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August 7, 1944 – VW halts production for WWII

On this day in 1944 German car manufacturer Volkswagen halts production of the Beetle under threat of Allied bombing raids. The small “People’s Car” would go back back into production in December 1945. During WWII, the German army’s need for a lightweight utility vehicle took precedence over the production of the micro passenger cars. The vehicle being produced for the German army was the Type 62 Kubelwagen. This was a a convertible vehicle that utilized a modified Beetle chassis and featured four doors and 18-inch wheels. Though production at the KdF-stat factory was dedicated primarily to the Kubelwagen and its amphibious counterpart, the Schwimmwagen, the factory did produce Beetles from 1941 to August 7, 1944.  In the spring of 1945 the Allies defeated Germany. The devastated country was divided into four sectors to be governed by British, French, American and Soviet forces. Those under British, French and American control would combine to form West Germany, while the region under Soviet control became East Germany. The VW factory was in the British sector, and its auto factory remained in relatively good shape for having been a target of Allied raids. Volkswagen, then under the control of the British military, began turning out Beetles again in December 1945 as a way to put Germany back to work. By 1949, the company (now called Volkswagen GmbH) was back in German hands. Pictured1944 BeetleType 62 Kubelwagen

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