VW Beetle Celebrates its 82nd Year
The VW Beetle was once the world’s bestselling car.
Eighty-two years. Yup, that’s how long the VW Beetle has been around. It’s one of the most iconic cars in automotive history – recognized and loved by many for its distinct shape, which really hasn’t changed much in eight decades, and rich heritage.
Important Moments in Volkswagen History?
We can’t believe that Volkswagen is celebrating 80 years! Wow! In those eight decades, Volkswagen has enjoyed a colorful history with many important milestones. To celebrate Volkswagen’s 80th birthday, we are going to share a timeline that highlights some of the most important moments in VW history!
May 28, 1937 – Volkswagen (which literally translates to “the people’s car”) is created.
1938 – The Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany is completed and the first Type 1 (the Beetle) rolls off the assembly line.
WWII – During the war, Volkswagen primarily focused on military vehicles. The Volkswagen factory sustained heavy damage from Allied air attacks.
1945 – After the Allied victory, the British helped rebuild the Volkswagen factory and mass produce new cars.
1949 – Volkswagen vehicles become available in the United States, and within a few years, became a favorite worldwide brand. The Type 2 (known as the VW Bus) was also introduced and would become a popular vehicle choice (along with the Beetle) during the Hippie movement of the 1960s.
1955 – Volkswagen Group of America is established to better serve the growing US market. The millionth Type 1 Beetle also rolled off the assembly line that year.
1968 – Moviegoers are introduced to Herbie, a headstrong Volkswagen Beetle with #53 decals in the Disney film, The Love Bug.
1972 – The Volkswagen Beetle surpasses the Ford Model T in production numbers (15,007,034) on February 17. This made it history’s most produced single model at the time.
1974 – Volkswagen begins to produce its Golf hatchback model, which would arrive in the US in 1978 as the Rabbit. A new factory in New Stanton, PA would produce the models for the American market.
1979 – The Volkswagen Jetta is introduced and enjoyed excellent sales in Europe. It would not arrive in the US until 1993 and experienced dismal sales for the first year.
1998 – The Volkswagen New Beetle is produced and would remain in production until 2011.
2002 – Volkswagen’s first modern SUV, the Touareg, is introduced.
2003 – The last Type 1 Beetle (production number 21,529,464) is made on July 30.
2008 – Chattanooga, TN becomes the home of a new Volkswagen production plant.
2009 – Volkswagen merges with Porsche
The system of autobahns would bring the people of Germany together, and affordable cars populating them would give the impression of an affluent nation that had been ushered into the modern age.
Hitler chose Ferdinand Porsche as its chief designer. Hitler laid the foundation stone for the new Volkswagen factory on May 26, 1938.
Once the war began, the factory Volkswagenwerk at Wolfsburg created vehicles for the army, supported by slave labor.
The Beetle was the product of Ferdinand Porsche and the consulting specialists Porsche hired, such as Austrian Erwin Komenda and Hungarian Béla Barényi, who published a design identical to the Beetle in the mid-1920s and is considered the true “father of the people’s car.”