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  5. 1961–1972: Boom and Crisis in the One-Product Business

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Volkswagen Chronicle
1961–1972

Boom and Crisis in the One-Product Business

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1961–1972
Boom and Crisis in the One-Product Business

In order to improve competitiveness, Volkswagen examined the possibilities for co-operative ventures with Daimler-Benz AG. The restructuring undertaken in 1964 left the Wolfsburg car-maker with production of vehicles of less than 2 litre capacity. Volkswagen used the opportunity to acquire an initial 75.3 percent share in the Daimler-Benz subsidiary Auto Union GmbH on January 1, 1965. The business’s assets included a yearly capacity of 100,000 vehicles, 11,000 employees, a sales network with 1,200 dealerships and a new generation of engines. On the debit side, however, were large stockpiles of vehicles and a substantial financial crisis, because Auto Union GmbH was building a comparatively low-quality yet costly vehicle, which was consequently difficult to sell. Immediate organisational and model policy changes were needed to get Volkswagen’s new subsidiary out of the red. The Audi 72, quickly remodelled by the designers from the DKW F 102 and built at the plant in Ingolstadt starting in September 1965, failed to deliver a financial breakthrough. The model did, however, form the core of a new range maintained by Audi as an independent brand within the Volkswagen Group.

With reduced earnings, Volkswagen confronted the first post-war recession in 1966/67, which heralded the end of an exceptional and protracted phase of prosperity and the return to normal economic conditions. Declining demand on the domestic market forced the company to reduce the number of vehicles manufactured in 1967: Type 1 production was cut by 14 percent and that of the VW 1600 by 35 percent. Although both the economy in general and Volkswagen’s sales figures were improving by the end of the year, the brief selling crisis had a lasting impact.

It demonstrated the economic susceptibility of large-scale mass production, which was coming under additional pressure due to changes in production and model policy. The production depth now achieved and the wide variety of models and variants built up by the company over the previous years had led to a decrease in productivity and reduced the company’s efficiency. Volkswagen’s main competitive advantage – the mass production of one model – now threatened to become a serious disadvantage. Increasing motorisation and greater competition on key markets reduced the possibility of compensating for lost income by growing sales as had been done before or by raising prices.

It was during this period of radical change that the Heinrich Nordhoff era ended. His commitment to the Volkswagen saloon, which during his 20-year leadership was technically perfected, as well as to the combination of mass production and global market orientation had led Volkswagen to the pinnacle of the European car industry. In order to maintain that position, far-reaching changes were necessary after Nordhoff’s death.

Volkswagen introduced a number of cost-cutting measures in 1968 aimed at improving yields. Along with the rationalisation of production, the company invested in expanding research and development, reasserting the importance of those functions. Greater focus was placed on the recruitment of technicians and engineers and the systematic development of management staff. With the start of production of the VW 411 in September 1968, the Wolfsburg car-maker continued to move away from its dependency on the Type 1. However, with its daily production of 4,200 units, that model still remained the lifeblood of the company. In order to maintain its competitiveness, Volkswagen developed the VW 1302, featuring a new chassis and twice as much boot space, which went into mass production as a saloon and convertible in 1970. All the efforts made could not, however, prevent the Type 1, with its air-cooled rear-mounted engine, from losing its appeal. A new generation of small and mid-sized cars with water-cooled engines, front-wheel drive, lots of interior and boot space and new styling was conquering the market. Sales of the Type 1 dropped after 1970, though the losses were balanced by the success of the South American subsidiaries and of the now merged Audi NSU Auto Union AG, whose models served a growing market segment. Volkswagen concentrated its activities on the urgent task of developing a new range of products.

Sales problems also arose abroad, intensified by the relaxing of exchange rate controls. The revaluation of the Deutschmark impacted on Volkswagen exports and led to stronger competition from foreign car-makers on the domestic market as demand fell. Volkswagen responded to changes in exchange rate policy by increasing prices, especially as higher production costs and lower yields left little leeway for any other course of action. As a result, prices increased relative to other car-makers, and the company’s competitive position on key volume markets deteriorated. This was true in particular of Volkswagen’s exports to the USA, the main export market, where Volkswagen of America’s profits and sales were curtailed by exchange rate linked cost handicaps compared to Japanese and US car-makers. Between 1970 and 1972, Volkswagen of America’s sales dropped from about 570,000 vehicles to just under 486,000. To make matters worse, the Beetle’s popularity among Americans began to decline as the model failed to keep up with progress in terms of drive technology, fuel economy and safety.

Volkswagenwerk AG confronted the emerging crisis with a combination of cost-cutting measures in all corporate divisions and heavy investment in the development of the new model range and the updating of production processes. At its core, the extensive rationalisation programme was aimed at introducing new technical and organisational systems in the production process, with computer technology delivering the key momentum for innovation. IT could now be used to manage production processes, greatly enhancing rationalisation there, as in the design function. Volkswagen had thus put all the essential elements of successful crisis management into place. All hopes now rested on the new generation of Volkswagens.

Statistics of the year

Vehicle sales

Vehicle production Vehicle sales Germany Vehicle sales abroad

Workforce

Production of selected models

Volkswagen AG Group Sales revenue Investment Profit

Annual Reports

January 1

The partial privatisation of Volkswagen results in a new “people’s share” in the Federal Republic of Germany. By March 15 of this year, Volkswagen shares with a total nominal value of DM 360 Million are sold at a unit price of DM 350. The proceeds from the sale are transferred to “Stiftung Volkswagenwerk”, a charitable foundation under civil law with independent decision-making powers set up in Hanover in 1961 to promote scientific research.

The partial privatisation of Volkswagen results in a new “people’s share” in the Federal Republic of Germany. By March 15 of this year, Volkswagen shares with a total nominal value of DM 360 Million are sold at a unit price of DM 350. The proceeds from the sale are transferred to “Stiftung Volkswagenwerk”, a charitable foundation under civil law with independent decision-making powers set up in Hanover in 1961 to promote scientific research.

Wrapping the Beetle

Permanent pioneer: 32 years before the German Reichstag was wrapped, the Beetle is already packaged up. This car is destined for the USA.

Permanent pioneer: 32 years before the German Reichstag was wrapped, the Beetle is already packaged up. This car is destined for the USA.

“Der Rote Hahn” – civil security trade fair

Volkswagen has a strong presence with its comprehensive Transporter program and industrial engine range at “Der Rote Hahn”, the international exhibition for rescue, fire prevention, disaster relief, safety and security, in Cologne. Versions of the Transporter specially designed to meet the needs of firefighters, rescue services and disaster relief prove eminently practical and soon become a familiar sight.

Volkswagen has a strong presence with its comprehensive Transporter program and industrial engine range at “Der Rote Hahn”, the international exhibition for rescue, fire prevention, disaster relief, safety and security, in Cologne. Versions of the Transporter specially designed to meet the needs of firefighters, rescue services and disaster relief prove eminently practical and soon become a familiar sight.

1,000th Volkswagen for Paraguay

The thousandth vehicle exported to Paraguay marks an excellent achievement by Volkswagenwerk AG on an export market with a population of 1.5 million.

The thousandth vehicle exported to Paraguay marks an excellent achievement by Volkswagenwerk AG on an export market with a population of 1.5 million.

Five million Volkswagen

At 1:55 p.m., the five millionth Volkswagen built since 1945 leaves the final assembly line in Hall 12. Volkswagen is the first European car maker to achieve such a success. The pearl white anniversary vehicle decorated with colorful chrysanthemums is officially presented to the International Red Cross in Geneva at a ceremony.

At 1:55 p.m., the five millionth Volkswagen built since 1945 leaves the final assembly line in Hall 12. Volkswagen is the first European car maker to achieve such a success. The pearl white anniversary vehicle decorated with colorful chrysanthemums is officially presented to the International Red Cross in Geneva at a ceremony.

September 21

At the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Volkswagen presents the VW 1500, a mid-class saloon with a 45 horsepower boxer engine in the rear. The VW 1500, designated internally as the Type 3, is marketed as offering “refined elegance”. The “common-sense car” is available from DM 5,990, and is targeted at “discerning motorists” and “prudent spenders”. In February 1962, the estate version is launched with the name “VW Variant”. With the launch of the VW 1500, Volkswagen introduces a “big brother” for its famous and highly successful model.

At the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Volkswagen presents the VW 1500, a mid-class saloon with a 45 horsepower boxer engine in the rear. The VW 1500, designated internally as the Type 3, is marketed as offering “refined elegance”. The “common-sense car” is available from DM 5,990, and is targeted at “discerning motorists” and “prudent spenders”. In February 1962, the estate version is launched with the name “VW Variant”. With the launch of the VW 1500, Volkswagen introduces a “big brother” for its famous and highly successful model.

September 21

The VW 1500 Karmann Ghia Coupe premieres at the IAA International Motor Show. Technically based on the new VW 1500, the two-door, two-seater model is priced at DM 8,750. Extolled in its sales brochure as embodying “beauty in perfection”, its styling originates from Ghia in Turin, its body from Karmann in Osnabrück, and its chassis, engine and gearbox from Volkswagen. Production volumes of 8,653 units in 1962 are less than expected.

The VW 1500 Karmann Ghia Coupe premieres at the IAA International Motor Show. Technically based on the new VW 1500, the two-door, two-seater model is priced at DM 8,750. Extolled in its sales brochure as embodying “beauty in perfection”, its styling originates from Ghia in Turin, its body from Karmann in Osnabrück, and its chassis, engine and gearbox from Volkswagen. Production volumes of 8,653 units in 1962 are less than expected.

October 18

After 12 years, a settlement is reached between Volkswagenwerk AG and the former KdF instalment scheme savers, who had gone to court to demand the delivery of Volkswagen cars in accordance with the deals made with the German Labour Front. Depending on the sum accumulated, the savers receive a maximum discount of DM 600 on the list price for the purchase of a Volkswagen car or a cash settlement of up to DM 100.

After 12 years, a settlement is reached between Volkswagenwerk AG and the former KdF instalment scheme savers, who had gone to court to demand the delivery of Volkswagen cars in accordance with the deals made with the German Labour Front. Depending on the sum accumulated, the savers receive a maximum discount of DM 600 on the list price for the purchase of a Volkswagen car or a cash settlement of up to DM 100.

Works meeting

At the last works meeting of the year, Chairman Heinrich Nordhoff looks back on a successful year, highlighting achievements such as the 40-hour week, the six percent profit-sharing bonus, the symbolic “people’s” share in the company, the special bonus for the five millionth vehicle and the Christmas bonus on a par with the previous year: “Unilateral solutions come easy, but combining a commitment to social responsibility with a competitive approach and building the biggest, best and most efficient car making factory on the European Continent without using other people’s money – that is something that did not exist before the Volkswagenwerk, that is our Volkswagenwerk and there is nothing else quite like it.”

At the last works meeting of the year, Chairman Heinrich Nordhoff looks back on a successful year, highlighting achievements such as the 40-hour week, the six percent profit-sharing bonus, the symbolic “people’s” share in the company, the special bonus for the five millionth vehicle and the Christmas bonus on a par with the previous year: “Unilateral solutions come easy, but combining a commitment to social responsibility with a competitive approach and building the biggest, best and most efficient car making factory on the European Continent without using other people’s money – that is something that did not exist before the Volkswagenwerk, that is our Volkswagenwerk and there is nothing else quite like it.”

Testing in the new acoustic lab

The new three-storey laboratory building houses the acoustic lab as well as the chemical analysis facilities and the electrotechnical measuring and material testing department plus workshops.

The new three-storey laboratory building houses the acoustic lab as well as the chemical analysis facilities and the electrotechnical measuring and material testing department plus workshops.

Beetle ad

4,896 Volkswagen Service stations in Europe: a tight knit network of workshops helps customers with defective shock absorbers or punctured tires. No car is immune to those kinds of problems: “Niemand ist vollkommen.” (“Nobody’s perfect”) – not even when Beetle quality is checked by 7,308 inspectors during the production process. A witty and honest plea for the reliability of the customer-friendly Volkswagen Service.

4,896 Volkswagen Service stations in Europe: a tight knit network of workshops helps customers with defective shock absorbers or punctured tires. No car is immune to those kinds of problems: “Niemand ist vollkommen.” (“Nobody’s perfect”) – not even when Beetle quality is checked by 7,308 inspectors during the production process. A witty and honest plea for the reliability of the customer-friendly Volkswagen Service.

Ad “Think tall.”

The “Volkswagen Station Wagon” was purchased by 23,300 customers on the American market in 1961. At that time, this represented approximately one seventh of Beetle sales. “Volkswagen Station Wagon” sales rose steadily during the 1960s, reaching 65,000 in 1970. When the last units were sold in the United States in 1993, over 940,000 “Volkswagen Station Wagon” in all its shapes and forms had been delivered to customers – a proud achievement after 43 years.

The “Volkswagen Station Wagon” was purchased by 23,300 customers on the American market in 1961. At that time, this represented approximately one seventh of Beetle sales. “Volkswagen Station Wagon” sales rose steadily during the 1960s, reaching 65,000 in 1970. When the last units were sold in the United States in 1993, over 940,000 “Volkswagen Station Wagon” in all its shapes and forms had been delivered to customers – a proud achievement after 43 years.

Commercial

Volkswagen commercial “Gebrauchtwagen” (used cars) do not just attract the attention of moviegoers.

Volkswagen commercial “Gebrauchtwagen” (used cars) do not just attract the attention of moviegoers.

Statistics of the Year

January 17

After the wall erected between East and West Germany in August 1961 had ended migration from the German Democratic Republic, a first train carrying workers recruited from Italy in order to meet labour needs arrives in Wolfsburg. The number of foreign workers employed by Volkswagen surges in 1962 from 730 to 4,494. By the end of the year, 3,188 Italians are employed in the Wolfsburg plant, living in the “Italian Village” erected specially for them.

After the wall erected between East and West Germany in August 1961 had ended migration from the German Democratic Republic, a first train carrying workers recruited from Italy in order to meet labour needs arrives in Wolfsburg. The number of foreign workers employed by Volkswagen surges in 1962 from 730 to 4,494. By the end of the year, 3,188 Italians are employed in the Wolfsburg plant, living in the “Italian Village” erected specially for them.

VW 1500 Variant

Production of the “Variant”, the station wagon version of the exclusively two-door Type 3, begins in February 1962 and sales of 20,338 units in the model’s first year already account for 20 percent of the VW 1500 sedan sales figures. With cargo space of 1,200 liters located over the 45 or 54 hp rear engine, the vehicle is popular with families and is also ideal for transport or delivery purposes. Even today, Volkswagen’s successful models that epitomize the functional use of space are still called “Variant”.

Production of the “Variant”, the station wagon version of the exclusively two-door Type 3, begins in February 1962 and sales of 20,338 units in the model’s first year already account for 20 percent of the VW 1500 sedan sales figures. With cargo space of 1,200 liters located over the 45 or 54 hp rear engine, the vehicle is popular with families and is also ideal for transport or delivery purposes. Even today, Volkswagen’s successful models that epitomize the functional use of space are still called “Variant”.

VW 1500 Variant cockpit

The cockpit of the VW 1500 Variant is an excellent illustration of the contemporary simplicity and pragmatic design of control instruments.

The cockpit of the VW 1500 Variant is an excellent illustration of the contemporary simplicity and pragmatic design of control instruments.

VW 1500 production

The Type 3, available as a sedan or Variant, expands the Volkswagen model range in the lower mid-class. The two-door vehicle with an air-cooled 4-cylinder boxer engine has a much more spacious interior than the Beetle and has the lines of a classic sedan in contrast to the Beetle design. A total of 127,421 VW 1500 are built in Wolfsburg in 1962.

The Type 3, available as a sedan or Variant, expands the Volkswagen model range in the lower mid-class. The two-door vehicle with an air-cooled 4-cylinder boxer engine has a much more spacious interior than the Beetle and has the lines of a classic sedan in contrast to the Beetle design. A total of 127,421 VW 1500 are built in Wolfsburg in 1962.

Volkswagen quay in Bremen

Bremen is an important port for Volkswagen exports. Depending on the country of destination, models built in Germany are also exported from Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Lübeck.

Bremen is an important port for Volkswagen exports. Depending on the country of destination, models built in Germany are also exported from Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Lübeck.

Mail vans for Togo

As part of the German development aid scheme, Volkswagen delivers twelve sedans built in Wolfsburg to be used by the postal services in Tongo.

As part of the German development aid scheme, Volkswagen delivers twelve sedans built in Wolfsburg to be used by the postal services in Tongo.

October 2

The one millionth Volkswagen Transporter rolls off the assembly line at the Hanover plant.

The one millionth Volkswagen Transporter rolls off the assembly line at the Hanover plant.

Children with the UNICEF anniversary vehicle

UNICEF receives mobile assistance for its work in the form of the one millionth Transporter, which is officially presented to the United Nations Children’s Fund in Paris.

UNICEF receives mobile assistance for its work in the form of the one millionth Transporter, which is officially presented to the United Nations Children’s Fund in Paris.

Wheel rim production

Producing vehicle components such as wheel rims was still heavy manual work.

Producing vehicle components such as wheel rims was still heavy manual work.

December 20

Volkswagen strengthens its commitment to the housing market by establishing VW-Siedlungsgesellschaft m.b.H., based in Wolfsburg, in order to take advantage of any opportunities that might come up to build or acquire housing for the workforce. In 1962, Volkswagen invests about DM 40 million in housing projects, DM 15 million of which is assigned to accommodation for Italian workers near the Berlin Bridge in Wolfsburg. Although the housing offered by the company cannot keep up with the growing workforce, it does help to provide the German plants with workers and keep labour turnover to a minimum. The non-profit housing corporation limits its own building activities in 1964 in favour of administering construction projects of VW-Siedlungsgesellschaft m.b.H., whose capital is doubled to DM 20 million. At this time, the portfolio of the two companies comprises a total of 7,646 apartments in Wolfsburg, Hanover and Kassel.

Volkswagen strengthens its commitment to the housing market by establishing VW-Siedlungsgesellschaft m.b.H., based in Wolfsburg, in order to take advantage of any opportunities that might come up to build or acquire housing for the workforce. In 1962, Volkswagen invests about DM 40 million in housing projects, DM 15 million of which is assigned to accommodation for Italian workers near the Berlin Bridge in Wolfsburg. Although the housing offered by the company cannot keep up with the growing workforce, it does help to provide the German plants with workers and keep labour turnover to a minimum. The non-profit housing corporation limits its own building activities in 1964 in favour of administering construction projects of VW-Siedlungsgesellschaft m.b.H., whose capital is doubled to DM 20 million. At this time, the portfolio of the two companies comprises a total of 7,646 apartments in Wolfsburg, Hanover and Kassel.

Volkswagen ad

“5 Millionen Volkswagen” (“5 million Volkswagens”) New production record at Volkswagenwerk AG: 5 million Volkswagen in only 16 years. The two tables framing the VW trademark document the incredible pace of growth. These columns listing “VW production” and “VW exports” bring home the company’s successful journey to the reader as well as pointing the way to the future.

“5 Millionen Volkswagen” (“5 million Volkswagens”)
New production record at Volkswagenwerk AG: 5 million Volkswagen in only 16 years. The two tables framing the VW trademark document the incredible pace of growth. These columns listing “VW production” and “VW exports” bring home the company’s successful journey to the reader as well as pointing the way to the future.

Beetle ad

“Es gibt Formen, die man nicht verbessern kann.“ (“Some shapes are hard to improve on.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Art Director: Paul Wollman Texters: David Herzbrun, Claus Harden Photographer: Charles Wilp The second advertisement designed by DDB in Germany appeared at a time when Beetle sales in Germany were coming under pressure from models by competitors which were comparable in price and size and promised the same efficiency and quality.

“Es gibt Formen, die man nicht verbessern kann.“ (“Some shapes are hard to improve on.”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Art Director: Paul Wollman
Texters: David Herzbrun, Claus Harden
Photographer: Charles Wilp
The second advertisement designed by DDB in Germany appeared at a time when Beetle sales in Germany were coming under pressure from models by competitors which were comparable in price and size and promised the same efficiency and quality.

Statistics of the Year

January 15

The Volkswagen transporter ship “Johann Schulte” leaves the shipyard. With a loading capacity of 1,750 Volkswagens and a speed of 17.25 knots, the ship – the largest and fastest ever built for Volkswagen – expands the urgently needed transport capacity for overseas exports.

The Volkswagen transporter ship “Johann Schulte” leaves the shipyard. With a loading capacity of 1,750 Volkswagens and a speed of 17.25 knots, the ship – the largest and fastest ever built for Volkswagen – expands the urgently needed transport capacity for overseas exports.

Volkswagen in Australia

After expanding its distribution functions to the State of Victoria, the Australian sales company “Volkswagen (W. A.) Pty. Ltd.” is renamed “Volkswagen (Sales) Pty. Ltd.”, and the “Volkswagen Distributors Pty. Ltd.” is renamed “Volkswagen (Services) Pty. Ltd.” During the current year, Volkswagen Australasia tries to augment exports to Southeast Asian and South Pacific countries.

After expanding its distribution functions to the State of Victoria, the Australian sales company “Volkswagen (W. A.) Pty. Ltd.” is renamed “Volkswagen (Sales) Pty. Ltd.”, and the “Volkswagen Distributors Pty. Ltd.” is renamed “Volkswagen (Services) Pty. Ltd.” During the current year, Volkswagen Australasia tries to augment exports to Southeast Asian and South Pacific countries.

April 8

Because of the sustained rise in production and a chronic labour shortage in Wolfsburg, it becomes necessary to streamline and automate production. The Wolfsburg plant automates body shell assembly by introducing a new 180 metre long special transfer line, which can produce 3,300 units a day in two shifts. The new machinery, which took one year to install, handles 16 different operations. For example, the front and rear sections of the vehicle are welded to the roof by some 300 spot welds to within millimetre accuracy. The 440 workers previously needed to carry out these tasks can now help increase capacity levels in other production areas. In order to supply the transfer line with enough body parts, 57 new large presses are set up. The paint shop is modernised and expanded by adding two new lines. By the end of December 1963, the Wolfsburg plant employs 43,722 people.

Because of the sustained rise in production and a chronic labour shortage in Wolfsburg, it becomes necessary to streamline and automate production. The Wolfsburg plant automates body shell assembly by introducing a new 180 metre long special transfer line, which can produce 3,300 units a day in two shifts. The new machinery, which took one year to install, handles 16 different operations. For example, the front and rear sections of the vehicle are welded to the roof by some 300 spot welds to within millimetre accuracy. The 440 workers previously needed to carry out these tasks can now help increase capacity levels in other production areas. In order to supply the transfer line with enough body parts, 57 new large presses are set up. The paint shop is modernised and expanded by adding two new lines. By the end of December 1963, the Wolfsburg plant employs 43,722 people.

Panel van with plenty of space

Special versions of the Volkswagen Transporter work wonders with space. The Hanover plant can design a vehicle to suit every need.

Special versions of the Volkswagen Transporter work wonders with space. The Hanover plant can design a vehicle to suit every need.

100,000th Volkswagen for the United Kingdom

Volkswagen began its exports to the United Kingdom by shipping 900 vehicles in 1953; only ten years later, on June 18, the one hundred thousandth vehicle – a red VW 1500 – was delivered.

Volkswagen began its exports to the United Kingdom by shipping 900 vehicles in 1953; only ten years later, on June 18, the one hundred thousandth vehicle – a red VW 1500 – was delivered.

Loading the ship

Volkswagen responded to the challenge of ever-growing overseas exports by purchasing its own ships. In 1963, 430,366 finished new cars and 41,784 SKD or CKD sedans and Transporter were shipped. An additional 72,617 CKD kits were also dispatched by sea.

Volkswagen responded to the challenge of ever-growing overseas exports by purchasing its own ships. In 1963, 430,366 finished new cars and 41,784 SKD or CKD sedans and Transporter were shipped. An additional 72,617 CKD kits were also dispatched by sea.

Canadian dealers in Wolfsburg

Volkswagen general importers and dealers use the invitation to Wolfsburg to learn about the latest product and marketing strategies at internal seminars and information events. Apart from the business side of these visits, a cultural program gives the guests the opportunity to find out more about Wolfsburg and its surroundings. After the Berlin Wall went up, the inner German border not far from Wolfsburg is one of the most popular destinations.

Volkswagen general importers and dealers use the invitation to Wolfsburg to learn about the latest product and marketing strategies at internal seminars and information events. Apart from the business side of these visits, a cultural program gives the guests the opportunity to find out more about Wolfsburg and its surroundings. After the Berlin Wall went up, the inner German border not far from Wolfsburg is one of the most popular destinations.

Plexiglas VW 1500

The VW 1500 even cuts a good figure in plexiglass!

The VW 1500 even cuts a good figure in plexiglass!

Volkswagen center in Sweden

Fifteen years after entering the Swedish market, the new Volkswagen Center opens in Södertälje. While the Swedish general importer AB Scania-Vabis only imported 7 Volkswagen in 1948, the figure rises to 43,391 new cars in 1963. The modern Volkswagen Center designed by the architect Anders Berg is officially opened in the presence of Heinrich Nordhoff and Wilhelm Karmann on September 28, 1963.

Fifteen years after entering the Swedish market, the new Volkswagen Center opens in Södertälje. While the Swedish general importer AB Scania-Vabis only imported 7 Volkswagen in 1948, the figure rises to 43,391 new cars in 1963. The modern Volkswagen Center designed by the architect Anders Berg is officially opened in the presence of Heinrich Nordhoff and Wilhelm Karmann on September 28, 1963.

Beetle ad

“DM 3,50 das Pfund.” (“$1.02 a pound.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Art Director: Paul Wollman Texters: Claus Harden, Jane Talcot Photographer: Harold Krieger The original headline captures the value for money performance of the export sedan. The creative minds at the agency had the courage to advertise the Beetle as if it were tomatoes on a market stall or meat at the butchers. This originality attracted the attention of many readers and brought humorous letters such as: “Please send me one quarter of a pound of Volkswagen. I have enclosed 80 Pfennig in postage stamps.”

“DM 3,50 das Pfund.” (“$1.02 a pound.”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Art Director: Paul Wollman
Texters: Claus Harden, Jane Talcot
Photographer: Harold Krieger
The original headline captures the value for money performance of the export sedan. The creative minds at the agency had the courage to advertise the Beetle as if it were tomatoes on a market stall or meat at the butchers. This originality attracted the attention of many readers and brought humorous letters such as: “Please send me one quarter of a pound of Volkswagen. I have enclosed 80 Pfennig in postage stamps.”

Beetle ad

“Der VW läuft und läuft und ...” (“ Why do we sell so many Volkswagen?: The VW goes and goes and goes”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Art Director: Paul Wollman Texters: David Herzbrun, Claus Harden Photographer: Charles Wilp One of the early advertisements in the German Beetle campaign, remembered by many because the headline became a popular saying. The series of photos underscores the headline: reminiscent of a film the storyboard presents the reliability of the Beetle, which “runs and runs and runs..............” on its journey into the horizon.

“Der VW läuft und läuft und ...” (“ Why do we sell so many Volkswagen?: The VW goes and goes and goes”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Art Director: Paul Wollman
Texters: David Herzbrun, Claus Harden
Photographer: Charles Wilp
One of the early advertisements in the German Beetle campaign, remembered by many because the headline became a popular saying. The series of photos underscores the headline: reminiscent of a film the storyboard presents the reliability of the Beetle, which “runs and runs and runs..............” on its journey into the horizon.

Commercial “New York”

As this commercial shows, New York is crazy about the Beetle, too.

As this commercial shows, New York is crazy about the Beetle, too.

Commercial “Mexico”

In this commercial the Beetle is a familiar figure in the country of the Aztecs.

In this commercial the Beetle is a familiar figure in the country of the Aztecs.

Statistics of the Year

January 15

The establishment of Volkswagen de Mexico, S.A. in Puebla marks Volkswagen’s transition from assembly to production after new import controls had made importing Volkswagen vehicles into Mexico increasingly difficult. The new Volkswagen subsidiary acquires Promexa S.A., the former Volkswagen distributor in Mexico, and continues assembling Volkswagens. In 1965, its sales increase by 59 percent. In order to meet growing demand, a new production site is established in Puebla. It goes into operation in November 1967, utilising components from Mexican suppliers in accordance with government regulations. With 22,220 vehicles sold, Volkswagen de Mexico attains a market share of 21.8 percent in the following year.

6 million front axles from Brunswick

The sixth millionth front axle for a Beetle is produced in the Brunswick plant on January 8. The Brunswick plant employs 5,120 people.

Telegram from Monte Carlo

Two VW 1500 S clinch a double victory in the 1300 to 1600 ccm class at the famous Monte Carlo rally.

Karajan concert

At the invitation of the Volkswagenwerk, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan performs for an enthusiastic audience of over 3,000 in the Versuchshalle of the Wolfsburg plant on the evening of April 25. The program includes Symphony Nr. 29 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Strauß’ symphonic poem “Don Juan” and the 6th Symphony by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

July 16

In order to meet the government’s target of increasing the domestic share of production to 95 percent within five years, Volkswagenwerk AG undertakes a reorganisation of its Australian operation: Volkswagen (Australasia) Pty. Ltd. is renamed Volkswagen Australasia Ltd. and takes over the complete production facilities of Volkswagen Manufacturing (Australia) Pty. Ltd., which becomes Volkswagen (Distribution) Pty. Ltd. Direct sales to the states of Victoria and Western Australia are transferred from Volkswagen (Sales) Pty. Ltd., which was dissolved in 1964, to Volkswagen (Distribution) Pty. Ltd. 32,678 Volkswagens are sold in Australia in 1964, including 22,943 of the Type 1 and 6,978 of the VW 1500. Production rises to 37,397 units, including 25,298 of the Type 1. Of the total, 1,906 complete vehicles and 1,704 CKD kits are exported. In spite of all of these efforts, the situation of Volkswagen’s Australian subsidiary worsens, because its production is cost-intensive and its capacity is not being fully utilised, while the vehicles it is producing do not entirely conform to customers’ tastes. Competing Japanese models are designed especially for the Australian market and are cheaper. As a result, Volkswagen Australasia’s sales drop dramatically to 19,586 vehicles by 1966. Sustained losses and strong competition, especially from Japanese manufacturers who have an advantageous position on the Australian market thanks to intensive bilateral trade relations, force Volkswagen to stop its own production operations at the end of February 1968. Volkswagen Australasia is renamed Motor Producers Ltd., and returns to assembling cars from imported CKD kits.

Karmann production

The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia developed in close cooperation with the Osnabrück-based company Wilhelm Karmann GmbH becomes an icon of elegant sportiness. Production of this design classic ceases in 1974 after 485,964 coupes und convertibles have been built.

Foreman and worker in the press shop

In the press shop, blanks are turned into pressed parts in several production steps. Several presses set up in long lines produce high-precision large components such as doors, hoods or roofs. Today, modern large-scale presses perform several functions in one machine, replacing entire press lines.

The first Beetle from Emden for overseas export

The plant in Emden, constructed especially for overseas exports, begins producing the Beetle. The manufacturing structure of the new site, which encompasses four halls with 140,000 square meters, is designed with exports for the North American market in mind. The assembly plant receives bodies from Wolfsburg, engines from Hanover, transmissions and frames from Kassel and front axles from Brunswick. Only the seats and wiring harness are produced locally. Over 500 vehicles roll off the assembly line each day. They are shipped from the company's own port directly to the United States and Canada. By March 1966, the plant expanded its assembly capacity to 1,100 vehicles a day. The workforce grew correspondingly from 790 to 4,487 employees by the end of 1966. At first production was limited to the Beetle and the Transporter, but is expanded with the start of the production of the Golf in June 1974. Production is appropriately diversified.

December 8

The plant in Emden, constructed especially for overseas exports, begins producing the Type 1. The manufacturing structure of the new site, which encompasses four sheds covering 140,000 square metres, is designed with exports for the North American market in mind. The assembly plant receives bodies from Wolfsburg, engines from Hanover, gearboxes and frames from Kassel and axles from Braunschweig. Only the seats and wiring harnesses are produced locally. Over 500 vehicles roll off the assembly line each day. They are shipped from the company’s own port directly to the USA and Canada. By March 1966, the plant has expanded its assembly capacity to 1,100 vehicles a day. The workforce has grown correspondingly from 790 to 4,487 by the end of 1966.

Beetle ad

“Wie lange werden wir die Linie halten?” (“How much longer can we hand you this line?”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Art Directors: Helmut Krone, Paul Wollman Texters: Bob Levenson, Claus Harden 1964’s best-seller of the year (just under 950,000 vehicles) faces up to the widespread public discussion on a successor with this ad. Continuous improvements and technical developments are Volkswagenwerk AG’s answer. But the Beetle’s inimitable line remains its recipe for success.

“Werden wir den Käfer je sterben lassen?” (“Will we ever kill the bug?”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Art Director: Roy Grace
Texter: Claus Harden
Photographer: Wingate Paine

Beetle ad

“Ein Volkswagen. Ganz klar.” (“A Volkswagen, oviously.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Art Directors: Helmut Krone, Paul Wollman Texters: Bob Levenson, David Herzbrun Photographer: Wingate Paine Award: Art Directors Club Deutschland 1965 A Volkswagen in the snow – a never-ending story, not just in the snow plough ad. Arctic temperatures, storms, blizzards or icy roads – the Beetle and its air-cooled rear engine master them all: “On the road in all weathers.”

“Ein Volkswagen. Ganz klar.” (“A Volkswagen, oviously.”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Art Directors: Helmut Krone, Paul Wollman
Texters: Bob Levenson, David Herzbrun
Photographer: Wingate Paine
Award: Art Directors Club Deutschland 1965
A Volkswagen in the snow – a never-ending story, not just in the snow plough ad. Arctic temperatures, storms, blizzards or icy roads – the Beetle and its air-cooled rear engine master them all: “On the road in all weathers.”

Commercial “Mountain pass”

The VW 1500, the Beetle’s big brother, is also a match for any mountain pass.

The VW 1500, the Beetle’s big brother, is also a match for any mountain pass.

Commercial “Snow plough”

If there is no snow plough, the Beetle battles its own way through the cold and snow.

If there is no snow plough, the Beetle battles its own way through the cold and snow.

Statistics of the Year

January 1

Auto Union GmbH in Ingolstadt is acquired by Volkswagenwerk AG from Daimler-Benz AG in three share tranches. By assuming ownership of this traditional and innovative brand, the Volkswagen Group widens its product range. At the same time, Volkswagen also gains access to a new generation of engines. The Audi, based on the DKW F 102 and produced from September 1965 onwards, is notable for its water-cooled 1.7 litre medium-pressure engine, front-wheel drive, a state-of-the-art chassis and a top speed of 150 kilometres per hour. Auto Union joins the Volkswagen Group as an independent subsidiary, initiating the development of the Group’s present-day multi-brand strategy.

Auto Union GmbH in Ingolstadt is acquired by Volkswagenwerk AG from Daimler-Benz AG in three share tranches. By assuming ownership of this traditional and innovative brand, the Volkswagen Group widens its product range. At the same time, Volkswagen also gains access to a new generation of engines. The Audi, based on the DKW F 102 and produced from September 1965 onwards, is notable for its water-cooled 1.7 litre medium-pressure engine, front-wheel drive, a state-of-the-art chassis and a top speed of 150 kilometres per hour. Auto Union joins the Volkswagen Group as an independent subsidiary, initiating the development of the Group’s present-day multi-brand strategy.

February 8

Volkswagen of America, Inc. begins wholesaling on its own account with a view to cutting distribution costs and exerting a direct influence on distributors. In Jacksonville, Florida, the company establishes Volkswagen Southeastern Distributor, Inc., taking over the business from the previous distributor. Four further distributors managed by the US subsidiary have been set up by 1969: Volkswagen Northeastern Distributor, Inc. registered in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1966; Volkswagen North Central Distributor, Inc. in Deerfield, Illinois, in 1967; Volkswagen South Atlantic Distributor, Inc. in Washington D.C. and Volkswagen South Central Distributor, Inc. in San Antonio, Texas, in 1969.

Volkswagen of America, Inc. begins wholesaling on its own account with a view to cutting distribution costs and exerting a direct influence on distributors. In Jacksonville, Florida, the company establishes Volkswagen Southeastern Distributor, Inc., taking over the business from the previous distributor. Four further distributors managed by the US subsidiary have been set up by 1969: Volkswagen Northeastern Distributor, Inc. registered in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1966; Volkswagen North Central Distributor, Inc. in Deerfield, Illinois, in 1967; Volkswagen South Atlantic Distributor, Inc. in Washington D.C. and Volkswagen South Central Distributor, Inc. in San Antonio, Texas, in 1969.

Small delivery van Typ 147

Volkswagen’s small delivery van Typ 147 developed in cooperation with the Deutsche Bundespost (German Postal Service) goes into production. This vehicle is nicknamed “Fridolin”.

Volkswagen’s small delivery van Typ 147 developed in cooperation with the Deutsche Bundespost (German Postal Service) goes into production. This vehicle is nicknamed “Fridolin”.

Transporter as a mail van

Apart from “Fridolin”, the German Postal Service also opts for the Volkswagen Transporter specially designed for delivery. Features include a high roof to maximize load compartment volume and an extra large sliding side door for easy loading and unloading.

Apart from “Fridolin”, the German Postal Service also opts for the Volkswagen Transporter specially designed for delivery. Features include a high roof to maximize load compartment volume and an extra large sliding side door for easy loading and unloading.

March 9

The official key handover ceremony to representatives of the Deutsche Bundespost German postal service marks the delivery of the first of Volkswagen’s small delivery van Type 147. Developed specially with the needs of the postal service in mind, and technically based on the Type 1, the van is built by Westfalia Werke in Rheda-Wiedenbrück. The model nicknamed Fridolin, with its two wide sliding doors and tailgate, offering a 1.86 square metre load space, 2.3 cubic metres of loading volume and a 410 kg payload capacity, is attractive to businesses as well as public-sector users. The delivery van’s 34 horsepower petrol engine achieves a top speed of 100 km/h, with fuel consumption of 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres. Despite its low selling price of DM 6,500, sales are modest. By the time production ends in 1974, a total of 6,123 have been built.

The official key handover ceremony to representatives of the Deutsche Bundespost German postal service marks the delivery of the first of Volkswagen’s small delivery van Type 147. Developed specially with the needs of the postal service in mind, and technically based on the Type 1, the van is built by Westfalia Werke in Rheda-Wiedenbrück. The model nicknamed Fridolin, with its two wide sliding doors and tailgate, offering a 1.86 square metre load space, 2.3 cubic metres of loading volume and a 410 kg payload capacity, is attractive to businesses as well as public-sector users. The delivery van’s 34 horsepower petrol engine achieves a top speed of 100 km/h, with fuel consumption of 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres. Despite its low selling price of DM 6,500, sales are modest. By the time production ends in 1974, a total of 6,123 have been built.

All the parts of a Beetle

4,893 parts for the price of 4,485 DM – these few words say it all to impressively document the optimum price-performance ratio of the standard Volkswagen 1200 model.

4,893 parts for the price of 4,485 DM – these few words say it all to impressively document the optimum price-performance ratio of the standard Volkswagen 1200 model.

July 12

Volkswagen establishes Wolfsburger Transportgesellschaft mbH to meet the needs of its growing transport division, which now has 1,700 employees and a fleet of 55 ships. Volkswagenwerk AG owns 90 percent of the shares and 10 percent belong to the likewise newly established Volkswagen subsidiary HOLAD Holding & Administration AG, an international holding company based in Basle, Switzerland. The legal demerger of the freight business had become prudent because of the impending increase in the USA’s low-cost import duties, which would have impaired competitiveness. Wolfsburger Transportgesellschaft handles air and sea transportation as well as other freight operations primarily for Volkswagenwerk AG. It starts operations early in October 1965 with a staff of 59. By the end of the year, it has transported 168,000 Volkswagens overseas by charters and scheduled shipping.

Volkswagen establishes Wolfsburger Transportgesellschaft mbH to meet the needs of its growing transport division, which now has 1,700 employees and a fleet of 55 ships. Volkswagenwerk AG owns 90 percent of the shares and 10 percent belong to the likewise newly established Volkswagen subsidiary HOLAD Holding & Administration AG, an international holding company based in Basle, Switzerland. The legal demerger of the freight business had become prudent because of the impending increase in the USA’s low-cost import duties, which would have impaired competitiveness. Wolfsburger Transportgesellschaft handles air and sea transportation as well as other freight operations primarily for Volkswagenwerk AG. It starts operations early in October 1965 with a staff of 59. By the end of the year, it has transported 168,000 Volkswagens overseas by charters and scheduled shipping.

10 million Volkswagen

Ten years after producing the one millionth Volkswagen, the company reaches the magic production figure of ten million vehicles. The management and 400 invited international journalists watch live from the 42nd IAA in Frankfurt as the historic vehicle leaves the assembly line at the Wolfsburg plant.

Ten years after producing the one millionth Volkswagen, the company reaches the magic production figure of ten million vehicles. The management and 400 invited international journalists watch live from the 42nd IAA in Frankfurt as the historic vehicle leaves the assembly line at the Wolfsburg plant.

10 millionth Volkswagen plus model

An anniversary as a mirror image of the times: although engine technology and vehicle design might still often rely on the tried-and tested, Volkswagen does not close its mind to innovative marketing strategies. Attractive young ladies replace the traditional floral arrangements and lend a touch of glamour to the anniversary vehicle.

An anniversary as a mirror image of the times: although engine technology and vehicle design might still often rely on the tried-and tested, Volkswagen does not close its mind to innovative marketing strategies. Attractive young ladies replace the traditional floral arrangements and lend a touch of glamour to the anniversary vehicle.

Toy Beetle convertible

Volkswagen’s cult car as a children’s toy.

Volkswagen’s cult car as a children’s toy.

December 14

A state-of-the-art climatic wind tunnel goes into service in Wolfsburg as a part of an expanding development centre, in which engineers and technicians will in future undertake basic research and product development.

A state-of-the-art climatic wind tunnel goes into service in Wolfsburg as a part of an expanding development centre, in which engineers and technicians will in future undertake basic research and product development.

Beetle ad

“Werden wir den Käfer je sterben lassen?” (“Will we ever kill the bug?”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Art Director: Roy Grace Texter: Claus Harden Photographer: Wingate Paine

“Werden wir den Käfer je sterben lassen?” (“Will we ever kill the bug?”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Art Director: Roy Grace
Texter: Claus Harden
Photographer: Wingate Paine

Beetle ad

“Verdienen Sie zu viel, um sich einen Volkswagen zu leisten?” (“Do you earn too much to afford one?”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Art Director: Roy Grace Texters: Claus Harden, Charles Ewell Photographer: Franz Wagner Award: Art Directors Club Deutschland 1966 In 1977, Helmut Schmitz, creative director at DDB, wrote the following about this ad: “At that time, no other car was driven by millionaires as well as “poor” people, by young and old, by blue-collar and white-collar workers, by the self-employed, civil servants and pensioners. By girls, women and ladies of society. A Beetle didn’t brand you. An invaluable advantage that no other car would ever achieve in this form.”

“Verdienen Sie zu viel, um sich einen Volkswagen zu leisten?” (“Do you earn too much to afford one?”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Art Director: Roy GraceTexters: Claus Harden, Charles Ewell
Photographer: Franz Wagner
Award: Art Directors Club Deutschland 1966
In 1977, Helmut Schmitz, creative director at DDB, wrote the following about this ad: “At that time, no other car was driven by millionaires as well as “poor” people, by young and old, by blue-collar and white-collar workers, by the self-employed, civil servants and pensioners. By girls, women and ladies of society. A Beetle didn’t brand you. An invaluable advantage that no other car would ever achieve in this form.”

Statistics of the Year

Measurements in the acoustic test booth

By using advanced measuring technology Volkswagen engineers can pinpoint and analyse potential failings in the design of new vehicles and the further development of current models. These findings are incorporated in production to continually optimize vehicle characteristics.

By using advanced measuring technology Volkswagen engineers can pinpoint and analyse potential failings in the design of new vehicles and the further development of current models. These findings are incorporated in production to continually optimize vehicle characteristics.

“Ruthmannsteiger” (truck-mounted aerial platform)

The “Ruthmannsteiger” Transporter is especially popular with lighting and telecommunication companies as well as energy suppliers. The Transporter with a hydraulic working cage and hydraulic jacking cylinders is ideal for working very high up.

The “Ruthmannsteiger” Transporter is especially popular with lighting and telecommunication companies as well as energy suppliers. The Transporter with a hydraulic working cage and hydraulic jacking cylinders is ideal for working very high up.

June 29

Josef Rust becomes Chairman of the Volkswagenwerk AG Supervisory Board.

Josef Rust becomes Chairman of the Volkswagenwerk AG Supervisory Board.

Weathering test

The dip primer coat prepares the vehicle for painting. As endurance tests demonstrate, it also provides effective protection against corrosion and other weathering effects.

The dip primer coat prepares the vehicle for painting. As endurance tests demonstrate, it also provides effective protection against corrosion and other weathering effects.

1 million Transporters for export

The historic achievement of a record one million Transporters for export impressively reflects the enormous success of Volkswagen’s “space wizard”, particularly on the North American market.

The historic achievement of a record one million Transporters for export impressively reflects the enormous success of Volkswagen’s “space wizard”, particularly on the North American market.

October 18

Volkswagen Leasing GmbH, the first German car leasing company, is founded in order to win business customers by integrating service and insurance. Volkswagen decides to take this step because 10 percent of all new car sales in the USA are already being channelled through leasing companies. At first, Volkswagen Leasing GmbH gears its activities to the needs of fleet customers who are increasingly demanding leasing options. Later, private customers are also increasingly attracted to leasing.

Volkswagen Leasing GmbH, the first German car leasing company, is founded in order to win business customers by integrating service and insurance. Volkswagen decides to take this step because 10 percent of all new car sales in the USA are already being channelled through leasing companies. At first, Volkswagen Leasing GmbH gears its activities to the needs of fleet customers who are increasingly demanding leasing options. Later, private customers are also increasingly attracted to leasing.

VW 1600 TL

Like its sister models the VW 1600 touring sedan is equipped with the new 12-volt system and driver and passenger head rests are available as an optinal extra from 1967: less storage space in the rear and limited rear visibility are the price of contemporary design.

Like its sister models the VW 1600 touring sedan is equipped with the new 12-volt system and driver and passenger head rests are available as an optinal extra from 1967: less storage space in the rear and limited rear visibility are the price of contemporary design.

1948 Beetle meets its 1968 counterpart

Improved driving characteristics, more powerful engines, numerous technical innovations and continually optimized safety are among the main changes to the Beetle over the last twenty years or so. The softly rounded lines and the throaty noise of the air-cooled boxer engine, however, remain the Beetle’s trademark.

Improved driving characteristics, more powerful engines, numerous technical innovations and continually optimized safety are among the main changes to the Beetle over the last twenty years or so. The softly rounded lines and the throaty noise of the air-cooled boxer engine, however, remain the Beetle’s trademark.

November 21

Volkswagen’s South African subsidiary SAMAD, in which Volkswagenwerk AG owns a 63 percent interest, is renamed Volkswagen of South Africa Ltd. It employs 2,458 people and sells 21,888 vehicles in 1966, an increase of about 21 percent. Its share of the passenger car market rises to 13.4 percent and to 10 percent in the light commercial vehicles segment. In 1974, Volkswagenwerk AG becomes the sole owner of the South African subsidiary.

Volkswagen’s South African subsidiary SAMAD, in which Volkswagenwerk AG owns a 63 percent interest, is renamed Volkswagen of South Africa Ltd. It employs 2,458 people and sells 21,888 vehicles in 1966, an increase of about 21 percent. Its share of the passenger car market rises to 13.4 percent and to 10 percent in the light commercial vehicles segment. In 1974, Volkswagenwerk AG becomes the sole owner of the South African subsidiary.

Volkswagen ad

“Von den vier meistgekauften Importwagen sind Volkswagen.” ( “Of the four top-selling imports are Volkswagens.”) Successful imports to the United States of America, the world’s largest automobile market: the Beetle, the VW 1600 Variant, the “Station Wagon” and the VW 1600 fastback head the list of imported cars. In 1966, the Beetle even ranked seventh in the US new car registration statistics. Volkswagenwerk AG sold 318,563 Beetle in the USA in 1966 with total sales that year running at 411,956 vehicles.

“Von den vier meistgekauften Importwagen sind Volkswagen.” ( “Of the four top-selling imports are Volkswagens.”)
Successful imports to the United States of America, the world’s largest automobile market: the Beetle, the VW 1600 Variant, the “Station Wagon” and the VW 1600 fastback head the list of imported cars. In 1966, the Beetle even ranked seventh in the US new car registration statistics. Volkswagenwerk AG sold 318,563 Beetle in the USA in 1966 with total sales that year running at 411,956 vehicles.

VW 1600 Variant ad

“Wie Sie Ihre Frau dazu bringen, dieses komische Auto zu mögen.” (“How to get your wife to like this strange car.”) This ad appeals direct to husbands with money to spend on a new car, providing them with good, honest advice on how to use their powers of persuasion with their wives. The everday utility of the VW Variant 1600, the ideal car for the family, just the job for just about every occasion – these are the arguments that tip the scales in favor of husband and wife finding the “right” car.

“Wie Sie Ihre Frau dazu bringen, dieses komische Auto zu mögen.” (“How to get your wife to like this strange car.”)
This ad appeals direct to husbands with money to spend on a new car, providing them with good, honest advice on how to use their powers of persuasion with their wives. The everday utility of the VW Variant 1600, the ideal car for the family, just the job for just about every occasion – these are the arguments that tip the scales in favor of husband and wife finding the “right” car.

Commercial “Le Mans”

On country lanes or the “Le Mans” racing circuit – in this commercial the Beetle is a winner on any terrain.

On country lanes or the “Le Mans” racing circuit – in this commercial the Beetle is a winner on any terrain.

Statistics of the Year

January 1

In accordance with an agreement between Volkswagen and the IG Metall metalworkers’ union, the working day of the regular shift is reduced to eight hours. All Volkswagen employees now work a 40-hour week with no reduction in pay.In accordance with an agreement between Volkswagen and the IG Metall metalworkers’ union, the working day of the regular shift is reduced to eight hours. All Volkswagen employees now work a 40-hour week with no reduction in pay.

In accordance with an agreement between Volkswagen and the IG Metall metalworkers’ union, the working day of the regular shift is reduced to eight hours. All Volkswagen employees now work a 40-hour week with no reduction in pay.

January 2

Volkswagenwerk AG introduces short-time working due to the declining demand for cars on the domestic market. During the recession of 1966/67, heralding the end of the post-war Economic Miracle, the Volkswagen Group suffers its first selling crisis. Production drops by almost 300,000 vehicles in 1967, and unit sales fall by more than 200,000. In order to boost demand, Volkswagen offers a specially priced “economy Beetle”, the VW 1200, selling at DM 4,485.Volkswagenwerk AG introduces short-time working due to the declining demand for cars on the domestic market. During the recession of 1966/67, heralding the end of the post-war Economic Miracle, the Volkswagen Group suffers its first selling crisis. Production drops by almost 300,000 vehicles in 1967, and unit sales fall by more than 200,000. In order to boost demand, Volkswagen offers a specially priced “economy Beetle”, the VW 1200, selling at DM 4,485.

Volkswagenwerk AG introduces short-time working due to the declining demand for cars on the domestic market. During the recession of 1966/67, heralding the end of the post-war Economic Miracle, the Volkswagen Group suffers its first selling crisis. Production drops by almost 300,000 vehicles in 1967, and unit sales fall by more than 200,000. In order to boost demand, Volkswagen offers a specially priced “economy Beetle”, the VW 1200, selling at DM 4,485.

Steam power

The Californain Beetle fan and hobby mechanic Richard J. Smith crossed the USA in his 1958 Beetle converted to run on steam. This Volkswagen “steam machine” was powered by a mixture of gasoline, petroleum and paint thinner.The Californain Beetle fan and hobby mechanic Richard J. Smith crossed the USA in his 1958 Beetle converted to run on steam. This Volkswagen “steam machine” was powered by a mixture of gasoline, petroleum and paint thinner.

The Californain Beetle fan and hobby mechanic Richard J. Smith crossed the USA in his 1958 Beetle converted to run on steam. This Volkswagen “steam machine” was powered by a mixture of gasoline, petroleum and paint thinner.

Vehicle safety

Ground-breaking progress in accident research at Volkswagen: modern telemetry methods borrowed from the aerospace industry deliver data of previously unknown accuracy and objectivity on how a vehicle behaves in an accident situation. From now on there is in theory no limit to the number of processes occurring in the vehicle that can be recorded, analyzed and compared. The upside to this breakthrough is an enormous increase in knowledge available for evaluation and significant savings in resources.Ground-breaking progress in accident research at Volkswagen: modern telemetry methods borrowed from the aerospace industry deliver data of previously unknown accuracy and objectivity on how a vehicle behaves in an accident situation. From now on there is in theory no limit to the number of processes occurring in the vehicle that can be recorded, analyzed and compared. The upside to this breakthrough is an enormous increase in knowledge available for evaluation and significant savings in resources.

Ground-breaking progress in accident research at Volkswagen: modern telemetry methods borrowed from the aerospace industry deliver data of previously unknown accuracy and objectivity on how a vehicle behaves in an accident situation. From now on there is in theory no limit to the number of processes occurring in the vehicle that can be recorded, analyzed and compared. The upside to this breakthrough is an enormous increase in knowledge available for evaluation and significant savings in resources.

August 3

The second generation of the Transporter is presented to German and international dealers at the City Hall in Hanover. Built at the Hanover factory, the second-generation model is still a typical Transporter, despite its new face and curved windscreen, the air vents below the windscreen, and its larger size. The spacious cab offers the comfort of a car, while the new instrument panel is highly ergonomic in design. Another new standard feature is the sliding door. Fitted out as a 1-tonne delivery van, an estate with a 5 cubic metre loading volume or with seating for up to 9 people, the Transporter is still a much in-demand master of versatility. Its rear-mounted 47 horsepower boxer engine achieves a top speed of 105 km/h, while fuel consumption of 10.4 litres per 100 kilometres keeps running costs down. With an entry-level price of DM 6,680 for the van, the model – designated internally as the T2 – is still the market leader in Germany. Demand driven by the launch of the new generation and the booming economy sees domestic production rise to 228,280 units in 1968.The second generation of the Transporter is presented to German and international dealers at the City Hall in Hanover. Built at the Hanover factory, the second-generation model is still a typical Transporter, despite its new face and curved windscreen, the air vents below the windscreen, and its larger size. The spacious cab offers the comfort of a car, while the new instrument panel is highly ergonomic in design. Another new standard feature is the sliding door. Fitted out as a 1-tonne delivery van, an estate with a 5 cubic metre loading volume or with seating for up to 9 people, the Transporter is still a much in-demand master of versatility. Its rear-mounted 47 horsepower boxer engine achieves a top speed of 105 km/h, while fuel consumption of 10.4 litres per 100 kilometres keeps running costs down. With an entry-level price of DM 6,680 for the van, the model – designated internally as the T2 – is still the market leader in Germany. Demand driven by the launch of the new generation and the booming economy sees domestic production rise to 228,280 units in 1968.

The second generation of the Transporter is presented to German and international dealers at the City Hall in Hanover. Built at the Hanover factory, the second-generation model is still a typical Transporter, despite its new face and curved windscreen, the air vents below the windscreen, and its larger size. The spacious cab offers the comfort of a car, while the new instrument panel is highly ergonomic in design. Another new standard feature is the sliding door. Fitted out as a 1-tonne delivery van, an estate with a 5 cubic metre loading volume or with seating for up to 9 people, the Transporter is still a much in-demand master of versatility. Its rear-mounted 47 horsepower boxer engine achieves a top speed of 105 km/h, while fuel consumption of 10.4 litres per 100 kilometres keeps running costs down. With an entry-level price of DM 6,680 for the van, the model – designated internally as the T2 – is still the market leader in Germany. Demand driven by the launch of the new generation and the booming economy sees domestic production rise to 228,280 units in 1968.

The new Beetle

With its advanced safety steering column, dual circuit braking system, safety rear view mirror and reinforced bumpers, the new Beetle range offers significantly improved vehicle safety.With its advanced safety steering column, dual circuit braking system, safety rear view mirror and reinforced bumpers, the new Beetle range offers significantly improved vehicle safety.

With its advanced safety steering column, dual circuit braking system, safety rear view mirror and reinforced bumpers, the new Beetle range offers significantly improved vehicle safety.

VW 1600 direct-injection engine

Volkswagen is smart: for the first time, a computer precisely calculates the optimum gasoline-air mix in the VW 1600 carburettor.Volkswagen is smart: for the first time, a computer precisely calculates the optimum gasoline-air mix in the VW 1600 carburettor.

Volkswagen is smart: for the first time, a computer precisely calculates the optimum gasoline-air mix in the VW 1600 carburettor.

September 14

Volkswagenwerk AG presents a number of technical innovations and design improvements at the IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show. The VW 1500 offers new driving comfort in the Type 1 range thanks to its automatic transmission with a hydraulic torque converter, which makes clutchless operation and multi-range driving possible. The fully automatic version in the VW 1600 series has a torque converter and a self-activating three-speed planetary gearbox. All Volkswagens now feature energy-absorbing safety steering columns, and the automatic vehicles have a double-jointed rear axle. A further widely admired innovation introduced by Volkswagen is the electronic direct fuel injection system. This fuel-saving device is initially installed only in vehicles manufactured for the US market.Volkswagenwerk AG presents a number of technical innovations and design improvements at the IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show. The VW 1500 offers new driving comfort in the Type 1 range thanks to its automatic transmission with a hydraulic torque converter, which makes clutchless operation and multi-range driving possible. The fully automatic version in the VW 1600 series has a torque converter and a self-activating three-speed planetary gearbox. All Volkswagens now feature energy-absorbing safety steering columns, and the automatic vehicles have a double-jointed rear axle. A further widely admired innovation introduced by Volkswagen is the electronic direct fuel injection system. This fuel-saving device is initially installed only in vehicles manufactured for the US market.

Volkswagenwerk AG presents a number of technical innovations and design improvements at the IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show. The VW 1500 offers new driving comfort in the Type 1 range thanks to its automatic transmission with a hydraulic torque converter, which makes clutchless operation and multi-range driving possible. The fully automatic version in the VW 1600 series has a torque converter and a self-activating three-speed planetary gearbox. All Volkswagens now feature energy-absorbing safety steering columns, and the automatic vehicles have a double-jointed rear axle. A further widely admired innovation introduced by Volkswagen is the electronic direct fuel injection system. This fuel-saving device is initially installed only in vehicles manufactured for the US market.

VW 1600 with automatic transmission

One of the most significant technical innovations at Volkswagen in 1967 is the introduction of automatic transmission in the VW 1600 series. The fully automatic version in the 1600 series has a torque converter and a self-activating planetary gear. The forecast that the European automobile market would follow in the footsteps of its US counterpart and increasingly turn to automatic transmission failed to materialize for the time being.One of the most significant technical innovations at Volkswagen in 1967 is the introduction of automatic transmission in the VW 1600 series. The fully automatic version in the 1600 series has a torque converter and a self-activating planetary gear. The forecast that the European automobile market would follow in the footsteps of its US counterpart and increasingly turn to automatic transmission failed to materialize for the time being.

One of the most significant technical innovations at Volkswagen in 1967 is the introduction of automatic transmission in the VW 1600 series. The fully automatic version in the 1600 series has a torque converter and a self-activating planetary gear. The forecast that the European automobile market would follow in the footsteps of its US counterpart and increasingly turn to automatic transmission failed to materialize for the time being.

Beetle ad

“Mindestens einer von 10 Millionen ...” (“With 34 wives, even a king has to cut a few corners.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Art Director: Jack Piccolo Texters: Claus Harden, Charles Ewell Photographer: Archive photo Award: Art Diretors Club Deutschland 1967 A king in Kenia: the ad tells the unusual story of tribal chief Njiiri from Kiambu, who travels through the difficult terrain in Kikuyuland in his Beetle, visiting his large family of 34 wives, 80 sons and more than 90 daughters. As the ad says: “His VW never lets him down.”A king in Kenia: the ad tells the unusual story of tribal chief Njiiri from Kiambu, who travels through the difficult terrain in Kikuyuland in his Beetle, visiting his large family of 34 wives, 80 sons and more than 90 daughters. As the ad says: “His VW never lets him down.”

“Mindestens einer von 10 Millionen ...” (“With 34 wives, even a king has to cut a few corners.”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Art Director: Jack Piccolo
Texters: Claus Harden, Charles Ewell
Photographer: Archive photo
Award: Art Diretors Club Deutschland 1967
A king in Kenia: the ad tells the unusual story of tribal chief Njiiri from Kiambu, who travels through the difficult terrain in Kikuyuland in his Beetle, visiting his large family of 34 wives, 80 sons and more than 90 daughters. As the ad says: “His VW never lets him down.”

Karmann Ghia ad

“Dies ist die neue, revolutionäre Konkurrenz für den Karmann Ghia.” (“This is the new, revolutionary competitor of the Karmann Ghia.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Photo and headline pose a bit of a riddle and create a mood of suspense that catches the reader’s attention: who is the Karmann-Ghia’s competitor? The riddle is solved in the copy text: the answer is the Volkswagen Automatic Karmann-Ghia, a version featuring many technical innovations that significantly improve the driving performance of the sports car.

“Dies ist die neue, revolutionäre Konkurrenz für den Karmann Ghia.” (“This is the new, revolutionary competitor of the Karmann Ghia.”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Photo and headline pose a bit of a riddle and create a mood of suspense that catches the reader’s attention: who is the Karmann-Ghia’s competitor? The riddle is solved in the copy text: the answer is the Volkswagen Automatic Karmann-Ghia, a version featuring many technical innovations that significantly improve the driving performance of the sports car.

Statistics of the Year

May 1

Kurt Lotz, who has been Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management since June 1967, succeeds Heinrich Nordhoff.

Kurt Lotz, who has been Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management since June 1967, succeeds Heinrich Nordhoff.

High-roof panel van

The new high-roof panel van with its molded plastic roof: the spacious one-tonne vehicle has a 6.2 cubic meter cargo bay, is 4.42 meters long and 1.77 meters wide. The standard high-roof version has a height of 2.29 meters, so the new Transporter offers more than one cubic meter of extra cargo space compared with the standard version of the panel van.

The new high-roof panel van with its molded plastic roof: the spacious one-tonne vehicle has a 6.2 cubic meter cargo bay, is 4.42 meters long and 1.77 meters wide. The standard high-roof version has a height of 2.29 meters, so the new Transporter offers more than one cubic meter of extra cargo space compared with the standard version of the panel van.

Country Buggy

Production of the Country Buggy designed by Volkswagen Australasia and Technical Development at Volkswagenwerk AG begins in the Australian plant at Clayton/Victoria. The Australian subsidiary builds a total of 1,956 units, 887 destined for the Australian market and the rest shipped as CKD kits to other countries in the region.

Production of the Country Buggy designed by Volkswagen Australasia and Technical Development at Volkswagenwerk AG begins in the Australian plant at Clayton/Victoria. The Australian subsidiary builds a total of 1,956 units, 887 destined for the Australian market and the rest shipped as CKD kits to other countries in the region.

June 14

Volkswagenwerk AG and the IG Metall metalworkers’ union sign a rationalisation protection agreement, by which the employee representatives are included in the process of implementing rationalisation measures.

Volkswagenwerk AG and the IG Metall metalworkers’ union sign a rationalisation protection agreement, by which the employee representatives are included in the process of implementing rationalisation measures.

“Emden” car radio

Keeping in touch with the rest of the world thanks to the Volkswagen car radio. Depending on listening preferences there is a choice between the “Wolfsburg” model for medium and long wave reception or the “Emden” for medium and very high frequency reception.

Keeping in touch with the rest of the world thanks to the Volkswagen car radio. Depending on listening preferences there is a choice between the “Wolfsburg” model for medium and long wave reception or the “Emden” for medium and very high frequency reception.

August 7

The new VW 411 is presented to the Volkswagen organisation in the Braunschweig City Hall. Available exfactory as a notchback and a “Variant” estate, as well as in two-door and four-door format, at prices starting from DM 8,165, the spacious touring saloon features an air-cooled rear-mounted engine developing 68 hp, reaching a top speed of 145 km/h. A state-of-the-art multi-link rear axle, anti-roll bars and independent wheel suspension assure safe road-holding. With the rear seat bench folded down, the Variant offers 1,780 litres of luggage space. The mid-class car built at the Wolfsburg factory, featuring automatic transmission and luxury equipment to attract the more discerning clientele, is not as big a hit as was hoped, with sales in 1969 totalling just 46,467 units.

The new VW 411 is presented to the Volkswagen organisation in the Braunschweig City Hall. Available exfactory as a notchback and a “Variant” estate, as well as in two-door and four-door format, at prices starting from DM 8,165, the spacious touring saloon features an air-cooled rear-mounted engine developing 68 hp, reaching a top speed of 145 km/h. A state-of-the-art multi-link rear axle, anti-roll bars and independent wheel suspension assure safe road-holding. With the rear seat bench folded down, the Variant offers 1,780 litres of luggage space. The mid-class car built at the Wolfsburg factory, featuring automatic transmission and luxury equipment to attract the more discerning clientele, is not as big a hit as was hoped, with sales in 1969 totalling just 46,467 units.

100,000th employee

Volkswagenwerk AG recruits its 100,000th employee, Mr. Johannes Rahmenführer, in Wolfsburg on August 16. In 1968 the workforce grows by roughly 13,000 to 104,975 employees.

Volkswagenwerk AG recruits its 100,000th employee, Mr. Johannes Rahmenführer, in Wolfsburg on August 16. In 1968 the workforce grows by roughly 13,000 to 104,975 employees.

September 19

A proving ground is opened near Ehra-Lessien on the southern edge of the Lüneburg Heath. In its final form, the site features a 100 kilometre test track with a variety of surfaces and gradients. The Volkswagen Group tests its vehicles here under everyday conditions with the aid of state-of-the-art equipment. A driving simulator is installed in 1970, enabling test programmes to be carried out without endangering personnel or material. In parallel, Volkswagen increases its resources of qualified staff by hiring engineers and technicians to strengthen research and development activities.

A proving ground is opened near Ehra-Lessien on the southern edge of the Lüneburg Heath. In its final form, the site features a 100 kilometre test track with a variety of surfaces and gradients. The Volkswagen Group tests its vehicles here under everyday conditions with the aid of state-of-the-art equipment. A driving simulator is installed in 1970, enabling test programmes to be carried out without endangering personnel or material. In parallel, Volkswagen increases its resources of qualified staff by hiring engineers and technicians to strengthen research and development activities.

VW 411

The Wolfsburg plant starts producing the VW 411. This partially redesigned model with a modern chassis, unitized body and 68 horsepower marks the end of the Beetle's technical development, as an air-cooled boxer engine is still in the rear.

The Wolfsburg plant starts producing the VW 411. This partially redesigned model with a modern chassis, unitized body and 68 horsepower marks the end of the Beetle's technical development, as an air-cooled boxer engine is still in the rear.

Herbie the Beetle

“Herbie” – the legendary Beetle bearing the number 53 – soon establishes itself as the most popular car in movie history. The cult Beetle starred in four Hollywood productions by 1980. Following a creative break of just under 25 years, “Herbie Fully Loaded” makes a comeback to the screen in 2005.

“Herbie” – the legendary Beetle bearing the number 53 – soon establishes itself as the most popular car in movie history. The cult Beetle starred in four Hollywood productions by 1980. Following a creative break of just under 25 years, “Herbie Fully Loaded” makes a comeback to the screen in 2005.

December 16/29

Volkswagenwerk AG and AB Scania Vabis enter into a consortium agreement by which Volkswagen acquires a one third share in Svenska Volkswagen AB, based in Södertälje. The company begins importing and selling Volkswagen and Porsche models in Sweden on January 1, 1969. The share-holding and the 10-year term of the consortium agreement protect Volkswagen’s access to the market and to the distribution network of the Swedish main importer in view of the upcoming merger of the Swedish commercial vehicles manufacturer with car-maker Saab. In 1970, Svenska Volkswagen AB acquires Volkswagen i Stockholm AB, which runs the retail operations in the Stockholm area. The company’s emerging selling strategy is already recognisable here: in-house control of the wholesaling of Group products on all major European markets.

Volkswagenwerk AG and AB Scania Vabis enter into a consortium agreement by which Volkswagen acquires a one third share in Svenska Volkswagen AB, based in Södertälje. The company begins importing and selling Volkswagen and Porsche models in Sweden on January 1, 1969. The share-holding and the 10-year term of the consortium agreement protect Volkswagen’s access to the market and to the distribution network of the Swedish main importer in view of the upcoming merger of the Swedish commercial vehicles manufacturer with car-maker Saab. In 1970, Svenska Volkswagen AB acquires Volkswagen i Stockholm AB, which runs the retail operations in the Stockholm area. The company’s emerging selling strategy is already recognisable here: in-house control of the wholesaling of Group products on all major European markets.

VW 411 ad

“Der Große aus Wolfsburg.” (“The big one from Wolfsburg.”) Big publicity for a big car: the VW 411 is presented in all its glory on a double-page spread – a superlative car from Wolfsburg. The copy lists the VW 411’s record-breaking achievements and concludes: “Some things are quite simply the best.”

“Der Große aus Wolfsburg.” (“The big one from Wolfsburg.”)
Big publicity for a big car: the VW 411 is presented in all its glory on a double-page spread – a superlative car from Wolfsburg. The copy lists the VW 411’s record-breaking achievements and concludes: “Some things are quite simply the best.”

Beetle ad

“Zehn Ereignisse, die Automobilgeschichte geschirbene haben.” (“Ten events that made automotive history.”) A journey through 123 years of automobile history from the invention of the pneumatic tire to computer-controlled direct injection. The last three milestones document Volkswagen’s achievements: series production of the Volkswagen sedan which began in Wolfsburg in December 1945, the introduction of series automatic transmission in 1967and the innovative electronic direct injection system that wrote history in 1968.

“Zehn Ereignisse, die Automobilgeschichte geschirbene haben.” (“Ten events that made automotive history.”)
A journey through 123 years of automobile history from the invention of the pneumatic tire to computer-controlled direct injection. The last three milestones document Volkswagen’s achievements: series production of the Volkswagen sedan which began in Wolfsburg in December 1945, the introduction of series automatic transmission in 1967and the innovative electronic direct injection system that wrote history in 1968.

Statistics of the Year

“Teenage Fair” in Düsseldorf

Throwing convention to the winds! The Beetle and Transporter are the cult vehicles of the flower-power generation.

Throwing convention to the winds! The Beetle and Transporter are the cult vehicles of the flower-power generation.

Collecting a new car in the USA

In the 1960s Americans loved the opportunity to collect their new car in person while on a trip to Germany. Today, a visit to the Autostadt and a tour of the factory make a stay in Wolfsburg a very special experience.

In the 1960s Americans loved the opportunity to collect their new car in person while on a trip to Germany. Today, a visit to the Autostadt and a tour of the factory make a stay in Wolfsburg a very special experience.

August 26

Auto Union GmbH and NSU Motorenwerke AG merge to form Audi NSU Auto Union AG. Volkswagenwerk AG owns 59.5 percent of the shares. The merger of the southern German subsidiaries marks the initiation of a unified Audi brand which culminates in 1977 with the ending of production of the NSO Ro 80. Audi NSU Auto Union AG is renamed Audi AG on January 1, 1985 and the company’s headquarters move from Neckarsulm to Ingolstadt.

Auto Union GmbH and NSU Motorenwerke AG merge to form Audi NSU Auto Union AG. Volkswagenwerk AG owns 59.5 percent of the shares. The merger of the southern German subsidiaries marks the initiation of a unified Audi brand which culminates in 1977 with the ending of production of the NSO Ro 80. Audi NSU Auto Union AG is renamed Audi AG on January 1, 1985 and the company’s headquarters move from Neckarsulm to Ingolstadt.

September 1

As a focus for systematic management development, Volkswagen opens the Haus Rhode training centre. While Volkswagenwerk AG plays a leading role in vocational training, there are significant gaps in its training of current and future management staff. Internships, which were previously rare, as well as training seminars and information symposia, are re-organised into a new training and development system by which managers are tutored in the fundamental principles and techniques of leadership and co-ordinated teamwork. The seminars also serve to develop a unified management style. Vocational training and on-the-job education courses are likewise expanded in stages over the following years.

As a focus for systematic management development, Volkswagen opens the Haus Rhode training centre. While Volkswagenwerk AG plays a leading role in vocational training, there are significant gaps in its training of current and future management staff. Internships, which were previously rare, as well as training seminars and information symposia, are re-organised into a new training and development system by which managers are tutored in the fundamental principles and techniques of leadership and co-ordinated teamwork. The seminars also serve to develop a unified management style. Vocational training and on-the-job education courses are likewise expanded in stages over the following years.

Volkswagen plants in Germany

Taking eastern Lower Saxony as the geographic center with the plants in Wolfsburg, Brunswick and Hanover – soon to be followed by Salzgitter – Volkswagen’s decentralized production structure in Germany stretches from Ingolstadt to Emden.

Taking eastern Lower Saxony as the geographic center with the plants in Wolfsburg, Brunswick and Hanover – soon to be followed by Salzgitter – Volkswagen’s decentralized production structure in Germany stretches from Ingolstadt to Emden.

September 10

The Type 181 developed on behalf of the German military is launched at the IAA International Motor Show as a “multi-purpose vehicle”. With its tried and proven rear-mounted engine design, its 44 horsepower engine and its robust construction, the vehicle delivers astounding off-road capability. The sales brochure talks of a “vehicle for men who have to get through”. Highlight features of the open-top four-seater are its forward-folding windscreen, its fold-away PVC all-weather top and slot-in windows for the four doors. The ex-factory list price is DM 8,500.

The Type 181 developed on behalf of the German military is launched at the IAA International Motor Show as a “multi-purpose vehicle”. With its tried and proven rear-mounted engine design, its 44 horsepower engine and its robust construction, the vehicle delivers astounding off-road capability. The sales brochure talks of a “vehicle for men who have to get through”. Highlight features of the open-top four-seater are its forward-folding windscreen, its fold-away PVC all-weather top and slot-in windows for the four doors. The ex-factory list price is DM 8,500.

Production in Wolfsburg

Volkswagen intensifies its efforts to recruit employees from abroad in order to meet demand for labor. The share of such workers in the Volkswagenwerk AG workforce rises from 7.6 to 8.9 percent during 1969. Of the 10,006 foreign employees, the largest group comes from Italy (6,176), followed by employes of Greek, Spanish and Turkish nationality.

Volkswagen intensifies its efforts to recruit employees from abroad in order to meet demand for labor. The share of such workers in the Volkswagenwerk AG workforce rises from 7.6 to 8.9 percent during 1969. Of the 10,006 foreign employees, the largest group comes from Italy (6,176), followed by employes of Greek, Spanish and Turkish nationality.

September 10

At the IAA International Motor Show Volkswagen presents the new VW-Porsche 914, a joint venture between Volkswagenwerk AG and Dr.-Ing. h.c. F. Porsche KG. The sales brochure highlights that the concept underlying the model is founded essentially on Porsche’s 30 years of motorsport experience. As a “genuine sports car”, the brochure states, the VW-Porsche 914 features a mid-mounted engine providing it with an extremely low centre of gravity and ideal weight distribution. The two-seater is initially marketed in two versions: the 914 and the 914/6. The 914 is powered by an 80 hp 1.7 litre four-cylinder engine with electronic fuel injection, while the 914/6 features an air-cooled 2-litre six-cylinder engine developing 110 hp. The entry-level price is DM 11,954.70. Sales are handled by the joint venture VW-Porsche Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH founded on March 11, 1969.

At the IAA International Motor Show Volkswagen presents the new VW-Porsche 914, a joint venture between Volkswagenwerk AG and Dr.-Ing. h.c. F. Porsche KG. The sales brochure highlights that the concept underlying the model is founded essentially on Porsche’s 30 years of motorsport experience. As a “genuine sports car”, the brochure states, the VW-Porsche 914 features a mid-mounted engine providing it with an extremely low centre of gravity and ideal weight distribution. The two-seater is initially marketed in two versions: the 914 and the 914/6. The 914 is powered by an 80 hp 1.7 litre four-cylinder engine with electronic fuel injection, while the 914/6 features an air-cooled 2-litre six-cylinder engine developing 110 hp. The entry-level price is DM 11,954.70. Sales are handled by the joint venture VW-Porsche Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH founded on March 11, 1969.

Research and Development

Volkswagen halts the expansion of the research and development department for the time being. Its tasks include the further improvement of current models and their components as well as the design of new vehicles and powertrains. Special emphasis is given to researching safety features and the reduction of exhaust emissions for which the engineers and technicians utilized modern measuring and test equipment. By using methods of gas dynamics combustion is improved in order to enhance conventional powertrains. Computer controlled simulators realistically replicate motion on and in the vehicle. For the first time climate and altitude chambers are used to help test the safety of the vehicle under different environmental conditions.

Volkswagen halts the expansion of the research and development department for the time being. Its tasks include the further improvement of current models and their components as well as the design of new vehicles and powertrains. Special emphasis is given to researching safety features and the reduction of exhaust emissions for which the engineers and technicians utilized modern measuring and test equipment. By using methods of gas dynamics combustion is improved in order to enhance conventional powertrains. Computer controlled simulators realistically replicate motion on and in the vehicle. For the first time climate and altitude chambers are used to help test the safety of the vehicle under different environmental conditions.

October 1

Volkswagen of America takes on the importer role for Audi and Porsche models and establishes an independent selling organisation for the two brands, which by the end of 1995 incorporates Audi and Porsche dealers.

Volkswagen of America takes on the importer role for Audi and Porsche models and establishes an independent selling organisation for the two brands, which by the end of 1995 incorporates Audi and Porsche dealers.

Beetle ad

“Da weiß man, was man hat.” (“What you don't see is what you get.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Art Director: Richard Baistrow Texter: Werner Butter Photographer: Peter Möschlin Award: Art Diretors Club Deutschland 1970 Helmut Schmitz, the creative mind behind the Beetle campaign, said of this ad: “A typical example of a statement that wouldn’t work for many other products. Very few products have such a strong quality image that you can get away with a headline like “You won’t get taken for a ride”.

“Da weiß man, was man hat.” (“What you don't see is what you get.”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Art Director: Richard Baistrow
Texter: Werner Butter
Photographer: Peter Möschlin
Award: Art Diretors Club Deutschland 1970
Helmut Schmitz, the creative mind behind the Beetle campaign, said of this ad: “A typical example of a statement that wouldn’t work for many other products. Very few products have such a strong quality image that you can get away with a headline like “You won’t get taken for a ride”.

Beetle ad

“Das liebt die Welt an Deutschland.” (“What the world loves about Germany.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Art Director: Richard Baistrow Texter: Werner Butter Photographer: H. Klocke Award: Art Diretors Club Deutschland 1969 In this ad, the export best-seller from Volkswagen is an ambassador of German culture abroad along with Cologne Cathedral, the cuckoo clock and the dachshund. The Beetle is a symbol of German culture embodying the virtues of “Made in Germany” and is perceived and purchased in the farthest-flung corners of the globe because it is “typically German.”

“Das liebt die Welt an Deutschland.” (“What the world loves about Germany.”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Art Director: Richard Baistrow
Texter: Werner Butter
Photographer: H. Klocke
Award: Art Diretors Club Deutschland 1969
In this ad, the export best-seller from Volkswagen is an ambassador of German culture abroad along with Cologne Cathedral, the cuckoo clock and the dachshund. The Beetle is a symbol of German culture embodying the virtues of “Made in Germany” and is perceived and purchased in the farthest-flung corners of the globe because it is “typically German.”

Commercial

Commercial “Käfer Killer” (“Beetle killer.”) The message: “There’s life in the old dog yet!”

Commercial “Käfer Killer” (“Beetle killer.”)
The message: “There’s life in the old dog yet!”

Statistics of the Year

March 1

With the takeover of Autovermietung Selbstfahrer Union GmbH, Germany’s largest car hire company, the Volkswagen Group strengthens its involvement in this growth sector. Renamed SU interRent Autovermietung GmbH with effect from January 1, 1971, the subsidiary merges in 1988 with Europcar and is renamed Europcar International S.A. Volkswagen owns a 50 percent interest in the company located in Boulogne-Billancourt, which operates in eight countries and has its own fleet of 40,000 vehicles. On January 1, 2000, Volkswagen takes full ownership of the Europcar group.

With the takeover of Autovermietung Selbstfahrer Union GmbH, Germany’s largest car hire company, the Volkswagen Group strengthens its involvement in this growth sector. Renamed SU interRent Autovermietung GmbH with effect from January 1, 1971, the subsidiary merges in 1988 with Europcar and is renamed Europcar International S.A. Volkswagen owns a 50 percent interest in the company located in Boulogne-Billancourt, which operates in eight countries and has its own fleet of 40,000 vehicles. On January 1, 2000, Volkswagen takes full ownership of the Europcar group.

600,000 Volkswagen for the Netherlands

Another memorable anniversary: on April 24, 1972 Volkswagen celebrated the completion of the 600,000th vehicle for the Dutch market. Beetle sedan exports to neighbouring Holland began 23 years earlier, in October 1947, marking the beginning of global export success for Volkswagen.

Another memorable anniversary: on April 24, 1972 Volkswagen celebrated the completion of the 600,000th vehicle for the Dutch market. Beetle sedan exports to neighbouring Holland began 23 years earlier, in October 1947, marking the beginning of global export success for Volkswagen.

Buggy

The Buggy – the automotive expression of contemporary leisure. Carefree and unconventional, hinting at a lifestyle originating on the US West Coast and soon to hit Germany, too. The Californian way of life epitomized by the music of the Beach Boys finds its automobile soul mate in the design and engineering of the Buggy. The vehicle has a glass fiber reinforced plastic body mounted on a shortened Type 1 chassis and powered by a four-stroke rear-mounted boxer engine and comes in bright colors such as blood orange, Irish green and lemon yellow.

The Buggy – the automotive expression of contemporary leisure. Carefree and unconventional, hinting at a lifestyle originating on the US West Coast and soon to hit Germany, too. The Californian way of life epitomized by the music of the Beach Boys finds its automobile soul mate in the design and engineering of the Buggy. The vehicle has a glass fiber reinforced plastic body mounted on a shortened Type 1 chassis and powered by a four-stroke rear-mounted boxer engine and comes in bright colors such as blood orange, Irish green and lemon yellow.

2 million Type 3

The two millionth Volkswagen Type 3, a VW 1600 hatchback sedan, leaves the assembly line in Wolfsburg on June 16, 1970. The anniversary vehicle was destined for export to the UK. Volkswagen built a total of 2,587,989 Type 3 units from start of production in 1961 to the model change in 1973.

The two millionth Volkswagen Type 3, a VW 1600 hatchback sedan, leaves the assembly line in Wolfsburg on June 16, 1970. The anniversary vehicle was destined for export to the UK. Volkswagen built a total of 2,587,989 Type 3 units from start of production in 1961 to the model change in 1973.

August 7

The first K 70 front-wheel drive and watercooled Volkswagens roll off the production line at the newly constructed plant in Salzgitter. The upper mid-class four-door saloon is powered by a new 1.6 litre four-cylinder in-line engine optionally developing 75 or 90 horsepower. The “assembled wealth of good ideas”, as the advertising for the K 70 boasts, delivers a top speed of 158 km/h and can be bought for DM 9,450. The NSU-designed saloon is brought into the portfolio under the Volkswagen trademark and marks the transition to a new Volkswagen generation.

The first K 70 front-wheel drive and watercooled Volkswagens roll off the production line at the newly constructed plant in Salzgitter. The upper mid-class four-door saloon is powered by a new 1.6 litre four-cylinder in-line engine optionally developing 75 or 90 horsepower. The “assembled wealth of good ideas”, as the advertising for the K 70 boasts, delivers a top speed of 158 km/h and can be bought for DM 9,450. The NSU-designed saloon is brought into the portfolio under the Volkswagen trademark and marks the transition to a new Volkswagen generation.

Rail transport from Wolfsburg

Most Volkswagen leave the plant by rail – both in 1970 and today. Thousands of vehicles leave the loading station in Wolfsburg every day, heading for various destinations.

Most Volkswagen leave the plant by rail – both in 1970 and today. Thousands of vehicles leave the loading station in Wolfsburg every day, heading for various destinations.

K 70 production in Salzgitter

To begin with, production is dominated by the K 70. In 1971 VW 411 assembly is added, followed by part of the assembly of the Passat in 1973. In total the site produces more than 400,000 vehicles, over half of them K 70. The worldwide recession and overcapacity force the closure of vehicle assembly in September 1975.

To begin with, production is dominated by the K 70. In 1971 VW 411 assembly is added, followed by part of the assembly of the Passat in 1973. In total the site produces more than 400,000 vehicles, over half of them K 70. The worldwide recession and overcapacity force the closure of vehicle assembly in September 1975.

Wolfsburg medical center

The Volkswagen medical center at the Wolfsburg plant always keeps up-to-date on medical developments. An expert team of doctors and assistants looks after the workforce, providing anything from preventive healthcare to emergency first aid and rehabilitation measures.

The Volkswagen medical center at the Wolfsburg plant always keeps up-to-date on medical developments. An expert team of doctors and assistants looks after the workforce, providing anything from preventive healthcare to emergency first aid and rehabilitation measures.

Fire at the plant in Brazil

At around 8 a.m. a major fire breaks out at Volkswagen’s Brazilian site in São Bernardo do Campo. The fire destroys a production hall including a paint shop as well as extensive stocks. As a result of the damage daily production is more than halved until reconstruction is complete.

At around 8 a.m. a major fire breaks out at Volkswagen’s Brazilian site in São Bernardo do Campo. The fire destroys a production hall including a paint shop as well as extensive stocks. As a result of the damage daily production is more than halved until reconstruction is complete.

October 20

A press conference is held to publicly present the new Salzgitter plant and the K 70 built there. The new plant, which took just under two years to build, produces engines as well as complete vehicles. By the end of 1970 the engine-building operation, housed in shed 1, is employing more than 2,000 of the total workforce of 5,108 people. The new plant site is linked to the long-term aim of transferring engine construction from Hanover in order to increase manufacturing capacities for the Transporter. From January 1971 Salzgitter produces the engines for the Audi 100, leaving Auto Union free to gain additional capacities in order to exploit market opportunities as they arise. By the end of 1971, the workforce in Salzgitter has grown to 8,000. The selling crisis of the K 70 and the onset of the worldwide recession in 1974/75 brings car manufacturing in Salzgitter to an end in September 1975. This site had additionally taken on the assembly of the VW 411 in 1971 and part of the Passat production in 1973. In total the site outputs more than 400,000 vehicles, including 210,891 of the K 70 model. In 1975, engine production reaches almost 3,800 units per day.

A press conference is held to publicly present the new Salzgitter plant and the K 70 built there. The new plant, which took just under two years to build, produces engines as well as complete vehicles. By the end of 1970 the engine-building operation, housed in shed 1, is employing more than 2,000 of the total workforce of 5,108 people. The new plant site is linked to the long-term aim of transferring engine construction from Hanover in order to increase manufacturing capacities for the Transporter. From January 1971 Salzgitter produces the engines for the Audi 100, leaving Auto Union free to gain additional capacities in order to exploit market opportunities as they arise. By the end of 1971, the workforce in Salzgitter has grown to 8,000. The selling crisis of the K 70 and the onset of the worldwide recession in 1974/75 brings car manufacturing in Salzgitter to an end in September 1975. This site had additionally taken on the assembly of the VW 411 in 1971 and part of the Passat production in 1973. In total the site outputs more than 400,000 vehicles, including 210,891 of the K 70 model. In 1975, engine production reaches almost 3,800 units per day.

VW 411 ad

“Der Wagen, der das Angenehme ...” (“The car that combines the appeal of a luxury saloon …”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Creative Director: Helmut Schmitz Art Director: C. Rainer Texter: L. Nagel Photographer: Th. Meyer A new layout for the VW 411 LE ad: the three columns of copy take up the top quarter and the headline in proverb style fills the left-hand middle section of the double page. The star of the ad is the VW 411, which is presented with all the features of a luxury sedan such as comfortable seats, draught-free air circulation, height-adjustable front seats and auxiliary heating.

“Der Wagen, der das Angenehme ...” (“The car that combines the appeal of a luxury saloon …”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Creative Director: Helmut Schmitz
Art Director: C. Rainer
Texter: L. Nagel
Photographer: Th. Meyer
A new layout for the VW 411 LE ad: the three columns of copy take up the top quarter and the headline in proverb style fills the left-hand middle section of the double page. The star of the ad is the VW 411, which is presented with all the features of a luxury sedan such as comfortable seats, draught-free air circulation, height-adjustable front seats and auxiliary heating.

K70 ad

“Er ist da. VW K 70.” (“It's here. VW K 70.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Creative Director: Helmut Schmitz Art Director: J. Hugendubel Texter: Werner Butter Photographers: Th. Meyer, B. Stuart Expectations were high pre-market launch of the VW K 70: in September 1969, SPIEGEL called the K 70 “a mysterious super car that has fueled the fantasy of testers for many a year.” One year later the international motor press test drove the K 70 in the French city of Port Grimaud. This ad coincided with the launch of the VW K 70 in Germany in October 1970. The striking headline of “It’s here!” responded to the public mood and showed that Volkswagen was on the ball.

“Er ist da. VW K 70.” (“It's here. VW K 70.”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Creative Director: Helmut Schmitz
Art Director: J. Hugendubel
Texter: Werner Butter
Photographers: Th. Meyer, B. Stuart
Expectations were high pre-market launch of the VW K 70: in September 1969, SPIEGEL called the K 70 “a mysterious super car that has fueled the fantasy of testers for many a year.” One year later the international motor press test drove the K 70 in the French city of Port Grimaud. This ad coincided with the launch of the VW K 70 in Germany in October 1970. The striking headline of “It’s here!” responded to the public mood and showed that Volkswagen was on the ball.

Statistics of the Year

January 6

By means of a capital investment, Volkswagenwerk AG acquires a 75 percent share in Volkswagen Bruxelles S.A., which was founded on December 31, 1970. The company handles imports to Belgium and runs the assembly plant built by the authorised importer, which has a capacity of 400 vehicles a day. Volkswagen Bruxelles becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagenwerk AG at the end of 1975. When Audi assumes responsibility for production at the Brussels plant, the name of the company is changed to Audi Brussels S.A/N.V. on May 30, 2007.

By means of a capital investment, Volkswagenwerk AG acquires a 75 percent share in Volkswagen Bruxelles S.A., which was founded on December 31, 1970. The company handles imports to Belgium and runs the assembly plant built by the authorised importer, which has a capacity of 400 vehicles a day. Volkswagen Bruxelles becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagenwerk AG at the end of 1975. When Audi assumes responsibility for production at the Brussels plant, the name of the company is changed to Audi Brussels S.A/N.V. on May 30, 2007.

R&D building in Wolfsburg

Three years after planning had commenced, the Research and Development Division moves into the newly-completed high-rise building which has since become a landmark on the company’s site in Wolfsburg.

Three years after planning had commenced, the Research and Development Division moves into the newly-completed high-rise building which has since become a landmark on the company’s site in Wolfsburg.

Beetle-cum-Transporter

Volkswagen Beetle-cum-Transporter – two-in-one: Volkswagen’s unmistakable duo for over twenty years.

Volkswagen Beetle-cum-Transporter – two-in-one: Volkswagen’s unmistakable duo for over twenty years.

Wolfsburg takes to the skies

Volkswagen vehicles already set an example on land – Lufthansa follows suit in the air, spreading the name of Wolfsburg all over the world by christening one of its passenger aircraft by the same name.

Volkswagen vehicles already set an example on land – Lufthansa follows suit in the air, spreading the name of Wolfsburg all over the world by christening one of its passenger aircraft by the same name.

Diagnosis and maintenance system

All Volkswagen customers can arrange for their vehicles to be given a thorough check-up. Trained mechanics at all Volkswagen service stations can compile an individual diagnosis for any Volkswagen with the help of 50 individual tests. Exhaustive service checks with the findings detailed in a service report give customers an excellent idea of the functional reliability and safety of their cars. Customers are given an estimate of the cost and can arrange when to take their car in for repair based on the urgency of the work.

All Volkswagen customers can arrange for their vehicles to be given a thorough check-up. Trained mechanics at all Volkswagen service stations can compile an individual diagnosis for any Volkswagen with the help of 50 individual tests. Exhaustive service checks with the findings detailed in a service report give customers an excellent idea of the functional reliability and safety of their cars. Customers are given an estimate of the cost and can arrange when to take their car in for repair based on the urgency of the work.

Beetle parade in Mexico

Once homologation of two-door vehicles for use as taxis in Mexico had been issued, the first 1,000 Volkswagen Beetle arrive in Mexico City ready for service in December. More than 80,000 Beetles are already used as taxis in the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and the rounded silhouette of the “escarabajo”, as the Beetle is called in Mexico, soon becomes a familiar sight on the roads in the capital.

Once homologation of two-door vehicles for use as taxis in Mexico had been issued, the first 1,000 Volkswagen Beetle arrive in Mexico City ready for service in December. More than 80,000 Beetles are already used as taxis in the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and the rounded silhouette of the “escarabajo”, as the Beetle is called in Mexico, soon becomes a familiar sight on the roads in the capital.

September 2

At the Hockenheimring circuit, German motoring journalists are invited to a demonstration of VW’s computerised diagnostics system, which sets new standards in vehicle servicing. From the end of June, all Volkswagen vehicles are equipped with a diagnostic network accessed via a central port to check their safety and functionality. Starting in August, Volkswagen’s service workshops are gradually equipped with computers. IT also provides new impetus to research and development activities, including the use of an automatic scanner in the design of body shells. Mainframe computers and plotters make possible a significant reduction in the time necessary for the development of new bodies. Computer systems are thus fully integrated into all areas of engineering and service.

At the Hockenheimring circuit, German motoring journalists are invited to a demonstration of VW’s computerised diagnostics system, which sets new standards in vehicle servicing. From the end of June, all Volkswagen vehicles are equipped with a diagnostic network accessed via a central port to check their safety and functionality. Starting in August, Volkswagen’s service workshops are gradually equipped with computers. IT also provides new impetus to research and development activities, including the use of an automatic scanner in the design of body shells. Mainframe computers and plotters make possible a significant reduction in the time necessary for the development of new bodies. Computer systems are thus fully integrated into all areas of engineering and service.

September 24

Siegfried Ehlers is elected Chairman of the Works Council.

Siegfried Ehlers is elected Chairman of the Works Council.

October 1

Rudolf Leiding, former President of Volkswagen do Brasil and Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi NSU Auto Union AG, becomes Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagenwerk AG.

Rudolf Leiding, former President of Volkswagen do Brasil and Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi NSU Auto Union AG, becomes Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagenwerk AG.

Beetle ad

“Das Kraft-Ei.” (“This egg packs a punch.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Creative Director: Helmut Schmitz Art Director: Erwin Schmidt Texter: Reinhold Scheer Photographer: Erwin Schmidt “Es gibt Formen, die man nicht verbessern kann.” (“Some shapes are hard to improve on.”) is the headline of the famous Beetle ad from 1962 which provided the inspiration for the motive used for the VW 1302 S. This latest “Kraft-Ei” (power egg) is bulkier and more rounded than its predecessor, a testimony to technological progress: 50 hp, a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour, semi-trailing arm rear suspension and MacPherson strut suspension at the front.

“Das Kraft-Ei.” (“This egg packs a punch.”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Creative Director: Helmut Schmitz
Art Director: Erwin Schmidt
Texter: Reinhold Scheer
Photographer: Erwin Schmidt
“Es gibt Formen, die man nicht verbessern kann.” (“Some shapes are hard to improve on.”) is the headline of the famous Beetle ad from 1962 which provided the inspiration for the motive used for the VW 1302 S. This latest “Kraft-Ei” (power egg) is bulkier and more rounded than its predecessor, a testimony to technological progress: 50 hp, a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour, semi-trailing arm rear suspension and MacPherson strut suspension at the front.

Beetle ad

“Der Käfer, der 13 Millionen überholt.” (“The Beetle that overtakes 13 million Beetles.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Creative Director: Helmut Schmitz Art Director: Richard Bairstow Texter: G. Simon Photographer: Peter Möschlin This ad tells the story of the Beetle’s constant technological development: the new models are in the fast lane thanks to a 50 hp engine, MacPherson suspension at the front and semi-trailing arm rear suspension. The tighter turning circle, 260 liters of cargo space and 37 further improvements are strong arguments in favor of the million-selling model. The storyboard uses a cinematic presentation to convey its message: the VW 1302 and VW 1302 S relentlessly overtake their predecessor which is in itself by no means an automotive nobody, but in fact the Volkswagen sedan which has already found 13 million owners and will continue to inspire new customers.

“Der Käfer, der 13 Millionen überholt.” (“The Beetle that overtakes 13 million Beetles.”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Creative Director: Helmut Schmitz
Art Director: Richard Bairstow
Texter: G. Simon
Photographer: Peter Möschlin
This ad tells the story of the Beetle’s constant technological development: the new models are in the fast lane thanks to a 50 hp engine, MacPherson suspension at the front and semi-trailing arm rear suspension. The tighter turning circle, 260 liters of cargo space and 37 further improvements are strong arguments in favor of the million-selling model. The storyboard uses a cinematic presentation to convey its message: the VW 1302 and VW 1302 S relentlessly overtake their predecessor which is in itself by no means an automotive nobody, but in fact the Volkswagen sedan which has already found 13 million owners and will continue to inspire new customers.

Statistics of the Year

DUDU can!

Director Rudolf Zehetgruber creates the DUDU movies, the German pendant to Hollywood’s successful super-Beetle Herbie. The appealing all-rounder and his friend and owner Jimmy Bondi star in a total of five productions: “Ein Käfer geht aufs Ganze” (1971), “Ein Käfer gibt Vollgas” (1972), “Ein Käfer auf Extratour” (1973), “Das verrückteste Auto der Welt” (1975) and “Zwei tolle Käfer räumen auf” (1978).

Director Rudolf Zehetgruber creates the DUDU movies, the German pendant to Hollywood’s successful super-Beetle Herbie. The appealing all-rounder and his friend and owner Jimmy Bondi star in a total of five productions: “Ein Käfer geht aufs Ganze” (1971), “Ein Käfer gibt Vollgas” (1972), “Ein Käfer auf Extratour” (1973), “Das verrückteste Auto der Welt” (1975) and “Zwei tolle Käfer räumen auf” (1978).

Beetle overtakes Tin Lizzy

On February 4, 1972, “Bild” newspaper publishes an article headlined “Beetle takes over at the top” in its “news of the day” section, referring to the upcoming production record at Volkswagenwerk AG.

On February 4, 1972, “Bild” newspaper publishes an article headlined “Beetle takes over at the top” in its “news of the day” section, referring to the upcoming production record at Volkswagenwerk AG.

February 17

With 15,007,034 units produced, the Beetle breaks the record of the legendary Tin Lizzy, the Ford Motor Company’s Model-T built from 1908 to 1927. The Beetle is the new World Champion.

With 15,007,034 units produced, the Beetle breaks the record of the legendary Tin Lizzy, the Ford Motor Company’s Model-T built from 1908 to 1927. The Beetle is the new World Champion.

Experimental safety car

As the first non-US automaker, Volkswagen presents a safety vehicle named the ESVW I (Experimental Safety Volkswagen). It is planned to standardized the safety innovations demonstrated by the vehicle study, including an antilock breaking system and a passive seatbelt system, in a next step and gradually incorporate them in series production.

As the first non-US automaker, Volkswagen presents a safety vehicle named the ESVW I (Experimental Safety Volkswagen). It is planned to standardized the safety innovations demonstrated by the vehicle study, including an antilock breaking system and a passive seatbelt system, in a next step and gradually incorporate them in series production.

March 8

Volkswagenwerk AG signs an investment agreement with the Yugoslavian importer UNIS for the construction of a local production site. In accordance with this agreement, the joint venture Tvornica Automobila Sarajevo (TAS), based in Vogosca, is founded on June 14th, and signs up to the investment agreement on August 8th. TAS, in which Volkswagenwerk AG holds a 49 percent share, initially produces replacement parts and standard production parts for the German car-maker. After a year-long construction period, the new plant starts assembling the VW 1200, 1300 and 1303 models on November 10, 1973. At first, production capacity is about 20 vehicles a day. In 1976, the site switches to production of the Golf. On transfer of the entire Caddy production to Sarajevo, the Yugoslavian company starts producing for export markets in 1982. In the Autumn of 1985, the second-generation Golf goes into production. In 1988, 3,109 employees produce a total of 28,341 vehicles, of which 15,184 are delivered to Volkswagen AG. On September 28, 1989, the 300,000th Volkswagen, an alpine white Golf, rolls off the production line. In 1990, the Yugoslavian company achieves a new production record of 37,411 vehicles. The civil war and collapse of the economy result in production being stopped in 1992.

Volkswagenwerk AG signs an investment agreement with the Yugoslavian importer UNIS for the construction of a local production site. In accordance with this agreement, the joint venture Tvornica Automobila Sarajevo (TAS), based in Vogosca, is founded on June 14th, and signs up to the investment agreement on August 8th. TAS, in which Volkswagenwerk AG holds a 49 percent share, initially produces replacement parts and standard production parts for the German car-maker. After a year-long construction period, the new plant starts assembling the VW 1200, 1300 and 1303 models on November 10, 1973. At first, production capacity is about 20 vehicles a day. In 1976, the site switches to production of the Golf. On transfer of the entire Caddy production to Sarajevo, the Yugoslavian company starts producing for export markets in 1982. In the Autumn of 1985, the second-generation Golf goes into production. In 1988, 3,109 employees produce a total of 28,341 vehicles, of which 15,184 are delivered to Volkswagen AG. On September 28, 1989, the 300,000th Volkswagen, an alpine white Golf, rolls off the production line. In 1990, the Yugoslavian company achieves a new production record of 37,411 vehicles. The civil war and collapse of the economy result in production being stopped in 1992.

Basic Transporter (Muli)

With the “Muli”, Volkswagen plans to offer a simple, low-cost commercial vehicle specially designed for use in developing countries where the road networks are not very well developed. The basic Transporter comprises a flat-paneled body and proven Volkswagen powertrains such as an air-cooled 1.6 liter boxer engine, and can be assembled with a minimum of tools and very little technical knowledge.

With the “Muli”, Volkswagen plans to offer a simple, low-cost commercial vehicle specially designed for use in developing countries where the road networks are not very well developed. The basic Transporter comprises a flat-paneled body and proven Volkswagen powertrains such as an air-cooled 1.6 liter boxer engine, and can be assembled with a minimum of tools and very little technical knowledge.

3,000,000 remanufactured powertrains from Kassel

The Volkswagen remanufacturing service celebrates the completion of the three millionth remanufactured powertrain at the Kassel plant. Business with remanufactured powertrains accounts for approximately 25 percent of the entire spare parts business. Roughly two-thirds of these powertrains are used in Germany, while the remaining third are destined for Volkswagen service partners all over the world.

The Volkswagen remanufacturing service celebrates the completion of the three millionth remanufactured powertrain at the Kassel plant. Business with remanufactured powertrains accounts for approximately 25 percent of the entire spare parts business. Roughly two-thirds of these powertrains are used in Germany, while the remaining third are destined for Volkswagen service partners all over the world.

June 21

Based on the provisions of the amended Works Constitution Act, a new General Works Council is set up and given expanded rights of co-determination and involvement. Siegfried Ehlers is elected Chairman.

Based on the provisions of the amended Works Constitution Act, a new General Works Council is set up and given expanded rights of co-determination and involvement. Siegfried Ehlers is elected Chairman.

Beetle for “What’s up, Doc?” movie

Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal star in director Peter Bogdanovich’s screwball comedy “What’s up, Doc?”, but the secret star of the breathtaking chase sequences through the streets of San Francisco is a beautifully decorated wedding Beetle!!

Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal star in director Peter Bogdanovich’s screwball comedy “What’s up, Doc?”, but the secret star of the breathtaking chase sequences through the streets of San Francisco is a beautifully decorated wedding Beetle!!

VW Porsche 914 ad

“Der VW-Porsche überholt nicht nur Traditionen.” (“The VW Porsche leaves more than just traditions in the dust.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Art Director: Richard Bairstow Texter: Werner Butter A new version of the fast lane motif. The VW Porsche 914, a cooperative venture from Wolfsburg, Zuffenhausen and Osnabrück, marks a new beginning. For Volkswagenwerk AG and Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, the joint project symbolizes the start of the production and sale of a sports car that is within the budget of broad sections of the population. The VW Porsche 914 with its innovative mid engine concept combines the characteristics of a convertible and a coupé and soon became the best-selling sports car in Germany.

“Der VW-Porsche überholt nicht nur Traditionen.” (“The VW Porsche leaves more than just traditions in the dust.”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Art Director: Richard Bairstow
Texter: Werner Butter
A new version of the fast lane motif. The VW Porsche 914, a cooperative venture from Wolfsburg, Zuffenhausen and Osnabrück, marks a new beginning. For Volkswagenwerk AG and Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, the joint project symbolizes the start of the production and sale of a sports car that is within the budget of broad sections of the population. The VW Porsche 914 with its innovative mid engine concept combines the characteristics of a convertible and a coupé and soon became the best-selling sports car in Germany.

Beetle ad

“Das gibt’s nur einmal.” (“Once in a lifetime.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach Creative Director: Helmut Schmitz Art Director: Erwin Schmidt Texter: Werner Butter Photographer: Archive This ad is all about price. In 23 years, the price only rose 2 percent or 90 Mark. But the VW 1200 promised much more than just a fixed price. The price-performance ratio had not only remained steady for years and years, it had even improved significantly for the customer: the Beetle had become safer, faster and more comfortable, increasing in perfection, maturity and value as the years passed – the ad passes on this good news to the reader is a conversational and easy manner.

“Das gibt’s nur einmal.” (“Once in a lifetime.”)
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Creative Director: Helmut Schmitz
Art Director: Erwin Schmidt
Texter: Werner Butter
Photographer: Archive
This ad is all about price. In 23 years, the price only rose 2 percent or 90 Mark. But the VW 1200 promised much more than just a fixed price. The price-performance ratio had not only remained steady for years and years, it had even improved significantly for the customer: the Beetle had become safer, faster and more comfortable, increasing in perfection, maturity and value as the years passed – the ad passes on this good news to the reader is a conversational and easy manner.

Beetle commercial

“Weltmeister” (“World champion”) Live from the boxing ring: the Beetle is the world champion in every class.

“Weltmeister” (“World champion”)
Live from the boxing ring: the Beetle is the world champion in every class.

Statistics of the Year

1950–1960
1950–1960: Internationalisation and Mass Production in the Era of Germany’s Economic Miracle
1973–1981: The Shift to Models with Water-Cooled Engines
1973–1981