- Originally a project under Hitler to promote the reputation of the National Socialists, the Beetle after the Second World War was really alive.
- By 1955, the one millionth beetle had rolled off the assembly line in what is now Wolfsburg.
- The US became the most important foreign market of Volkswagen with 563,522 vehicles in 1968 or 40% of production.
Frankfurt, Germany – Volkswagen discontinues production of the last version of its Beetle model this week at the plant in Frankfurt. Puebla, Mexico. It is the end of the road for a vehicle that has symbolized much in the eight decades since 1
It was: part of Germany's darkest hours as a never-realized Nazi prestige project. A symbol of the economic renaissance of Germany after the war and the growing prosperity of the middle class. An example of globalization, sold and recognized worldwide. A landmark of the counterculture of the 1960s in the United States. Above all, the car remains a milestone in design, as recognizable as the Coca-Cola bottle.
The original design of the car – a rounded silhouette with room for four or five, almost vertical The windscreen and the air-cooled engine in the rear – goes back to the Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche, who was commissioned the project of German dictator Adolf Hitler to realize for a "people car" that spread the car ownership like the Ford Model T in the US
Aspects of the car resembled the 1937 Tatra T97 made in Czechoslovakia and the 1934 published sketches of the Hungarian engineer Bela Barenyi. The mass production of the so-called KdF car is based on the acronym of the Nazis Labor Organization, under whose auspices it was to be sold, was canceled due to World War II. Instead, the massive new factory in what was then rural eastern Hanover emerged as a military vehicle, using forced laborers from all over Europe in miserable conditions.
Revived as a civilian car maker under the supervision of the British occupation authorities, the Volkswagen plant was transferred in 1949 to the federal government and the state of Lower Saxony, which still owns part of the company. Until 1955, the one millionth beetle – officially designated as Type 1 – ran in today's Wolfsburg off the line.
The US became Volkswagen's most important foreign market at 563,522 cars in 1968, or 40% of production. Unconventional, sometimes humorous advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach called on the car buyers to "think small."
"Unlike in West Germany, where the low price, the quality and the durability stood for a new normality of the post-war period, in the US the beetle is characterized by a deeply unconventional charisma in a car culture characterized by size and charisma." wrote Bernhard Rieger in 2013 in his story "The People's Car".
The production in Wolfsburg ended in 1978, when newer models with front-wheel drive like the Golf took over the production. But the beetle was not dead yet. Production continued in Mexico from 1967 to 2003 – longer than the car was made in Germany. The nicknamed "Vochito" made itself a robust "Carro del Pueblo" from Mexican production home The sweet, unconventional charisma of the old Beetle in 1998 under CEO Ferdinand Piech, the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche. In 2012, the design of the beetle was designed a little slimmer. The last of 5,961 Final Edition versions will be sent to a museum in Puebla after ceremonies on July 10 to mark the end of production.