History of Volkswagen
Volkswagen, or "people's car" in English, was founded in 1937 with the intention of providing the public with a practical yet low priced vehicle for everyday needs. The design of these everyday vehicles was set to contrast luxury and expensive models, which up until 1937 were the only option for people who wanted to buy a car. Before the war, sales were slow with only a small amount of cars being produced, however in 1946 the Volkswagen factory was manufacturing roughly 1,000 vehicles per month. This figure is astounding considering the company had strict post-war production guidelines and their factory had fallen into disrepair during the war.
During the fifties the sales of the VW Beetle were record breaking and then in the seventies Volkswagen sold a huge 15,007,034 Beetles. This achievement made the model the most-produced road car ever manufactured and made it even more popular than the Model T Ford. Then in 1974 one model became a global triumph helping to secure the company's future. This was the Volkswagen Golf, which became a pivotal model due to the fact that it was one of the first front-wheel drive engines with a front engine. Since this time, this format has been adopted by other car manufacturers and it can even be said that this format now dominates the industry.
Two decades on Volkswagen launched the third generation Golf, which was awarded the European Car of the Year in 1992. During this time, the company then took steps to make their vehicles more fuel efficient by limiting their use of diesel by creating new propulsion methods that were more economic. As a direct result of this, the United States Environmental Protection Agency revealed in 2004 that out of the top ten most fuel-efficient vehicles at the time, four of those were manufactured by Volkswagen. It is these types of accolades that should make the company the world's largest car manufacturer by 2018 (according to a recent report by Peugeot).