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The founding of Volkswagen

Volkswagen was founded under the Nazi party on this day in 1937. Adolf Hitler wanted to develop a vehicle that would be affordable for the German people, his target was to have it be sold for less than 1,000 Reich marks, which is about $140 today. The state owned company was originally known as Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH, but was later renamed Volkswagenwerk, translating to “The People’s Car Company.” In order to develop the vehicle Hitler brought Austrian automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche on board. The original VW went on display at the 1939 Berlin Motor Show, shortly before the outbreak of WWII. The war resulted in a production cease. After the war the allies, helping to rebuild Germany, focused on Volkswagen and reconstructing the factory in order to put German’s to work and give them a means of transportation. The car remained relatively unchanged from its inception until the 1970s when major production halted. However, the last “original” air-cooled VW Beetle rolled off the assembly line on July 30, 2003 in Puebla, Mexico after the Mexican government made it law that taxicabs must have at least four doors. Photos:Hitler making a speech at the 1939 Berlin Motor Show with the VW near by.A c.1937 VW prototype


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