion of its shares to 50.76%, taking control of the company.
Contribution to the automotive industry. Volkswagen Beetle is one of the best-known cars in the world. Its construction made the car durable and reliable. In Poland, the car was known as the "hunchback". In English-speaking countries the name "beetle" was popular, and it went by other nicknames in different corners of the world. It was called a "small egg" (el huevito) in Cuba and a "ladybird" (coccinelle) in France. It is one of the car models manufactured in large numbers in the world. The Beetle holds the first record for the number of single model cars manufactured.
Trivia. Volkswagen's representative office in Poland was established in 1991. A year later, a Volkswagen assembly plant was opened in Poland. Since 1994, the Transporter model has been assembled in the Poznań plant (later also the Caddy model). The group is the major sponsor of the VfL Wolfsburg football club.
The most important contemporary Volkswagen models: VW Caddy, VW Crafter, VW Eos, VW Golf, VW Jetta, VW New Beetle, VW Passat, VW Phaeton, VW Polo, VW Scirocco, VW Sharan, VW Tiguan, VW Touareg, VW Touran, VW Transporter, VW Multivan.
Tyres.Volkswagen cooperates with numerous tyre companies. The original equipment of Volkswagen cars includes tyres supplied by Yokohama, Michelin, Kumho, Hankook, Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Pirelli. Examples of cooperation: Yokohama tyres are serial equipment of Touareg (ADVAN Sport) and Routan (AVID S33). Dunlop tyres are provided as original equipment for EUROVAN cars (Dunlop SP Sport 2000E), as well as Touareg (Grandtrek WT M2, Grandtrek PT 4000 N0, PT8000 and WT M2 +) and Phaeton (SP Sport 9000). Bridgestone supplies original equipment tyres for Touareg (Dueler HP Sport and ER30 YT), Tiguan (Dueler HP Sport TZ), Golf Cabriolet, Cabrio EOS, Golf GTI (RE050A EZ), T5 Kombi (R410 AZ), Tiguan (Dueler HP Sport VZ), EOS (ER300 PZ XL RTF), Passat Tdi (ER300 MZ) and Touran (ER300XL GZ). Polo models (F590 and FH700) and Candy (F590) are equipped with Firestone tyres. The VW Transporter, on the other hand, uses Hankook RA 28 tyres.