Volkswagen (VW) is a German manufacturer of a wide range of vehicles. Volkswagen distributes its cars to every corner of the globe. Volkswagen used line of autos includes: sedans, crossovers, coupes, wagons, sport utility vehicles and convertibles for sale in North America.
Volkswagen is an interesting success story created from the collaboration of an automotive legend and a despised dictator, nearly ruined by war, co-opted for propaganda, and finally resurrected by the British and German governments to become a global leader. The early history of Volkswagen is that of two very different people, Ferdinand Porsche and Adolf Hitler.
The idea of the Volkswagen was that of a "people's car." In fact, that's exactly what the word "volkswagen" means. Starting around 1931, Porsche began designing cars for a variety of manufacturers via its independent engineering and consultation business. The designs Porsche would come up with during these years would pay off in 1933 when Porsche was approached by Germany's new Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, to discuss building the volkswagen. A year later Porsche would receive the first official order for the volkswagen. During World War II, Hitler would use the volkswagen for propaganda, and even went as far as renaming the car for those purposes. Porsche was not a member of the Nazi party and reportedly was not pleased by the renaming of his creation. Regardless, Porsche and Volkswagen would remain linked even to this day.
From those lofty beginnings would come the people's car. As it were, much of the production capacity earmarked for the people's car would be devoted to the wartime effort, so few people ever got the opportunity to own the people's car in these early days. It was not until after the war that the volkswagen would start to find real success. With assistance from the British after the war in 1945, the factories were brought back and once again began producing cars. The company was officially named Volkswagen, and in 1949 British control of VW was given over to the German government. Volkswagen would fare very differently while under German government control the second time around. Soon, VW cars and vans were being exported around the world. This included a handful of cars that were export to the US in 1949, however it would not be until the mid-1950's that the VW cars would become popular in the US. It was also during this time that VW would expand by building factories in South America, Australia, and England.
Volkswagen would go from a war-torn company to an international manufacturing giant in a little more than a decade. Today, the company owns Bugatti, Seat, Skoda, Audi and Bentley. In turn, VW is owned by private shareholders (49%), Porsche Automobil Holding SE (31%) and the State of Lower Saxony (20%). A couple of great used Volkswagen cars include the Passat, Jetta, GTI, Golf, Tiguan, and Touareg.