Happy Birthday, Volkswagen! As the automaker turns 80, OSV has produced a colourful infographic with everything you need to know about the iconic company.
Although Volkswagen has been around for 80 years and have had lots of publicity since, there are still many surprising facts about the company that aren’t widely known.
With this in mind, OSV has published an infographic to share some of those unknown and sometimes crazy facts about Volkswagen. From its association with Nazi Germany to the iconic Beetle and the emissions scandal. Why not test your Volkswagen knowledge and see how much you really know about the company, by reading some of the most unusual facts below.
The Craziest Facts:
- The Nazis and Volkswagen – The idea for the Volkswagen, ‘People’s car’, came from Adolf Hitler. He chose Ferdinand Porsche to engineer a car that could carry 2 adults and 3 children, and that could do 100km/h (62mph). The idea was, that people could buy it through an affordable savings scheme and that’s how the base for the VW Beetle was born.
- British car manufacturers said no to the Beetle – The Beetle was offered to the Brits on a plate at the end of the war, but British car manufacturers turned down the opportunity to manufacture it.
- Wind currents – The Volkswagen Golf is actually the German word for “gulf” – as in “the Gulf stream.” Naming cars after prominent winds are kind of a trend for VW.
- Inspiring dog toys – The popular dogs toy, the Kong is based on a part of a Volkswagen bus suspension that the creator’s German Shepherds loved to play with.
- Domino’s co-founder loved VW more than his pizza– In 1961, James Monaghan, co-founder of Domino’s Pizza, traded his 50% stake in the company to his brother Tom for a used Volkswagen. Tom went on to sell his 93% for $1 billion.
- Two Beetle shells are covered in wax – Shells of the two last Beetles made in Germany are so important to the company that they had them protected in wax. They are currently housed at VW’s Milton-Keynes parts store.
- The most valuable company – Volkswagen was once the most valuable company in the world – for exactly one day.
- Giving birth in a Beetle – Although giving birth in a car isn’t ideal, those born in Beetles received financial compensation. Volkswagen used to award those particular babies with bonds.
- Stock drops – Volkswagen’s share price fell 35% in two days after the emissions scandal was revealed.
- Record sales in 2016 – However, despite the emissions scandal, Volkswagen revealed that it sold a record 10.3 million cars globally in 2016.
“With Volkswagen turning 80 we wanted to do something to acknowledge the automakers birthday,” said Debbie Kirkley, OSV’s Co-Founder, “They’re a fascinating company with a long and rich history, but not all of their history is widely known. With this in mind, we decided to illustrate 30 of the lesser known and crazier facts to do with the company.”
So whether you want to improve your Volkswagen knowledge or learn a little bit about the company, check out the rest of the insane VW facts illustrated on our infographic here.