The People's Car
|Key people||Matthias Muller|
|Industry||Automobile Manufacturer, Public Transportation Vehicles|
|Revenue|| €345 million Convention Thalers |
Volkswagen AG is an automobile company based in Hannover. Originally, it was founded in 1936 in Berlin by a group of minor HRE automakers following a request by Prussian leader Adolf Hessler to develop an automobile that ordinary people could accord. Hessler was not satisfied by the more expensive automobiles at that time, and he hired Ferdinand Porsche, a Bohemian automobile designer, and Josef Ganz, a Hungarian Jewish automobile designer who had previously forwarded the idea of a "People's Car", to come up with a cheap but sturdy car. In May 1936, the Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Volkswagens mbH or Gezuvor was founded by the Hessler government in Prussia, but was later renamed Volkswagenwerk GmbH in September 1937. The town of Gezuvorstadt, now Wolfsburg, was founded to house the workers in the new factory. Actually, the prototype car was called the GZV-Wagen. However, production slowed down during the Second Great War, being retooled to provide transport cars for the HRE Wehrmacht.
In 1949, an English officer named Ivan Hirst, who was stationed in Hannover to assist the fledgling Hannoverian government in rebuilding itself, visited Wolfsburg and he saw the derelict factory. He was under orders to retool any military factory for civilian use or otherwise demolish it. Although he suspected that the Volkswagen works were actually producing tanks, the unveiling of the GZV-Wagen prototypes by factory staff, hidden from bombing raids during the war, saved it from demolition. Hirst ran the factory to produce automobiles for the Allied Forces stationed in the HRE until 1951, when he left for England and let Heinrich Nordhoff, who once managed Adam Opel, take over, making what is now called Volkswagen AG one of the world's biggest automakers. Its famous Volkswagen Type 1 (popularly known as the Beetle, Käfer, or Bug), a GZV-Wagen in all but name, became a favorite car throughout the world, rivaling and even in some areas exceeding the Egg Car in its significance and becoming a prominent household name in popular culture. Volkswagen has also produced other notable vehicles like the Passat, the Golf, and the Jetta. It has resisted merger attempts by Consolidated Motors and Dorris Motorworks over the years, and remains one of the premier automakers in Europe and Germany.
However, its name is currently tainted in 2015 when it was found guilty of manipulation of diesel engine emissions tests in Louisianne.