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Volkswagen
Volkswagen
(German pronunciation: [ˈfɔlksˌvaːɡŋ̍] -  listen (help·info)), shortened to VW, is a German automaker founded on 28 May 1937 by the German Labour Front
German Labour Front
under Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
and headquartered in Wolfsburg. It is the flagship marque of the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Group, the largest automaker by worldwide sales in 2016.[1] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
is German for "people's car", and the company's current international advertising slogan is just "Volkswagen". [2][3] American English pronunciation is approximately "volks wagon" ( listen (help·info)).[4][better source needed]

Contents

1 History

1.1 1932–1938: People's Car project 1.2 1945–1948: British Army
British Army
intervention, unclear future 1.3 1948–1961: Icon of post war West Germany 1.4 1961–1973: Beetle to Golf 1.5 1974–1990: Product line expansion 1.6 1991–1999 1.7 2000–present: Further expansion

2 Operations

2.1 Worldwide presence 2.2 Work–life balance 2.3 Relationship with Porsche
Porsche
and the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Law 2.4 AutoMuseum 2.5 Global sales figures, 2006-2016

3 Current models

3.1 GTI models 3.2 Electric models

3.2.1 GTE models 3.2.2 e-models

3.3 R models

4 Historic models 5 Electric and alternative fuel vehicles

5.1 Neat ethanol vehicles 5.2 Flexible-fuel vehicles 5.3 Hybrid vehicles 5.4 Plug-in electric vehicles

6 Environmental record

6.1 Diesel emission violations

7 Awards 8 Motorsport

8.1 Formula racing 8.2 World Rally Championship 8.3 Dakar Rally 8.4 Volkswagen
Volkswagen
motorsport worldwide

9 Literature 10 See also 11 Notes 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links

History[edit]

For vehicle timeline tables, see: Volkswagen
Volkswagen
(timeline).

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1932–1938: People's Car project[edit]

Model of Porsche
Porsche
Type 12 (Zündapp), Museum of Industrial Culture, Nuremberg

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
was originally established in 1937 by the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront) in Berlin.[5] In the early 1930s, the German auto industry was still largely composed of luxury models, and the average German could rarely afford anything more than a motorcycle. As a result, only one German out of 50 owned a car. Seeking a potential new market, some car makers began independent "people's car" projects – the Mercedes 170H, Adler AutoBahn, Steyr 55, and Hanomag
Hanomag
1.3L, among others. The trend was not new, as Béla Barényi
Béla Barényi
is credited with having conceived the basic design in the mid-1920s. Josef Ganz developed the Standard Superior
Standard Superior
(going as far as advertising it as the "German Volkswagen"). In Germany, the company Hanomag
Hanomag
mass-produced the 2/10 PS "Kommissbrot", a small, cheap rear engined car, from 1925 to 1928.[6] Also, in Czechoslovakia, the Hans Ledwinka's penned Tatra T77, a very popular car amongst the German elite, was becoming smaller and more affordable at each revision. Ferdinand Porsche, a well-known designer for high-end vehicles and race cars, had been trying for years to get a manufacturer interested in a small car suitable for a family. He felt the small cars at the time were just stripped down big cars. Instead he built a car he called the "Volksauto" from the ground up in 1933, using many of the ideas floating around at the time and several of his own, putting together a car with an air-cooled rear engine, torsion bar suspension, and a "beetle" shape, the front hood rounded for better aerodynamics (necessary as it had a small engine).[7]

VW logo during the 1930s, initials surrounded by a stylized cogwheel and swastika wings[8]

In 1934, with many of the above projects still in development or early stages of production, Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
became involved, ordering the production of a basic vehicle capable of transporting two adults and three children at 100 km/h (62 mph). He wanted all German citizens to have access to cars.[7] The "People's Car" would be available to citizens of the Third Reich
Third Reich
through a savings plan at 990 Reichsmark ($396 in 1930s U.S. dollars)—about the price of a small motorcycle (the average income being around 32 RM a week).[9][10] Despite heavy lobbying in favor of one of the existing projects, it soon became apparent that private industry could not turn out a car for only 990 RM. Thus, Hitler chose to sponsor an all-new, state-owned factory using Ferdinand Porsche's design (with some of Hitler's design constraints, including an air-cooled engine so nothing could freeze). The intention was that ordinary Germans would buy the car by means of a savings scheme ("Fünf Mark die Woche musst du sparen, willst du im eigenen Wagen fahren" – "Five marks a week you must put aside, if you want to drive your own car"), which around 336,000 people eventually paid into[11]. However, the entire project was financially unsound, and only the Nazi party made it possible to provide funding.[12][Note 1] Prototypes of the car called the "KdF-Wagen" (German: Kraft durch Freude – "Strength through Joy"), appeared from 1938 onwards (the first cars had been produced in Stuttgart). The car already had its distinctive round shape and air-cooled, flat-four, rear-mounted engine. The VW car was just one of many KdF programs, which included things such as tours and outings. The prefix Volks— ("People's") was not just applied to cars, but also to other products in Germany; the "Volksempfänger" radio receiver for instance. On 28 May 1937, Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH ("Company for the Preparation of the German Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Ltd."), or Gezuvor[13] for short, was established by the Deutsche Arbeitsfront
Deutsche Arbeitsfront
in Berlin. More than a year later, on 16 September 1938, it was renamed to Volkswagenwerk GmbH.[14][15]

VW Type 82E

Erwin Komenda, the longstanding Auto Union
Auto Union
chief designer, part of Ferdinand Porsche's hand-picked team,[7] developed the car body of the prototype, which was recognizably the Beetle known today. It was one of the first cars designed with the aid of a wind tunnel—a method used for German aircraft design since the early 1920s. The car designs were put through rigorous tests, and achieved a record-breaking million miles of testing before being deemed finished. The construction of the new factory started in May 1938 in the new town of "Stadt des KdF-Wagens" (modern-day Wolfsburg), which had been purpose-built for the factory workers.[14] This factory had only produced a handful of cars by the time war started in 1939. None were actually delivered to any holder of the completed saving stamp books, though one Type 1 Cabriolet was presented to Hitler on 20 April 1944 (his 55th birthday).[14] War changed production to military vehicles—the Type 82 Kübelwagen ("Bucket car") utility vehicle (VW's most common wartime model), and the amphibious Schwimmwagen—manufactured for German forces. As was common with much of the production in Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
during the war, slave labor was utilized in the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
plant, e.g. from Arbeitsdorf
Arbeitsdorf
concentration camp. The company would admit in 1998 that it used 15,000 slaves during the war effort. German historians estimated that 80% of Volkswagen's wartime workforce was slave labor.[citation needed] Many of the slaves were reported to have been supplied from the concentration camps upon request from plant managers. A lawsuit was filed in 1998 by survivors for restitution for the forced labor.[16] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
would set up a voluntary restitution fund.[17]

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
factory

1945–1948: British Army
British Army
intervention, unclear future[edit] The company owes its post-war existence largely to one man, War-time British Army
British Army
officer Major Ivan Hirst, REME. In April 1945, KdF-Stadt and its heavily bombed factory were captured by the Americans, and subsequently handed over to the British, within whose occupation zone the town and factory fell. The factories were placed under the control of Saddleworth-born Hirst, by then a civilian Military Governor with the occupying forces. At first, one plan was to use it for military vehicle maintenance, and possibly dismantle and ship it to Britain. Since it had been used for military production, (though not of KdF-Wagens) and had been in Hirst's words, a "political animal" rather than a commercial enterprise[citation needed] — technically making it liable for destruction under the terms of the Potsdam Agreement
Potsdam Agreement
— the equipment could have been salvaged as war reparations.[citation needed] Allied dismantling policy changed in late 1946 to mid-1947, though heavy industry continued to be dismantled until 1951.[citation needed] One of the factory's War-time 'KdF-Wagen' cars had been taken to the factory for repairs and abandoned there. Hirst had it repainted green and demonstrated it to British Army
British Army
headquarters. Short of light transport, in September 1945 the British Army
British Army
was persuaded to place a vital order for 20,000 cars. However, production facilities had been massively disrupted, there was a refugee crisis at and around the factory and some parts (such as carburetors) were unavailable. With striking humanity and great engineering and management ingenuity, Hirst and his German assistant Heinrich Nordhoff
Heinrich Nordhoff
(who went on to run the Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg
facility after Military Government ended in 1949) helped to stabilize the acute social situation while simultaneously re-establishing production. Hirst, for example, used his fine engineering experience to arrange the manufacture of carburetors, the original producers being effectively 'lost' in the Russian zone.[18] The first few hundred cars went to personnel from the occupying forces, and to the German Post Office. Some British Service personnel were allowed to take their Beetles back to the United Kingdom when they were demobilised.[19][better source needed] In 1986, Hirst explained how it was commonly misunderstood that he had run Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg
as a British Army
British Army
Major. The defeated German staff, he said, were initially sullen and unresponsive, having been conditioned by many years of Nazism and they were sometimes unresponsive to orders. At Nordhoff's suggestion, he sent back to England for his officer's uniform and from then on, had no difficulty in having his instructions followed. Hirst can be seen photographed at Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg
in his uniform, although he was not actually a soldier at the time but a civilian member of the Military Government. The title of 'Major' was sometimes used by someone who had left the Army as a courtesy title. In fact, Hirst chose not to do so.[citation needed] The post-war Industrial plans for Germany
Industrial plans for Germany
set out rules that governed which industries Germany
Germany
was allowed to retain. These rules set German car production at a maximum of 10% of 1936 car production.[20] By 1946, the factory produced 1,000 cars a month—a remarkable feat considering it was still in disrepair. Owing to roof and window damage, production had to stop when it rained, and the company had to barter new vehicles for steel for production.[citation needed] The car and its town changed their Second World War-era names to "Volkswagen" and "Wolfsburg" respectively, and production increased. It was still unclear what was to become of the factory. It was offered to representatives from the American, Australian, British, and French motor industries. Famously, all rejected it. After an inspection of the plant, Sir William Rootes, head of the British Rootes Group, told Hirst the project would fail within two years, and that the car "...is quite unattractive to the average motorcar buyer, is too ugly and too noisy ... If you think you're going to build cars in this place, you're a bloody fool, young man."[citation needed] The official report said "To build the car commercially would be a completely uneconomic enterprise."[21] In an ironic twist of fate, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
manufactured a locally built version of Rootes's Hillman Avenger
Hillman Avenger
in Argentina in the 1980s, long after Rootes had gone bankrupt at the hands of Chrysler in 1978—the Beetle outliving the Avenger by over 30 years. Ford
Ford
representatives were equally critical. In March 1948, the British offered the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
company to Ford, free of charge. Henry Ford
Ford
II, the son of Edsel Ford, traveled to West Germany
Germany
for discussions. Heinz Nordhoff was also present, and Ernest Breech, chairman of the board for Ford
Ford
Motor Company. Henry Ford II
Henry Ford II
looked to Ernest Breech for his opinion, and Breech said, "Mr. Ford, I don't think what we're being offered here is worth a dime!"[7] Ford
Ford
passed on the offer, leaving Volkswagen
Volkswagen
to rebuild itself under Nordhoff's leadership.[citation needed] 1948–1961: Icon of post war West Germany[edit]

1949 Volkswagen
Volkswagen
"split rear window" Sedan

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Cabriolet (1953)

Volkswagen Type 2
Volkswagen Type 2
(T1)

An original 1300 Deluxe, circa 1966.

In the later 1960s, as worldwide appetite for the Beetle finally began to diminish, a variety of successor designs were proposed and, in most cases, rejected by management.

From 1948, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
became an important element, symbolically and economically, of West German regeneration.[according to whom?] Heinrich Nordhoff
Heinrich Nordhoff
(1899–1968), a former senior manager at Opel
Opel
who had overseen civilian and military vehicle production in the 1930s and 1940s, was recruited to run the factory in 1948. In 1949, Major Hirst left the company—now re-formed as a trust controlled by the West German government and government of the State of Lower Saxony. The "Beetle" sedan or "peoples' car" Volkswagen
Volkswagen
is the Type 1. Apart from the introduction of the Volkswagen Type 2
Volkswagen Type 2
commercial vehicle (van, pick-up and camper), and the VW Karmann
Karmann
Ghia sports car, Nordhoff pursued the one-model policy until shortly before his death in 1968. Volkswagens were first exhibited and sold in the United States in 1949, but sold only two units in America that first year. On entry to the U.S. market, the VW was briefly sold as a Victory Wagon. Volkswagen
Volkswagen
of America was formed in April 1955 to standardise sales and service in the United States. Production of the Type 1 Volkswagen Beetle increased dramatically over the years, the total reaching one million in 1955. The UK's first official Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Importer, Colborne Garages of Ripley, Surrey, started with parts for the models brought home by soldiers returning from Germany.[19] Canadian Motors, Limited brought in Canada's first shipment of Volkswagens on 10 July 1952 (shipping order 143075)[citation needed]. The order consisted of 12 vehicles, (3) model 11C, a black, green, and sandcolor (3) 11GS, a chestnut brown and two azure blue, (2) 24A-M51 in red, (1)21A in blue, (1) 23A in blue, (1) 22A beige color, and one ambulance[citation needed]. Volkswagens were seen in Canada for the first time at the Canadian National Exhibition in August 1952 and were accepted enthusiastically. (At least one Type 2 bus from this order still exists, and is currently in France undergoing restoration)[citation needed]. The first shipment for Volkswagen Canada reached Toronto in early December 1952. (At least one Type 1 from this first shipment still exists, and was driven on a nationwide tour for Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Canada's 60th year of business festivities in 2012)[citation needed]. By 1955, sales were on a basis that warranted the building of the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
plant on a 32-acre (130,000 m2) site on Scarboro's Golden Mile. To this, a 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) building with administration, showrooms, service, repairs and parts was built in 1957, with storage for $4,000,000 of parts[citation needed]. In 1959, VW started production at a plant near São Paulo in Brazil. [22] Volkswagen do Brasil
Volkswagen do Brasil
was accused of spying on workers during the time of the military dictatorship in the 1970´s and informing police on oppositional activities. In 1976, mass arrests occurred and some VW employees were tortured. In 1979, Brazilian VW workers traveled to Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg
to inform the CEO in person. In 2015, activists and former VW employees in Brazil spoke out in public accused the company´s silence about persecution of its workers. In fall 2016, VW commissioned an expet review of the situation due end of 2017.[23] On 22 August 1960, Volkswagenwerk GmbH
GmbH
was renamed to Volkswagenwerk AG. Sales soared, throughout the 1960s, peaking at the end of the decade, thanks in part to the famous advertising campaigns by New York advertising agency Doyle, Dane Bernbach.[citation needed] Led by art director Helmut Krone, and copywriters Julian Koenig and Bob Levinson, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
advertisements became[when?] as popular as the car, using crisp layouts and witty copy to lure the younger, sophisticated consumers with whom the car became associated.[citation needed] Even though it was almost universally known as the Beetle (or the Bug), it was never officially labelled as such by the manufacturer, instead referred to as the Type 1.[citation needed] Although the car was becoming outdated, during the 1960s and early 1970s, American exports, innovative advertising, and a growing reputation for reliability helped production figures surpass the levels of the previous record holder, the Ford
Ford
Model T. On 17 February 1972 the 15,007,034th Beetle was sold. Volkswagen
Volkswagen
could now claim the world production record for the most-produced, single make of car in history. By 1973, total production was over 16 million. To commemorate its passing the Ford
Ford
Model T's record sales mark and its victories in the Baja 1000 Mexican races from 1967 to 1971, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
produced its first limited-edition Beetle. It was marketed as the "Baja Champion SE"[24] in the United States and the "Marathon" Superbeetle in the rest of the world. It featured unique "Marathon Blau" metallic blue paint, steel-pressed 10-spoke 15-inch (38 cm) magnesium-alloy wheels, a commemorative metal plate mounted on the glovebox and a certificate of authenticity presented to the original purchaser. Dealer-installed options for this limited-edition Superbeetle included the following: white stripes running the length of the rocker-panel, a special shifter knob, bumper overriders, tapered exhaust tips, fake walnut inserts in the dashboard (behind the steering wheel and the glovebox cover) as well as Bosch fog lights mounted on the front bumper.[citation needed] 1961–1973: Beetle to Golf[edit]

A 1963 VW Type 3 Notchback

The 1961 Type 1 Beetle had a 36hp 1200cc four cylinder air-cooled flat-four opposed OHV engine made of aluminum alloy block and heads. By 1966, the Type 1 came with a 1300 engine. By 1967 the Type 1 had a 1500 engine, and 1600 in 1970. The air-cooled engine lost favor in the USA market with the advent of non-leaded gasoline and smog controls. These air-cooled engines were commonly tuned to be fuel rich in order to control engine over-heating, and this led to excessive carbon monoxide emissions. VW Production equipment was eventually moved to Mexico where vehicle emissions were not regulated. Beetles were popular on the USA West Coast where the limited-capacity cabin heating was less inconvenient. Beetles were popularized on the USA West Coast as beach buggies and dune buggies. VW expanded its product line in 1961 with the introduction of four Type 3 models ( Karmann
Karmann
Ghia, Notchback, Fastback, and Variant) based on the new Type 3 mechanical underpinnings. The name 'Squareback' was used in the U.S.A for the Variant. In 1969 the larger Type 4 (411 and 412) models were introduced. These differed substantially from previous vehicles, with the notable introduction of monocoque/unibody construction, the option of a fully automatic transmission, electronic fuel injection, and a sturdier powerplant. Volkswagen
Volkswagen
added a "Super Beetle"[25] (the Type 131) to its lineup in 1971. The Type 131 differed from the standard Beetle in its use of a MacPherson strut
MacPherson strut
front suspension instead of the usual torsion bars. The Super Beetle featured a new hooded, padded dash and curved windshield (from 1973 model year on up). Rack and pinion steering replaced recirculating ball steering gears in model year 1975 and up. The front of the car was stretched 2 inches (51 mm) to allow the spare tire to lie flat, and the combination of these two features increased the usable front luggage space. In 1973, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
introduced the military-themed Type 181, or "Trekker" in Europe, "Thing" in America, recalling the wartime Type 82. The military version was produced for the NATO-era German Army during the Cold War
Cold War
years of 1970 to 1979. The U.S. Thing version only sold for two years, 1973 and 1974.

Volkswagen Type 4
Volkswagen Type 4
assembly line in Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg
as of 1973

1969 VW Squareback (Type III)

In 1964, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
acquired Auto Union, and in 1969, NSU Motorenwerke AG (NSU). The former company owned the historic Audi
Audi
brand, which had disappeared after the Second World War. VW ultimately merged Auto Union and NSU to create the modern Audi
Audi
company, and would go on to develop it as its luxury vehicle marque. The purchase of Auto Union and NSU was a pivotal point in Volkswagen's history, as both companies yielded the technological expertise that proved necessary for VW to survive when demand for its air-cooled models went into decline. By late 1972, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
had decided to cancel the nearly finished typ 266, a project for a mid-engined car to replace the Beetle, and to focus on front-wheel-drive, water-cooled cars. Rudolf Leiding, recently made head of Volkswagen, cited noise, heat, and servicing problems with the mid-engine layout, as well as the difficulty of making it a station wagon.[26]

Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
(1973–1977 model)

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
was in serious trouble by 1973.[27] The Type 3 and Type 4 models had sold in much smaller numbers than the Beetle and the NSU-based K70 also failed to woo buyers. Beetle sales had started to decline rapidly in European and North American markets. The company knew that Beetle production had to end, but faced a conundrum of how to replace it. VW's ownership of Audi/ Auto Union
Auto Union
proved beneficial. Its expertise in front-wheel drive, and water-cooled engines would help Volkswagen
Volkswagen
produce a credible Beetle successor. Audi
Audi
influences paved the way for this new generation of Volkswagens: the Passat, Scirocco, Golf, and Polo. First in the series was the Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
(Dasher in the US), introduced in 1973, a fastback version of the Audi
Audi
80, using many identical body and mechanical parts. Estate/wagon versions were available in many markets. In Europe, the estate/wagon version dominated in market share for many years. In spring 1974, the Scirocco followed. The coupe was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. Based on the platform of the not yet released Golf, it was built at Karmann
Karmann
due to capacity constraints at Volkswagen. The pivotal model emerged as the Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen Golf
in 1974, marketed in the United States and Canada as the Rabbit for the 1st generation (1975–1985) and 5th generation (2006–2009). Its angular styling was designed by the Italian Giorgetto Giugiaro). Its design followed trends for small family cars set by the 1959 Mini – the Golf had a transversely mounted, water-cooled engine in the front, driving the front wheels, and had a hatchback, a format that has dominated the market segment ever since. Beetle production at Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg
ended upon the Golf's introduction. It continued in smaller numbers at other German factories ( Hanover
Hanover
and Emden) until 1978, but mainstream production shifted to Brazil and Mexico. In 1975, the Volkswagen Polo
Volkswagen Polo
followed. It was a re-badged Audi
Audi
50, which was soon discontinued in 1978. The Polo became the base of the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Derby, which was introduced 1977. The Derby was for all intents and purposes a three-box design of the Polo. After a second model generation, the Derby was discontinued in 1985, although the bodystyle lived on in the form of the polo classic/polo saloon until 1991. Passat, Scirocco, Golf, and Polo shared many character defining features, as well as parts and engines. They built the basis for Volkswagen's turn-around. 1974–1990: Product line expansion[edit]

Volkswagen Polo
Volkswagen Polo
(1975–1979 model)

While Volkswagen's range of cars soon became similar to that of other large European automakers, the Golf has been the mainstay of the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
lineup since its introduction,[when?] and the mechanical basis for several other cars of the company. There have been seven generations of the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Golf, the first of which was produced from the summer of 1974 until the autumn of 1983 (sold as the Rabbit in the United States and Canada and as the Caribe in Latin America). Its chassis also spawned the Volkswagen Scirocco
Volkswagen Scirocco
sport coupe, Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen Jetta
saloon/sedan, Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen Golf
Cabriolet convertible, and Volkswagen Caddy
Volkswagen Caddy
pick-up. North American production of the Rabbit commenced at the Volkswagen Westmoreland Assembly Plant
Volkswagen Westmoreland Assembly Plant
near New Stanton, Pennsylvania in 1978. It would be produced in the United States as the Rabbit until the spring of 1984.[citation needed]The second-generation Golf hatchback/Jetta sedan ran from October 1983 until the autumn of 1991, and a North American version produced at Westmoreland Assembly went on sale at the start of the 1985 model year. The production numbers of the first-generation Golf has continued to grow annually in South Africa as the Citi Golf, with only minor modifications to the interior, engine and chassis, using tooling relocated from the New Stanton, Pennsylvania
New Stanton, Pennsylvania
plant when that site began to build the Second Generation car.[citation needed] In the 1980s, Volkswagen's sales in the United States and Canada fell dramatically, despite the success of models like the Golf elsewhere. The Japanese and the Americans were able to compete with similar products at lower prices. Sales in the United States were 293,595 in 1980, but by 1984 they were down to 177,709.[28] The introduction of the second-generation Golf, GTI and Jetta models helped Volkswagen briefly in North America. Motor Trend
Motor Trend
named the GTI its Car of the Year for 1985, and Volkswagen
Volkswagen
rose in the J.D. Power buyer satisfaction ratings to eighth place in 1985, up from 22nd a year earlier.[29] VW's American sales broke 200,000 in 1985 and 1986 before resuming the downward trend from earlier in the decade. Chairman
Chairman
Carl Hahn decided to expand the company elsewhere (mostly in developing countries), and the New Stanton, Pennsylvania
New Stanton, Pennsylvania
factory closed on 14 July 1988.[30] Meanwhile, four years after signing a cooperation agreement with the Spanish car maker SEAT
SEAT
in 1982, Hahn expanded the company by purchasing a majority share of SEAT
SEAT
up to 75% by the end of 1986, which VW bought outright in 1990.[31] On 4 July 1985, Volkswagenwerk AG was renamed to Volkswagen
Volkswagen
AG. Volkswagen
Volkswagen
entered the supermini market in 1975 with the Volkswagen Polo, a stylish and spacious three-door hatchback designed by Bertone. It was a strong seller in West Germany
Germany
and most of the rest of Western Europe, being one of the first foreign small cars to prove popular in Britain. It had started out in 1974 as the Audi
Audi
50, which was only available in certain markets and was less popular. The Polo entered a market sector already being dominated by the Fiat 127
Fiat 127
and Renault
Renault
5, and which before long would also include the Austin Metro
Austin Metro
and Ford Fiesta.[citation needed] In 1981, the second-generation Polo launched and sold as a hatchback and "coupe" (with the hatchback resembling a small estate car and the coupe being similar to a conventional hatchback), was an even greater success for Volkswagen.[citation needed] Its practicality, despite the lack of a five-door version, helped ensure even stronger sales than its predecessor, and it continued to sell well after a makeover in 1990, finally being replaced by an all-new version in 1994.[citation needed] Also arriving in 1981 were the second generation of the larger Passat and a second generation of the Volkswagen Scirocco
Volkswagen Scirocco
coupe. The original Scirocco had been launched in 1974 to compete with affordable four-seater coupes like the Ford
Ford
Capri.[citation needed] In 1983 the MK2 Golf was launched. At the beginning of 1988, the third generation Passat was the next major car launch and Volkswagen
Volkswagen
did not produce a hatchback version of this Passat, despite the rising popularity of the hatchback bodystyle throughout Europe.[citation needed] Just after launching the B3 Passat, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
launched the Corrado, replacement for the Scirocco, although the Scirocco remained in production until 1992.[citation needed] 1991–1999[edit]

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Golf, in North American form

In 1991, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
launched the third-generation Golf, which was European Car of the Year for 1992. The Golf Mk3 and Jetta arrived in North America in 1993. The sedan version of the Golf was badged Vento in Europe, but remained Jetta in the U.S. The Scirocco and the later Corrado were both Golf-based coupés.

The Volkswagen
Volkswagen
New Beetle

In 1994, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
unveiled the J Mays-designed Concept One, a "retro"-themed concept car with a resemblance to the original Beetle, based on the platform of the Polo. Due to a positive response to the concept, a production version was developed as the New Beetle, based on the Golf's larger platform.[32] In 1995 the Sharan was launched in Europe, the result of a joint venture with Ford, which also resulted in the Ford
Ford
Galaxy and SEAT Alhambra.[33] The company's evolution of its model range was continued with the Golf Mk4, introduced at the end of 1997 (and in North America in 1999), its chassis spawned a host of other cars within the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Group; the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Bora (the sedan called Jetta in the U.S.), SEAT
SEAT
Toledo, SEAT
SEAT
León, Audi
Audi
A3, Audi
Audi
TT, and Škoda Octavia. Other main models during the decade include the Polo, a smaller car than the Golf, and the larger Passat for the segment above the Golf. In 1998 the company launched the new Lupo city car. In 1999 they announced the first "3-litre" car, a lightweight version of the Lupo that could travel 100 km with only 3-litres of diesel—making it the world's most fuel efficient car at the time.[34] 2000–present: Further expansion[edit]

The fifth generation Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Jetta

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
began introducing an array of new models after Bernd Pischetsrieder became Volkswagen Group
Volkswagen Group
CEO (responsible for all Group brands) in 2002. The sixth-generation VW Golf was launched in 2008, came runner-up to the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia in the 2009 European Car of the Year, and has spawned several cousins: VW Jetta, VW Scirocco, SEAT
SEAT
León, SEAT
SEAT
Toledo, Škoda Octavia
Škoda Octavia
and Audi
Audi
A3 hatchback ranges, as well as a new mini-MPV, the SEAT
SEAT
Altea. The GTI, a "hot hatch" performance version of the Golf, boasts a 2.0 L Turbocharged Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) direct injection engine. VW began marketing the Golf under the Rabbit name once again in the U.S. and Canada in 2006. The sixth-generation Passat and the fifth-generation Jetta both debuted in 2005, and VW announced plans to expand its lineup further by bringing back the Scirocco by 2008. Other models in Wolfgang Bernhard's ( Volkswagen
Volkswagen
brand CEO) "product offensive" include the Tiguan mid-sized SUV in 2008 and a Passat Coupé. In November 2006 Bernd Pischetsrieder
Bernd Pischetsrieder
announced his resignation as Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Group CEO, and was replaced by Audi
Audi
worldwide CEO Martin Winterkorn
Martin Winterkorn
at the beginning of 2007.

The third generation Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Scirocco

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
in 2005 maintained North American sales of 224,195. Momentum continued for fiscal 2006, as VW's North American sales for the year were 235,140 vehicles, a 4.9 percent increase over 2005, despite a slump in domestic North American manufacturer's sales. In conjunction with the introduction of new models, production location of Volkswagen
Volkswagen
vehicles also underwent great change. The 2007 Eos, a hardtop convertible, is produced in a new facility in Portugal. All Golfs/Rabbits and GTIs as of 2006 are manufactured in Wolfsburg, Germany, rather than VW's Mexican factory in Puebla, where Golfs and GTIs for the North American market were produced from 1989 to 1998, and the Brazilian factory in Curitiba, where Golfs and GTIs were produced from 1999 to 2006 (the Jetta has primarily been made in Mexico since 1989). VW is also in the process of reconfiguring an automotive assembly plant in Belgium. The new models and investments in manufacturing improvements were noticed immediately by automotive critics. Favorable reviews for VW's newest cars include the GTI being named by Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports
as the top sporty car under $25,000, one of Car and Driver
Car and Driver
magazine's "10 Best" for 2007, Automobile
Automobile
Magazine's 2007 Car of the Year, as well as a 2008 Motor Trend
Motor Trend
comparison ranking the mid-size Passat first in its class.

The seventh generation Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Golf

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
partnered with Daimler AG
Daimler AG
and other companies to market the BlueTec
BlueTec
clean diesel technology on cars and trucks from Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and other companies and brands. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, four of the ten most fuel-efficient vehicles available for sale in the U.S. are powered by Volkswagen
Volkswagen
diesel engines.[35] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
has offered a number of its vehicles with a TDI (Turbocharged Direct Injection) engine, which lends class-leading fuel economy to several models. They were a three-way tie for 8th (TDI Beetle, TDI Golf, TDI Jetta) and ninth, the TDI Jetta Wagon. In addition, all Volkswagen
Volkswagen
TDI diesel engines produced from 1996 to 2006 can be driven on 100% biodiesel fuel.[citation needed] For the 2007 model year, however, strict U.S. government emissions regulations have forced VW to drop most diesels from their U.S. engine lineup, but a new lineup of diesel engines compatible to U.S. standards returned to the American market starting with Model Year 2009. These post-2009 Clean Diesel engines are limited to running on 5% (B5) biodiesel only to maintain Volkswagen's warranty. Volkswagen
Volkswagen
long resisted adding a SUV to its lineup, but relented with the introduction of the Touareg, made in partnership with Porsche, while they worked on the Porsche
Porsche
Cayenne and later the Audi
Audi
Q7. Though acclaimed as a fine handling vehicle, the Touareg has been a modest seller at best, and it has been criticised by auto reviewers for its absence of a third-row seat, the relatively poor fuel economy, and the high vehicle mass. VW set plans to add a compact SUV with styling influences from the "Concept A" concept vehicle introduced at the 2006 Geneva Auto Show, and on 20 July 2006, VW announced that the new vehicle, called the Tiguan. Since the discontinuance of the T4 in 2003 and decision not to bring the T5 to the US market, Volkswagen, ironically, lacked a van in its North American lineup. To change this, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
launched the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Routan, a badge-engineered Dodge Grand Caravan made for the American and Canadian markets, in 2008. In September 2006, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
began offering the City Golf and City Jetta only for the Canadian market. Both models were originally the Mk4 Golf and Jetta but were later replaced with the Brazilian versions of the Golf Mk4 and Bora. Volkswagen's introduction of such models is seen as a test of the market for a subcompact and, if successful, may be the beginnings of a thriving subcompact market for Volkswagen.

The Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
(3C)

In May 2011, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
completed Chattanooga Assembly in the US state of Tennessee. The facility has produced Volkswagen
Volkswagen
cars and SUVs specifically designed for North American markets, beginning with the Passat B7 in 2011. The company recently announced plans to expand further by investing $900 million to add floor space to the factory.[36] The VW XL1 began a limited production run in 2013. The XL1 is a lightweight and fuel efficient two-person vehicle (only 795 kg). The Volkswagen Atlas
Volkswagen Atlas
(a large crossover SUV) begins production in late 2016, and aims to help end several years of losses for Volkswagen
Volkswagen
in the US, the world's second-largest auto market.[37][38] On 14 September 2016, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
announced its partnership with three Israeli cybersecurity experts to create a new company, Cymotive, dedicated to automotive security.[39] VW calls their shift towards electric vehicles "Transform 2025+". As part of the strategy, VW aims to launch more than 30 electric vehicles until 2025, and is anticipating yearly sales of 2 to 3 million electric VW cars by 2025, which would make up 20 to 25 percent of their total yearly sales volume.[40] In September 2017, CEO Matthias Mueller announced plans to have electric version of all of VW's 300 automotive models by 2030. The company vows to spend 20 billion euros by 2030 to roll out the cars and designated another 50 billion euros to buy the batteries needed to power the vehicles.[41] Operations[edit]

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Volkswagen
Volkswagen
is the founding and namesake member of the Volkswagen Group, a large international corporation in charge of multiple car and truck brands, including Audi, SEAT, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, Scania, MAN, and Škoda. Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Group's global headquarters are located in Volkswagen's historic home of Wolfsburg, Germany.[citation needed][42] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Group, as a unit, is Europe's largest automaker.[43] For a long time, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
has had a market share over 20 percent.[44] In 2010, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
posted record sales of 6.29 million vehicles, with its global market share at 11.4%.[45] In 2008, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
became the third largest automaker in the world,[46] and, as of 2012, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
is the second largest manufacturer worldwide.[43] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
has aimed to double its US market share from 2% to 4% in 2014,[47] and is aiming to become, sustainably, the world's largest car maker by 2018.[48][49] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Group's core markets include Germany
Germany
and China.[50] Worldwide presence[edit] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
has factories in many parts of the world, manufacturing or assembling vehicles for local markets. In addition to plants in Germany, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
has manufacturing or assembly facilities in Mexico, the US, Slovakia, China, India, Indonesia,[51] Russia, Malaysia, Brazil, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kenya and South Africa. In 2011, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
was named in the top 25 largest companies in the world by the Forbes
Forbes
Global 2000.[52][53] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
is setting up a new factory in West Java, Indonesia, which started construction in mid-2013.[54] The investment into the new plant, which will produce large transporters and multivans, is valued at $140 million. As of May 2014, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
is planning to start assembling certain engines in India to increase localisation from 70% to 90%.[55] In January 2016, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
announced launching a new factory in Algeria during a summit between Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
and Algerian prime minister Abdelmalek Sellal.[56] Work–life balance[edit] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
agreed in December 2011 to implement a rule passed by the company's works council aimed at improving work–life balance by restricting company email functionality on the firm's BlackBerry smartphones from 6:30 pm to 7:30 am. The change was a response to employees' complaints about high stress levels at work and the expectation that employees would immediately answer after-hours email from home. About 1,150 of Volkswagen's more than 190,000 employees are affected by the email restriction.[57][58] Relationship with Porsche
Porsche
and the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Law[edit] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
has always had a close relationship with Porsche, the Zuffenhausen-based sports car manufacturer founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, the original Volkswagen
Volkswagen
designer and Volkswagen company co-founder, hired by Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
for the project. The first Porsche
Porsche
car, the Porsche
Porsche
64 of 1938, used many components from the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Beetle. The 1948 Porsche
Porsche
356 continued using many Volkswagen
Volkswagen
components, including a tuned engine, gearbox and suspension. The two companies continued their collaboration in 1969 to make the VW- Porsche
Porsche
914 and Porsche
Porsche
914-6. (The 914-6 had a 6-cylinder Porsche engine, and the standard 914 had a Volkswagen
Volkswagen
engine.) Volkswagen
Volkswagen
and Porsche
Porsche
would collaborate again in 1976 on the Porsche
Porsche
912-E (USA only) and the Porsche
Porsche
924, which used many Audi
Audi
components and was built at Audi's Neckarsulm
Neckarsulm
facilities. The 924 was originally designated for AUDI. Most Porsche
Porsche
944 models were built there, although they used far fewer VW components. The Porsche
Porsche
Cayenne, introduced in 2002, shares its entire chassis with the Volkswagen Touareg
Volkswagen Touareg
and Audi
Audi
Q7, and is built at the same Volkswagen
Volkswagen
factory in Bratislava
Bratislava
that the other SUV's are built. In September 2005, Porsche
Porsche
announced it would increase its 5% stake in Volkswagen
Volkswagen
to 20% at a cost of €3 billion, with the intention that the combined stakes of Porsche
Porsche
and the government of Lower Saxony would ensure that any hostile takeover by foreign investors would be impossible.[59] Speculated suitors included DaimlerChrysler, BMW, and Renault. In July 2006, Porsche
Porsche
increased their ownership again to 25.1%. On 4 March 2005, the European Commission brought an action against the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
before the European Court of Justice, claiming that the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Law, which prevents any shareholder in Volkswagen
Volkswagen
from executing more than 20% of the total voting rights in the firm, was illegally restricting the flow of capital in Europe.[60] On 13 February 2007, Advocate General Dámaso Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer submitted an opinion to the court in support of the action.[61] This again opened the possibility of a hostile takeover of VW and so on 26 March of the same year Porsche
Porsche
took its holding of Volkswagen
Volkswagen
shares to 30.9%. Porsche
Porsche
formally announced in a press statement that it did not intend to take over Volkswagen, but intended the move to avoid a competitor's taking a large stake and to stop hedge funds from dismantling VW.[62] As expected, on 22 October 2007, the European Court of Justice ruled in agreement with Ruiz-Jarabo and the law was struck down.[63][64] In October 2007, the European Court of Justice ruled that the VW law was illegal[65] because it was protectionist. At that time, Porsche
Porsche
held 31% of VW shares — although a smaller proportion of voting rights, due to the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Law — and there had been speculation that Porsche
Porsche
would be interested in taking over VW if the law did not stand in its way. The court also prevented the government from appointing Volkswagen
Volkswagen
board members.[66] The German government then rewrote the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
law, only to be sued again.[67][68][69] In October 2013, the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that the rewritten Volkswagen
Volkswagen
law "complied in full" with EU rules.[70] On 26 October 2008, Porsche
Porsche
revealed its plan to assume control of VW. As of that day, it held 42.6% of Volkswagen's ordinary shares and stock options on another 31.5%. Combined with the state of Lower Saxony's 20.1% stake, this left only 5.8% of shares on the market—mostly with index funds that could not legally sell.[71] Hedge funds desperate to cover their short positions forced Volkswagen stock above one thousand euros per share, briefly making it the world's largest company by market capitalisation on 28 October 2008.[72] By January 2009, Porsche
Porsche
had a 50.76% holding in Volkswagen AG, although the " Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Law" prevented it from taking control of the company.[73] On 6 May 2009, the two companies decided to join together, in a merger. On 13 August, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Aktiengesellschaft's Supervisory Board signed the agreement to create an integrated automotive group with Porsche led by Volkswagen. The initial decision was for Volkswagen
Volkswagen
to take a 42.0% stake in Porsche
Porsche
AG by the end of 2009, and it would also see the family shareholders selling the automobile trading business of Porsche
Porsche
Holding Salzburg to Volkswagen.[74] In October 2009 however, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
announced that its percentage in Porsche
Porsche
would be 49.9% for a cost of €3.9 billion (the 42.0% deal would have cost €3.3 billion).[75] On 1 March 2011, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
has finalized the purchase of Porsche
Porsche
Holding Salzburg (PHS), Austria's leading specialty automobile distributor, for €3.3 billion ($4.55 billion).[76] AutoMuseum[edit] Since 1985, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
has run the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
AutoMuseum in Wolfsburg, a museum dedicated specifically to the history of Volkswagen.[77] In addition to visiting exhibits in person, owners of vintage Volkswagens anywhere in the world may order what the museum refers to as a "Birth Certificate" for a set fee of €50—this formal "Zertifikat" indicates basic information known at the time of manufacture (colors, options, port of destination, etc.).[78] Global sales figures, 2006-2016[edit]

Year Global sales (in millions)[79]

2006 5.7

2007 6.2

2008 6.3

2009 6.3

2010 7.3

2011 8.4

2012 9.3

2013 9.7

2014 10.2

2015 10.0

2016 10.3

Current models[edit]

Up!

City car

Hatchback

Golf

City car

Hatchback Sedan coupé utility

Ameo

City car

Sedan

Fox (South America)

Supermini

Hatchback Estate

Polo

Supermini

Hatchback Coupé Estate

Vento

Subcompact car

Sedan

Beetle

Small family car

Hatchback Convertible

Golf

Small family car

Hatchback Estate Convertible

Jetta

Small family car

Sedan

Arteon

Large family car

Sedan

Passat

Large family car

Sedan Estate Crossover (Alltrack)

Scirocco

Compact sports car

Coupe

Touran

Compact MPV

MPV

Sharan

Large MPV

MPV

T-Roc

City crossover SUV

SUV

Tiguan

Small crossover SUV

SUV

Atlas

Large crossover SUV

SUV

Touareg

Large crossover SUV

SUV

GTI models[edit]

Polo GTI

Supermini

Hatchback

Golf GTI

Small family car

Hatchback

Electric models[edit] GTE models[edit] See also: Volkswagen
Volkswagen
XL1 GTE are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.[80] The GTE's engine, electric motor, and transmission are fully shared with the Audi
Audi
A3 Sportback e-tron:[81]

Golf GTE

Small family car

Hatchback

1.4-liter and an electric motor; can travel for a full 50 km on electricity only.[81]

Passat GTE

Large family car

Estate

e-models[edit] VW e-models are all-electric vehicles.[82]

e-up!

e-Golf

R models[edit] R models are exotic and sport vehicles.

Golf R

Small sports car

Hatchback

Scirocco R

Small sports car

Coupé

Historic models[edit]

Kübelwagen

1940–1945

Schwimmwagen

1942–1944

Sedan, "Beetle, Bug"

1938 - 2003

Karmann
Karmann
Ghia

1955–1974

1500/1600

1961–1973

181

1969–1983

Country Buggy

1967–1969

411

1968–1972

K70

1970–1974

412

1972–1974

Scirocco

1974–1981

Derby

1977–1981

Corrado

1988–1995

Lupo

1998–2004

New Beetle

1998–2010

Golf +

2004-2009

Routan

2009-2013

Eos

2006-2015

Phaeton

2003-2016

CC

2008-2017

Electric and alternative fuel vehicles[edit] Neat ethanol vehicles[edit]

VW neat ethanol prototype car developed by Volkswagen do Brasil
Volkswagen do Brasil
in 1978.

Volkswagen do Brasil
Volkswagen do Brasil
produced and sold neat ethanol-powered, (E100 only), vehicles in Brazil, and production was discontinued only after they were supplanted by more modern Flex Fuel technology. As a response to the 1973 oil crisis, the Brazilian government began promoting bioethanol as a fuel, and the National Alcohol Program -Pró-Álcool- (Portuguese: Programa Nacional do Álcool) was launched in 1975.[83][84][85] Compelled by the 1979 energy crisis, and after development and testing with government fleets by the CTA at São José dos Campos, and further testing of several prototypes developed by the four local carmakers, including Volkswagen
Volkswagen
do Brasil, neat ethanol vehicles were launched in the Brazilian market.[83][84] Gasoline engines were modified to support hydrous ethanol characteristics and changes included compression ratio, amount of fuel injected, replacement of materials that would get corroded by the contact with ethanol, use of colder spark plugs suitable for dissipating heat due to higher flame temperatures, and an auxiliary cold-start system that injects gasoline from a small tank in the engine compartment to help starting when cold. Within six years, around 75% of all Brazilian passenger cars were manufactured with ethanol engines.[83][86] Production and sales of neat ethanol vehicles tumbled beginning in 1987 owing to several factors, including a sharp decline in gasoline prices as a result of the 1980s oil glut, and high sugar prices in the world market, shifting sugarcane ethanol production from fuel to sugar. By mid-1989, a shortage of ethanol fuel supply in the local market left thousands of vehicles in line at gas stations or out of fuel in their garages, forcing consumers to abandon ethanol vehicles.[85][87] Flexible-fuel vehicles[edit]

The 2003 VW Gol 1.6 Total Flex was the first full flexible-fuel vehicle launched in Brazil, capable of running on any blend of gasoline and E100. In March of that year, on its fiftieth anniversary, Volkswagen do Brasil
Volkswagen do Brasil
launched in the local market the Gol 1.6 Total Flex, the first Brazilian commercial flexible fuel vehicle capable of running on any mix of E20-E25 gasoline and up to 100% hydrous ethanol fuel (E100).[88][89][90][91] After the neat ethanol fiasco, consumer confidence in ethanol-powered vehicles was restored, allowing a rapid adoption of the flex technology. This was facilitated by the fuel distribution infrastructure already in place throughout Brazil, with more than 30 thousand fueling stations, a heritage of the Pró-Álcool program[92][93] Owing to the success and rapid consumer acceptance of the flex-fuel versions, by 2005 VW had sold 293,523 flex-fuel cars and light-duty trucks, and only 53,074 gasoline-only automobiles,[94] jumping to 525,838 flex-fuel vehicles and only 13,572 gasoline-only cars and 248 gasoline-only light trucks in 2007,[95] and reaching new car sales of 564,959 flex-fuel vehicles in 2008, representing 96% of all new cars and light-duty trucks sold in that year.[96] VW do Brasil stopped manufacturing gasoline-only vehicles models for the local market in 2006,[89] and all of the remaining gasoline-only Volkswagen
Volkswagen
models sold in Brazil are imported. The flex-fuel models currently produced for the local market are the Gol, Fox, CrossFox, Parati, Polo Hatch, Polo Sedan, Saveiro, Golf, and Kombi.[97] By March 2009, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
do Brasil had attained the milestone mark of two million flex-fuel vehicles produced since 2003.[98][99] Hybrid vehicles[edit]

The Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen Jetta
Hybrid gets 48 mpg highway.

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
and Sanyo
Sanyo
have teamed up to develop a battery system for hybrid cars.[100] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
head Martin Winterkorn
Martin Winterkorn
has confirmed the company plans to build compact hybrid electric vehicles. He has stated "There will definitely be compact hybrid models, such as Polo and Golf, and without any great delay", with gasoline and diesel power. For example, Golf is the ideal model to go hybrid as the Golf 1.4 TSI was recently awarded the "Auto Environment Certificate" by the Oko-Trend Institute for Environmental Research, and was considered as one of the most environmentally friendly vehicles of 2007.[101] Also underway at Volkswagen's Braunschweig
Braunschweig
R&D facilities in Northern Germany
Germany
is a hybrid version of the next-generation Touareg.[102] VW intends all future models to have the hybrid option. "Future VW models will fundamentally also be constructed with hybrid concepts," VW head of development Ulrich Hackenberg told Automobilwoche in an interview. Hackenberg mentioned that the car based on the Up! concept seen at Frankfurt Motor Show,[103] as well as all future models, could be offered with either full or partial hybrid options. The rear-engine up! will go into production in 2011. Nothing has been said about plug-in hybrid options.[104] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
announced at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show the launch of the 2012 Touareg Hybrid, scheduled for 2011.[105][106] VW also announced plans to introduce diesel-electric hybrid versions of its most popular models in 2012, beginning with the new Jetta, followed by the Golf Hybrid in 2013 together with hybrid versions of the Passat.[107][108] In 2012, the Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen Jetta
Hybrid set the world record to become the fastest hybrid car at 187 mph. Plug-in electric vehicles[edit] In November 2009, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
announced it has hired Karl-Thomas Neumann as its group chief officer for electric traction.[109] VW's Chief of research, Jürgen Leohold, said in 2010 the company has concluded hydrogen fuel-cell cars are not a viable option.[110][111]

Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen Golf
GTE plug-in hybrid charging.

As of May 2016[update], the Volkswagen Group
Volkswagen Group
offers for retails customers nine plug-in electric cars, of which, three are all-electric cars: the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
e-Up!, e-Golf and Audi
Audi
R8 e-tron, and six are plug-in hybrids: the Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen Golf
GTE, Passat GTE, Audi
Audi
A3 Sportback e-tron, Q7 e-tron quattro, Porsche
Porsche
Panamera S E-Hybrid and Cayenne S E-Hybrid.[112] Also two limited production plug-in hybrids were manufactured beginning in 2013, the Volkswagen XL1
Volkswagen XL1
(250 units) and the Porsche
Porsche
918 Spyder (918 units).[113][114] Total cumulative sales of all Volkswagen
Volkswagen
brand electrified cars since the start of their respective production is expected to reach about 103,000 by the end of 2016.[112] In order to comply with increasingly strict carbon dioxide emission limits in major markets, the VW Group expects to sell about one million all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles a year worldwide by 2025. The Group plans to expand its plug-in range with 20 new pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars, including two cars to compete with Tesla Motors, the Porsche
Porsche
Mission E all-electric car and the Audi e-tron quattro, which is expected to become the brand's first mass production electric vehicle. According to Thomas Ulbrich, VW brand production chief, the carmaker has capacitty to build as many as 75,000 battery electric and plug-in hybrids a year if demand rises. Volkswagen
Volkswagen
announced in October 2015 that "it will develop a modular architecture for battery electric cars, called the MEB. The standardized system will be designed for all body structures and vehicle types and will allow the company to build emotionally appealing EVs with a range of up to 310 mi (500 km)."[112] In June 2016, VW launched a program to develop 30 all-electric cars in 10 years, and sell 2-3 million electric cars per year by 2025.[115] Due to lower manpower requirements for electric motors than for piston engines, VW expects a gradual workforce reduction as numbers of electric cars increase.[116][117] VW considers battery factory ownership as too expensive.[118] Environmental record[edit]

The Volkswagen
Volkswagen
XL1, with potential mileage as high as 261 mpg, is the most fuel-efficient car in the world

In 1974 Volkswagen
Volkswagen
paid a $120,000 fine to settle a complaint filed by the Environmental Protection Agency over the use of so-called "defeat devices" that disabled certain pollution-control systems. The complaint said the use of the devices violated the U.S. Clean Air Act. [119] In 1996, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
first implemented its seven environmental goals in Technical Development with themes involving climate protection, resource conservation, and healthcare, through objectives such as reducing greenhouse emissions and fuel consumption, enabling alternative fuels, and avoiding hazardous materials.[120] The goals have been revised in 2002 and 2007. Volkswagen
Volkswagen
was the first car manufacturer to apply ISO 14000, during its drafting stage and was re-certified under the standards in September 2005.[citation needed] In 2011, Greenpeace
Greenpeace
began criticising Volkswagen's opposition to legislation requiring tighter controls on CO2 emissions and energy efficiency, and launched an advertising campaign parodying VW's series of Star Wars-based commercials.[120][121] In 2013, the Volkswagen XL1
Volkswagen XL1
became the most fuel-efficient production car in the world, with a claimed combined fuel consumption of 261 mpg (0.90 liter/100 km).[122] Driving style has huge impact on this result - "normal" driving produces mileage in the 120 mpg range (1.96 liter/100 km) [123] As of 2014[update], VW is registered with a Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) of 34-38 mpg in USA.[124] Diesel emission violations[edit] Main article: Volkswagen
Volkswagen
emissions scandal

Wikinews has related news: Volkswagen
Volkswagen
engulfed by diesel emissions scandal

On 18 September 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said beginning in 2008 the automaker improperly installed engine control unit (ECU) software determined to be a "defeat device", in violation of the Clean Air Act to circumvent environmental regulations of NOx emissions by diesel engine 2009-2015 model year Volkswagen
Volkswagen
and Audi
Audi
cars. The software detects when the cars were being subject to emissions testing, and then fully enabled ECU emission controls to successfully pass.[125][126] However, during normal driving conditions, emission control software was shut off in order to attain greater fuel economy and additional power, resulting in as much as 40 times more pollution than allowed by law.[127][128] Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports
tested a 2011 Jetta SportWagen TDI and found in emissions mode its 0-60 mph time increased by 0.6 seconds and its highway fuel economy dropped from 50 mpg to 46 mpg.[129] Volkswagen admitted to using the defeat device, and has been ordered to recall approximately 482,000 cars with four-cylinder 2.0-liter TDI engines.[130] United States federal penalties may include fines ranging up to US$18 billion, and possibly criminal charges.[131] On 28 June 2016, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
agreed to pay a settlement of $15.3 billion, the largest auto-related consumer class-action lawsuit in the United States history.[132] In May 2014, the EPA
EPA
was first alerted to the issue by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), reporting results[133] of research commissioned for them by West Virginia University's Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions (CAFEE).[134][135] After 15 months of denying the emissions control systems were deliberately gamed and instead claiming discrepancies due to "technical" reasons, on August 21 Volkswagen
Volkswagen
acknowledged to the EPA
EPA
and California Air Resources Board
California Air Resources Board
(CARB) their emission controls systems were rigged. This was followed by a formal announcement of admission to regulators on September 3 which took place immediately after the EPA
EPA
threatened to withhold approval for their 2016 cars.[136] Volkswagen's initial public response came on 20 September, when a spokesman said they would stop all US sales of the diesel models affected. Chairman
Chairman
Martin Winterkorn
Martin Winterkorn
issued an apology and said Volkswagen
Volkswagen
would cooperate with investigators.[137] Since emission standards in Canada are close to those in the US, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Canada also halted sales of the affected diesel models.[138] on 22 September 2015, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
spokesman admitted that the defeat device is installed in ~11 million vehicles with Type EA 189
EA 189
diesel engines worldwide.[139] On the first business day after the news, Volkswagen's stock price declined 20% and declined another 17% the following day, the same day a social media advertisement with Wired about "how diesel was re-engineered" was removed as well as a series of YouTube
YouTube
ads titled "Diesel Old Wives’ Tales".[140][141][142] On Wednesday, 23 September, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn resigned.[143] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
hired Kirkland & Ellis law firm for defense, the same firm that defended BP during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.[144] On 2 November 2016, the EPA
EPA
issued a second notice of violation (NOV) pertaining to certain diesel 3.0-liter V6 equipped Audis, Volkswagen Touaregs and Porsche
Porsche
Cayennes.[145] The EPA
EPA
found beginning with the 2009 model year all vehicles powered by the V6 were non-compliant.[146] During testing the EPA, CARB and Transport Canada discovered software that activates pollution reduction systems when the automobiles are being driven under federal test conditions, otherwise during real world driving these devices are inactive.[147][148] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
disputed the EPA's findings stating their software was legally permitted,[149] however shortly after Volkswagen
Volkswagen
issued a stop-sale for the EPA's disputed vehicles and additional models the EPA
EPA
did not question.[150] In March 2016, the US Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission
sued Volkswagen
Volkswagen
for false advertising, because Volkswagen's "clean diesel" vehicles were less environmentally friendly than advertised.[151] In November 2016, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
and its labour unions agreed to reduce the workforce by 30,000 people until 2021 as a result of the costs from the violations. However, 9,000 new jobs would come by producing more electric cars.[152] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
also announced plans to become the world leader in electric cars, producing 1 million VW-EVs by 2025 and 3 million by the group,[153] and a VW manager stated that its diesel cars would not become available in USA.[154] On 11 January 2017, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
agreed to plead guilty to the emissions-cheating scandal and to pay $4.3 billion in penalties. Six Volkswagen
Volkswagen
executives were charged.[155][156] The following day, one of the indicted executives was ordered to be held without bail pending trial as it was feared that he would flee to Germany
Germany
and extradition would be impossible.[157][158] Senior VW management staff were warned not to travel to the US.[159] On 23 January 2017, a US judge approved a $1.2 billion settlement in which 650 American dealers, "who, like consumers, were blindsided by the brazen fraud that VW perpetrated," would receive an average of $1.85 million.[160] Awards[edit]

The Volkswagen Polo
Volkswagen Polo
in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Polo won the 2010 World Car of the Year

The Volkswagen up!
Volkswagen up!
won the 2012 World Car of the Year

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
was named the fourth most influential car of the 20th century in the 1999 Car of the Century
Car of the Century
competition, for its Volkswagen Type 1 'Beetle" model. It trailed only the Ford
Ford
Model T, BMC Mini, and Citroën DS.[161] Volkswagen
Volkswagen
has produced three winners of the 50-year-old European Car of the Year award.

1992 - Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Golf 2010 - Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Polo 2013 - Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Golf

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
has produced five winners of the United States Motor Trend Car of the Year award — the original Car of the Year designation, which began in 1949.

1985 - Volkswagen
Volkswagen
GTI 1999 - Volkswagen New Beetle
Volkswagen New Beetle
(Import COTY subgroup) 2004 - Volkswagen Touareg
Volkswagen Touareg
( Sport Utility Vehicle
Sport Utility Vehicle
COTY subgroup) 2012 - Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Passat 2015 - Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen Golf
line-up[162]

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
has already produced four winners of the recently developed World Car of the Year award.

2009 - Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Golf 2010 - Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Polo 2012 - Volkswagen
Volkswagen
up! 2013 - Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Golf

Motorsport[edit] Main article: Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Motorsport Formula racing[edit]

In 1963, Formula Vee
Formula Vee
circuit racing, with cars built from easily available Beetle parts, started in the United States. It quickly spread to Europe
Europe
and other parts of the world. It proved very popular as a low-cost route into formula racing.[163] In 1971, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
of America started the more powerful Formula Super Vee, which became famous for hothousing new talent.[citation needed] In the 11 years it ran, until 1982, it produced a stable of world-famous Formula One
Formula One
drivers—names like Niki Lauda, Jochen Mass, Nelson Piquet, Jochen Rindt
Jochen Rindt
and Keke Rosberg. Volkswagen
Volkswagen
also notched up several victories, and the championship in Formula Three. In July 2011 Wolfgang Dürheimer, the director of Bugatti
Bugatti
and Bentley, told German magazine Auto, Motor und Sport
Auto, Motor und Sport
that "if [the VW group] is at the forefront of the auto industry, I can imagine us competing in Formula 1 in 2018. We have enough brands to pull it off."[164] They did not compete in F1 in 2018.

World Rally Championship[edit]

In 1981, now based in Hanover, VW took a new direction into rallying, with the launch of the first-generation Golf, and Sweden's Per Eklund, Frenchman Jean-Luc Thérier, and the Finn Pentti Airikkala. The final chapters in Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Racing UK's rallying story were the 'one-make' Castrol Polo Challenge, and the Polo GTI 'Super 1600' in 2001. Volkswagen Motorsport
Volkswagen Motorsport
won the World Rally Championship
World Rally Championship
with Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia
Julien Ingrassia
four years in a row from 2013 to 2016 in the Volkswagen Polo
Volkswagen Polo
R WRC.

Dakar Rally[edit]

In 1980, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
competed with the Audi-developed Iltis, placing 1st, 2nd, 4th and 9th overall. In 2003, the Hanover-based team entered with a 2WD buggy named Tarek, finishing 6th overall and 1st in the 2WD and Diesel class. In 2005, an updated Race-Touareg with slightly more power entered, with driver Bruno Saby
Bruno Saby
finishing 3rd overall and 1st in the Diesel class. In 2006, the revised Race-Touareg entered, with driver Giniel de Villiers finishing 2nd overall and 1st in the Diesel class. Volkswagen
Volkswagen
won the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Dakar Rally, held in South America.

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
motorsport worldwide[edit]

Europe: In 1998 the company founded the ADAC
ADAC
Volkswagen Lupo
Volkswagen Lupo
Cup, founded in 1998 (renamed Polo Cup in 2003, and Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Scirocco R-Cup from 2010 to 2014), and started the ADAC
ADAC
New Beetle Cup in 2000. In 2004, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
entered the European Truck Racing series with the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Titan truck – it became a back-to-back champion for the 2004 and 2005 series. United States: In 1976, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
entered the under-2000-cc Trans-Am Series, with the Scirocco, and they won their class outright.[165] Beginning in 2008 Volkswagen
Volkswagen
introduced the Jetta TDI Cup. The Jetta TDI Cup is a SCCA sanctioned race series that features 25 drivers between the ages of 16 and 26 driving slightly modified 2009 Jetta TDIs. The series features 10 events at 8 different road courses across North America. There is $50,000 prize money at stake over the course of the series in addition to the $100,000 prize awarded to the champion of the series at the conclusion of the last race.[166] Argentina: Many Volkswagen
Volkswagen
models have competed in TC 2000, including the 1980 to 1983 champion Volkswagen
Volkswagen
1500 and the 1994 champion Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Gol. In 1999 and 2000, VW won the F2 Australian Rally Championship with the Golf GTI. Finland: In 2002, VW won the Finnish Rally Championship
Finnish Rally Championship
in a7/(F2), with a Golf Mk4 KitCar, with Mikko Hirvonen. In 1999 and 2000, VW won the Finnish Rally Championship
Finnish Rally Championship
in a7/(F2) with a Golf Mk3 KitCar. In 2000, 2001 and 2002, VW won the Finnish Racing Championship in Sport 2000 with a Golf Mk4.[167] Austria: From 1967 until 1974, the Austrian sole distributor Porsche Salzburg entered the VW Beetle
VW Beetle
(1500, 1302S and 1303S) in Europe-wide rallies. Victories were achieved in 1972 and 1973 in the overall Austrian championship, on Elba, in the Acropolis rally (first in class). Top drivers were Tony Fall (GB), Achim Warmbold (D), Günter Janger (A), Harry Källström(S).

1939 Berlin
Berlin
to Rome. Porsche
Porsche
Type 64 racer based on Beetle platform

Twin-engine racing Beetle developed by Wilson and Emerson Fittipaldi brothers

Bora in TC 2000, a national championship of Argentina

Bora in Stock Car Brasil

Edition 2007 Race Touareg 2 at Essen Motor Show 2006

Constellation in the 2006 Brazilian Fórmula Truck
Fórmula Truck
Championship

Literature[edit]

Jonas Kiefer: VW Typenatlas, Serienfahrzeuge. 2. Auflage. Delius Klasing, Bielefeld 2002, ISBN 3-7688-1271-5. Rudi Heppe: VW Personenwagen. Podszun, Brilon 2001, ISBN 3-86133-209-4. Halwart Schrader: VW Personenwagen seit 1945, Band 1, Typenkompass. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart
Stuttgart
2001, ISBN 3-613-02105-6. Halwart Schrader: VW Personenwagen seit 1945, Band 2, Typenkompass. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart
Stuttgart
2001, ISBN 3-613-02186-2. Werner Oswald: Deutsche Autos, Band 2, 1920–1945. 2. Auflage. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart
Stuttgart
2005, ISBN 3-613-02170-6. Werner Oswald: Deutsche Autos, Band 3, 1945–1990, Ford, Opel
Opel
und Volkswagen. 1. Auflage. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart
Stuttgart
2001, ISBN 3-613-02116-1.

See also[edit]

Germany
Germany
portal Cars portal Companies portal

Baja bug Cal Look Fahrvergnügen List of German cars List of automobile manufacturers Punch buggy Standard Superior – a previous attempt to produce a "Volkswagen" Steyr 50 Twin Drive VDub – tagline for the recent VWoA Golf GTI TV advertisemen* Volksflugzeug Volksrod Volkswagen advertising history VW 276 Schlepperfahrzeug, military use 1944

Notes[edit]

^ Tooze notes: "Even if the war had not intervened, developments up to 1939 made clear that the entire conception of the 'people's car' was a disastrous flop." Tooze (2006) p.156).

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Diesel Laws, Could Face Billions in Fines". Car and Driver. Retrieved 18 September 2015.  ^ "WVU Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions". Cafee.wvu.edu. Retrieved 22 September 2015.  ^ "VW, after a year of stonewalling, stunned U.S. regulators with confession". Autonews.com. Retrieved 2017-07-24.  ^ Ewing, Jack; Davenport, Coral (20 September 2015), " Volkswagen
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to Stop Sales of Diesel Cars Involved in Recall", New York Times  ^ " Volkswagen
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Diesel Tech Goes Missing". Adage.com. Retrieved 2017-07-24.  ^ Ewing, Jack (21 September 2015), " Volkswagen
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Denied Deception to E.P.A. for Nearly a Year", New York Times  ^ Ballaban, Michael. "Why Did Volkswagen
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Delete All Of Its Diesel Ads From YouTube?". Retrieved 2015-09-26.  ^ " Volkswagen
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chief executive Martin Winterkorn
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hires law firm that defended BP after oil spill". Automotive News.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 November 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.  ^ "VW's 3.0-liter diesels under wider scrutiny by EPA, CARB". Autonews.com. Retrieved 2017-07-24.  ^ "VW prepares to fight latest diesel cheating allegations". Autonews.com. Retrieved 2017-07-24.  ^ "VW, Porsche, Audi
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Further reading[edit]

William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Third Reich
(50th Anniversary Edition) (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990) Andrea Hiott, Thinking Small (New York: Ballantine Books, 2012)

External links[edit]

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