The Very Fun Volkswagen “Beetle”

First, we will have a little history lesson.

The historical story of the VW Beetle dates back to 1930’s Germany. Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933 and announced he wanted to build new roads and affordable cars for the German people. At the time, Austrian-born engineer Ferdinand Porsche was already working on creating a small car. Hitler met with Porsche later, and the engineer was charged with designing the inexpensive, mass-produced Volkswagen, or “people’s car.” In 1938, work began on the Volkswagen factory, located in present-day Wolfsburg, Germany. Full-scale production of the beetle didn’t begin until after World War II.

The Beetle Arrives in the United States

The 1950’s… the Volkswagen arrived in the U.S. Initial reception wasn’t so good, due in part to the car’s historic Nazi connection as well as its small size and unusual rounded shape (which, in fact, is how it later led to being dubbed the “Beetle”). In 1959 a groundbreaking campaign was launched that promoted the car’s diminutive size as a distinct advantage to consumers, and over the next several years, VW became the top-selling auto import in the U.S. In 1998, Volkswagen began selling the highly touted “New Beetle” while still continuing production of its predecessor. After more than 60 years and over 21 million vehicles produced, the last original Beetle rolled off the line in Puebla, Mexico, on July 30, 2003.

Are you a “Beetle” fan or not?

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