The Coming Of The Volkswagen}

Submitted by: Levi Quinn

The start of the twentieth centurys second half saw many people driving huge cars that were insatiable fuel guzzlers. At around this time the roads started seeing smaller cars that could not maneuver up hills that were too steep easily but could out do the bigger cars when it came to driving on ice or snow. This car did not use up much fuel and did not need as many repairs. It could only accommodate four people and had a mounted engine in the rear. The car in question is the Volkswagen. Many people still use this car, presently. The Volkswagen was introduced by American soldiers that had returned from the occupation in Europe. The Volkswagen was the brainchild and political pawn of Dictator Adolph Hitler.

The Genesis of the Volkswagen started when Hitler called in Ferdinand Porsche an exemplary engineer credited with other successful models and told him of the plans he had for a car. The meeting took place at Hotel Kasierhof in 1933. Volkswagen means the people car. Some of the features that Hitler wanted included in the car were a small body, a four seater, have the capacity to accomplish forty miles per gallon. Another feature was also included because quite a number of Germans lacked garages. Hitler then went a step forward and stipulated the price that the Volkswagen would go for at summers end in 1933. He required the car not to be sold for more than 1000Marks.

Porsche dismissed the idea because the price was too low but unknown to him, Hitler wanted to use the Volkswagen to win the Germans over. Almost a year later Porsche was ordered to make three sample models within a period of ten months. After meticulous preparation and hardwork amid intense pressure form Hitler, the three Volkswagen prototypes were ready. The cars were taken on relentless road tests and Hitler announced during the 1937 Automobile show that production would start in no time. Plans for the factory that would produce the cars were now in motion and meanwhile more cars were built and tested.

The project that was supposed to take place at the Wolfsburg plant, which the Americans had helped to design stalled due to the war. After the war the plant was on the British side and they discovered the blueprints of Volkswagen and they promptly started producing the cars in 1946. The cars started selling in Germany and went on to be sold in the rest of Europe. In 1948, the newly appointed Volkswagen director, Dr. Ing. Heinz Nordoff and his policy was to cut any ties with history. The director was still in charge when the Government of West Germany was given the factory. Over a million cars were manufactured by 1955 and Nordoff established a big service organization. With service and replacement parts available, more people started buying Volkswagens. It has emerged that a Volkswagen can float as well once it falls in deep waters. The Volkswagen has been around for long and it seems it is here to stay.

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