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1950s
1950
Jan January
Germany's economic miracle

Germany's economic miracle

01 Jan 1950

Our Story

Germany's economic miracle

During the 1950's, Volkswagen is lauded as a symbol of West Germany's economic miracle. The company's success results from a conspi…

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During the 1950's, Volkswagen is lauded as a symbol of West Germany's economic miracle. The company's success results from a conspicuous profile and constantly improving engineering. Volkswagen shapes it's long-term growth strategy by combing mass production, global market orientation and the integration of its workforce.
Ireland claims first Beetle made outside of Germany

Ireland claims first Beetle made outside of Germany

01 Jan 1950

Trivia

Ireland claims first Beetle made outside of Germany

The first Volkswagen ever built outside Germany was assembled in Ireland on the assembly line in a former tram depot at 162, Shelbo…

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The first Volkswagen ever built outside Germany was assembled in Ireland on the assembly line in a former tram depot at 162, Shelbourne Road in Ballsbridge. This vehicle is now on display at the Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg.
The Beetle's success

The Beetle's success

01 Jan 1950

Trivia

The Beetle's success

The Beetle was the best selling car of the decade and had a market share of around 40%.

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The Beetle was the best selling car of the decade and had a market share of around 40%.
From where does the term 'Completely Knocked Down" originate?

From where does the term 'Completely Knocked Down" originate?

01 Jan 1950

Trivia

From where does the term 'Completely Knocked Down" originate?

The term 'completely knocked down' was used to describe the vehicles that arrived for assembly in Dublin in 1950. The Volkswagen Be…

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The term 'completely knocked down' was used to describe the vehicles that arrived for assembly in Dublin in 1950. The Volkswagen Beetles arrived in batches of 20, each accompanied by £10 worth of spare parts packed in crates in what was termed as a 'completely knocked down' (CKD) form ready to be assembled.
Feb February
Mar March
Employees rewarded at trendsetting Volkswagen GmbH

Employees rewarded at trendsetting Volkswagen GmbH

04 Mar 1950

Our Story

Employees rewarded at trendsetting Volkswagen GmbH

An annual bonus of up to 120 DM is introduced for the employees of Volkswagenwerk GmbH to mark the occasion of the 100,000th Volksw…

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An annual bonus of up to 120 DM is introduced for the employees of Volkswagenwerk GmbH to mark the occasion of the 100,000th Volkswagen manufactured since the end of the war. In 1954, bonuses are raised to 4% of gross income. In addition to the bonuses the workforce shares in the company's economic success, earning high salaries and receiving a package of voluntary benefits which, given the good general economic conditions of the 1950s, leads to a cooperative working relationship. The sharing possibilities are immense; Works Council and management worked together in an attempt to keep employee turnover low in order to solve the chronic shortage of skilled workers. A generous pay and benefits system helps to create a stable workforce which considers itself part of the Volkswagen family. With its own in-house wage agreement, Volkswagen is ranked at the top of the German automobile industry and serves as a trendsetter for other industries. Volkswagen's so-called "high wage policy" allowing employees to share in the company's success is criticised by employer's federations as well as by the federal government.
Volkswagen's first commercial vehicle

Volkswagen's first commercial vehicle

08 Mar 1950

 0036 Layer 142

Volkswagen's first commercial vehicle

Production of the Volkswagen Type 2 - the Transporter - begins in Wolfsburg. The model dominates the market for station wagons and …

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Production of the Volkswagen Type 2 - the Transporter - begins in Wolfsburg. The model dominates the market for station wagons and delivery vehicles with a market share of some 30%. The practical nature of the vehicle leads to great demand in Germany and overseas.
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Volkswagen as leading world trader

Volkswagen as leading world trader

01 Oct 1950

Our Story

Volkswagen as leading world trader

In 1950, Volkswagen exports one third of its vehicle production to 18 countries, predominantly in Europe. The car manufacturer beco…

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In 1950, Volkswagen exports one third of its vehicle production to 18 countries, predominantly in Europe. The car manufacturer becomes the leading German automobile exporter during the 1950's and South America emerges as an important focus for the company's activities. The expansion of the export business during the first half of the 1950's is risky where investments are only rewarded with narrow profit margins, but in spite of this Volkswagen manages to break into the European, American and African markets by the mid 1950's thanks to its superior engineering and evolving quality standards.
Brunswick and Wolfsburg plants merge

Brunswick and Wolfsburg plants merge

01 Oct 1950

Our Story

Brunswick and Wolfsburg plants merge

The Brunswick facility is integrated into Wolfsburg first commercially and then in terms of organisational structure. Brunswick sup…

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The Brunswick facility is integrated into Wolfsburg first commercially and then in terms of organisational structure. Brunswick supplies tools, machines and spare parts for the Volkswagen sedan and transporter.
Nov November
Dec December
1950
1951
Jan January
Heinz Maria Oeftering

Heinz Maria Oeftering

01 Jan 1951

 0051 Layer 15

Heinz Maria Oeftering

Oeftering served on the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen.

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Oeftering served on the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen.
Feb February
Mar March
Korean War affects production

Korean War affects production

29 Mar 1951

Our Story

Korean War affects production

Foreign demand for German raw materials during the Korean War leads to higher prices and to a temporary acute coal shortage, causin…

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Foreign demand for German raw materials during the Korean War leads to higher prices and to a temporary acute coal shortage, causing problems in acquiring sheet metal. Vehicle production is halted for a few days, after which the factory goes over to short time until February 1952.
Apr April
May May
Hugo Bork

Hugo Bork

09 May 1951

 0052 Layer 14

Hugo Bork

Hugo Bork is elected Chairman of the Works Council, a position he holds until 1971.

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Hugo Bork is elected Chairman of the Works Council, a position he holds until 1971.
Hugo Bork

Hugo Bork

09 May 1951

 0052 Layer 14

Hugo Bork

Bork was involved in the trade union movement and, in 1925, joined the SPD. After the Second World War, he was employed as an assem…

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Bork was involved in the trade union movement and, in 1925, joined the SPD. After the Second World War, he was employed as an assembly worker at the Volkswagen AG and was Council President from 1951 to 1971.
Advisory Council formed

Advisory Council formed

22 May 1951

 0051 Layer 15

Advisory Council formed

An Advisory Council is formed under the chairmanship of Heinz Maria Oeftering. According industrial relations regulations passed in…

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An Advisory Council is formed under the chairmanship of Heinz Maria Oeftering. According industrial relations regulations passed in 1952, the Advisory Council is replaced by a Supervisory Board on 28 August 1953.
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1951
1952
Jan January
New look Beetle

New look Beetle

01 Jan 1952

 0083 Layer 95

New look Beetle

The Beetle changes its appearance. Two brake lights combined with taillights and reflectors, a partially-synchronized gearbox and i…

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The Beetle changes its appearance. Two brake lights combined with taillights and reflectors, a partially-synchronized gearbox and improved suspension comprise the initial improvements aimed at increasing safety and comfort. The split rear window of the "Brezel Beetle" is replaced in 1953 by a larger oval-shaped window which gives the "Ovali Beetle" its name. Single-compartment rear lamps with integrated brake lights, a double exhaust and a PVC sunroof are added in 1955. The rectangular rear window and an enlarged windscreen improve driving conditions from 1957 onwards; a large wing mirror is added one year later.
Beetles arrive in UK

Beetles arrive in UK

01 Jan 1952

Our Story

Beetles arrive in UK

British servicemen stationed in Germany import vehicles into Britain and John Colborne-Baber, who was to eventually become one of t…

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British servicemen stationed in Germany import vehicles into Britain and John Colborne-Baber, who was to eventually become one of the first UK Volkswagen dealers, begins to import small numbers largely to satisfy demand from US Air Force personnel stationed in Kent.
Beetle

Beetle

01 Jan 1952

Our Cars

Beetle

The Beetle changes its appearance. Two brake lights combined with taillights and reflectors, a partially-synchronised gearbox and i…

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The Beetle changes its appearance. Two brake lights combined with taillights and reflectors, a partially-synchronised gearbox and improved suspension make up the initial improvements aimed at increasing safety and comfort. The split rear window of the 'Brezel Beetle' is replaced in 1953 by a larger oval-shaped window which gives the 'Ovali Beetle' its name. Single-compartment rear lamps with integrated brake lights, a double exhaust and a PVC sunroof are added in 1955. The rectangular rear window and an enlarged windscreen improve driving conditions from 1957 onwards; a large wing mirror is added one year later.
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Volkswagen Canada Ltd founded

Volkswagen Canada Ltd founded

11 Sep 1952

 0176 Layer 2

Volkswagen Canada Ltd founded

With the founding of "Volkswagen Canada Ltd" in Toronto and Ontario, Volkswagen expands its sales and customer service network to t…

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With the founding of "Volkswagen Canada Ltd" in Toronto and Ontario, Volkswagen expands its sales and customer service network to the international market. It is a necessary step due to the duty free import of English products which places Volkswagen at a disadvantage, making its entry onto the Canadian market difficult. 94 Volkswagens would be sold in Canada by the end of 1952.
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1952
1953
Jan January
Volkswagen Motors Ltd imports to UK

Volkswagen Motors Ltd imports to UK

01 Jan 1953

Our Story

Volkswagen Motors Ltd imports to UK

Stephen O'Flaherty, who already has the Irish franchise, is given the franchise to import new Volkswagens into the United Kingdom. …

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Stephen O'Flaherty, who already has the Irish franchise, is given the franchise to import new Volkswagens into the United Kingdom. The British company is called Volkswagen Motors Limited operated from a small office in Regent Street with a share capital of £25,000, and two Englishmen, Stanley Grundy and K.J.Dear, were brought in to help finance the operation. Together with C.R.Caridia and Francis Booker, they make up the board of the new company, with K.R.Dear acting as Managing Director. The new company soon begins to interview prospective dealers for the brand with no shortage of applicants; the demand for cars outweighs the supply and dealers can see the commercial sense in getting in at the start of a new franchise. The situation is encouraged by the demise of Jowett whose model "Javelin" had been selling well but the gap it left was easily filled by the Beetle. The first order to Wolfsburg was for 200 cars and these arrived in batches of 20, each accompanied by the spare parts. The company moves to new premises in St James Street where there is a ground floor showroom with offices and a parts store in the basement, but the cars begin to arrive before the move and are lined up in Regent Street while their number plates are attached!
Stephen Grundy

Stephen Grundy

01 Jan 1953

People

Stephen Grundy

In 1953, Grundy helped fund the newly formed Volkswagen Motors Limited and joined the board. Other members of the board included De…

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In 1953, Grundy helped fund the newly formed Volkswagen Motors Limited and joined the board. Other members of the board included Dear, Booker, Caridia and Grundy.
K J Dear

K J Dear

01 Jan 1953

People

K J Dear

In 1953, Dear became the Managing Director of the newly formed Volkswagen Motors Limited. He also helped fund its setup. Other memb…

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In 1953, Dear became the Managing Director of the newly formed Volkswagen Motors Limited. He also helped fund its setup. Other members of the board included Booker, Caridia and Grundy.
C R Caridia

C R Caridia

01 Jan 1953

People

C R Caridia

In 1953, Caridia joined Dear, Grundy and Booker in establishing the newly formed Volkswagen Motors Limited.

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In 1953, Caridia joined Dear, Grundy and Booker in establishing the newly formed Volkswagen Motors Limited.
Francis Booker

Francis Booker

01 Jan 1953

People

Francis Booker

In 1953, Booker joined Dear, Grundy and Caridia in establishing the newly formed Volkswagen Motors Limited.

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In 1953, Booker joined Dear, Grundy and Caridia in establishing the newly formed Volkswagen Motors Limited.
75% of German import vehicles vandalised

75% of German import vehicles vandalised

01 Jan 1953

Trivia

75% of German import vehicles vandalised

There was still a large amount of prejudice against German products in the early days. Volkswagens arrived by ship in Harwich and b…

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There was still a large amount of prejudice against German products in the early days. Volkswagens arrived by ship in Harwich and by the time they arrived in London 75% were damaged by vandalism. The directors charted a ship, the Aphia, to bring cars directly to the Port of London where they were taken by delivery driver to the distributors.
New apartments for Wolfsburg workers

New apartments for Wolfsburg workers

28 Jan 1953

 0055 Layer 123

New apartments for Wolfsburg workers

In order to ease the chronic housing shortage in Wolfsburg, the property development company "VW-Wohnungsbau-Gemeinnützige Gesellsc…

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In order to ease the chronic housing shortage in Wolfsburg, the property development company "VW-Wohnungsbau-Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft mbH" is established, and builds 1,400 apartments. The swift growth of the workforce makes the creation of new housing an urgent task as public funds for these activities are limited. More than half of Volkswagen's employees come from outside Wolfsburg and commute to work, often up to 80 km. Providing company housing becomes an important instrument in creating a permanent workforce.
Feb February
Mar March
First foreign production company for Volkswagen

First foreign production company for Volkswagen

23 Mar 1953

 0152 Layer 26

First foreign production company for Volkswagen

Volkswagen sets up its first foreign production company, "Volkswagen do Brasil Ltda." in São Paulo. The Brazilian government's rest…

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Volkswagen sets up its first foreign production company, "Volkswagen do Brasil Ltda." in São Paulo. The Brazilian government's restrictive import policy, which aims to promote the domestic car industry, means that the only way of achieving long-term success in the South American market is to manufacture directly in the country. Volkswagen has an 80% share in the Brazilian firm which operates as a limited company from July 12 1955. Initially the imported components sets are assembled in rented property. At the end of 1956, however, assembly is transferred to a newly-built factory in São Bernado do Campo. The first Transporter made out of mainly Brazilian components rolls off the line in September 1957; production of the sedan starts in January 1959 and becomes the most popular car in Brazil.
Apr April
May May
Jun June
James Graydon, new Managing Director of Volkswagen Motors Limited

James Graydon, new Managing Director of Volkswagen Motors Limited

01 Jun 1953

Our Story

James Graydon, new Managing Director of Volkswagen Motors Limited

James Graydon, who had been the general manager of Henley Motors takes over as Managing Director. Graydon's brief was to build Volk…

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James Graydon, who had been the general manager of Henley Motors takes over as Managing Director. Graydon's brief was to build Volkswagen Motors into one of the largest importers of foreign cars in Britain. With solid motor industry experience he succeeds in building up sales of Volkswagens in the early years. All orders made by franchises had to be accompanied by a deposit of £60 and although the cars had to be paid for in full when delivered the deposits weren't returned until the following year. This was one way of funding a difficult cash-flow situation, the only money available to the company being the investments of the directors. As sales increase the premises in Central London fails to cope with the service and spare parts demands and the company takes the lease of a 50,000 sq ft, dis-used railway shed in Plaistow, East London. Volkswagen Motors sold 945 vehicles in 1953 this went up to 3,260 the following year and by the end of 1959 reaches an annual figure of over 9,000.
James Graydon

James Graydon

01 Jun 1953

People

James Graydon

In 1953, James Graydon, who had been the General Manager of Henley Motors took over as Managing Director. Graydon's brief was to bu…

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In 1953, James Graydon, who had been the General Manager of Henley Motors took over as Managing Director. Graydon's brief was to build Volkswagen Motors into one of the largest importers of foreign cars in Britain. With solid motor industry experience he succeeded in building up sales of Volkswagens in the early years.
Jul July
Production reaches the 500,000 mark

Production reaches the 500,000 mark

01 Jul 1953

Our Story

Production reaches the 500,000 mark

The 500,000th vehicle leaves the production line.

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The 500,000th vehicle leaves the production line.
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Exports highs of 44%

Exports highs of 44%

01 Oct 1953

Our Story

Exports highs of 44%

Volkswagenwerk GmbH accumulates 82 sales agencies outside of Germany. Exports account for 44% of vehicle production. With 68,754 ve…

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Volkswagenwerk GmbH accumulates 82 sales agencies outside of Germany. Exports account for 44% of vehicle production. With 68,754 vehicles exported in 1953, Volkswagen accounts for over 40% of all passenger car exports from the Federal Republic of Germany.
Nov November
Iconic "VW" trademark registered

Iconic "VW" trademark registered

21 Nov 1953

The Volkswagen trademark, the "letters V and W contained in a circle", which was created in 1948 by Franz Xaver Reimspiess, an engine designer at Porsche KG, is registered with the German Patent Office on 21 November 1953.
Volkswagen's iconic trademark

Volkswagen's iconic trademark

21 Nov 1953

Trivia

Volkswagen's iconic trademark

The Volkswagen trademark, the letters V and W contained in a circle, was created by Franz Xaver Reimspiess, an engine designer at P…

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The Volkswagen trademark, the letters V and W contained in a circle, was created by Franz Xaver Reimspiess, an engine designer at Porsche KG, and was registered with the German Patent Office on 21st November 1953.
First economics committee meeting

First economics committee meeting

30 Nov 1953

Our Story

First economics committee meeting

An economics committee with equal representation meets for the first time in the Volkswagenwerk. Its purpose is to inform the Works…

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An economics committee with equal representation meets for the first time in the Volkswagenwerk. Its purpose is to inform the Works Council about management's company policies.
Dec December
1953
1954
Jan January
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Conveyor-belt production for the beetle

Conveyor-belt production for the beetle

01 Aug 1954

Our Story

Conveyor-belt production for the beetle

An internal report on the condition of the American automobile market identifies technical deficiencies that are disadvantageous fo…

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An internal report on the condition of the American automobile market identifies technical deficiencies that are disadvantageous for the company in comparison to American competition. This leads Volkswagen to increase production rationalisation in order to compensate. By modifying the organisational structure, moving to conveyor-belt assembly and automating production, the company completes the changeover to large-scale standard production and is able to meet the high volume demands.
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1954
1955
Jan January
Karmann Ghia 2+2 Coupé

Karmann Ghia 2+2 Coupé

01 Jan 1955

Our Cars

Karmann Ghia 2+2 Coupé

This model was based on the traditional Beetle chassis and drivetrain, with the rear mounted air-cooled flat-four 1192cc engine pro…

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This model was based on the traditional Beetle chassis and drivetrain, with the rear mounted air-cooled flat-four 1192cc engine producing 30 bhp. Styled by Ghia and hand built in the Karmann factory, the interior was redesigned slightly in 1957.
Feb February
Workers social benefits increase

Workers social benefits increase

10 Feb 1955

Our Story

Workers social benefits increase

According to the general agreement on pay scales, wage earners will continue to be paid during periods of illness. Along with this …

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According to the general agreement on pay scales, wage earners will continue to be paid during periods of illness. Along with this right, a number of new benefits are introduced that give the company an unmistakable social profile during the 1950s.
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Volkswagen in New York

Volkswagen in New York

21 Jul 1955

Our Story

Volkswagen in New York

"Volkswagen United States Inc." is founded with its Headquarters in New York as a market research and observation instrument.

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"Volkswagen United States Inc." is founded with its Headquarters in New York as a market research and observation instrument.
Aug August
Ghia Coupé goes into production

Ghia Coupé goes into production

01 Aug 1955

Our Story

Ghia Coupé goes into production

The Ghia Coupé, developed in cooperation with the coachbuilder Karmann, goes into production.

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The Ghia Coupé, developed in cooperation with the coachbuilder Karmann, goes into production.
Production levels hit 1,000,000

Production levels hit 1,000,000

05 Aug 1955

 0081 Layer 97

Production levels hit 1,000,000

Employees and dealers from home and abroad celebrate the production of the one millionth Volkswagen in Wolfsburg.

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Employees and dealers from home and abroad celebrate the production of the one millionth Volkswagen in Wolfsburg.
Sep September
Oct October
Volkswagen of America, Inc. founded

Volkswagen of America, Inc. founded

27 Oct 1955

Our Story

Volkswagen of America, Inc. founded

"Volkswagen United States Inc.", later dissolved, is replaced by its successor, "Volkswagen of America, Inc.", founded in Newark, …

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"Volkswagen United States Inc.", later dissolved, is replaced by its successor, "Volkswagen of America, Inc.", founded in Newark, New Jersey. After plans for production in the United States are cancelled, the company assumes the function of a sales organisation. Its main office is moved to Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The American Volkswagen subsidiary supervises the import of Volkswagens starting in January 1956 and begins to overhaul the presentation of the brand by imposing strict service requirements.
Nov November
Dec December
1955
1956
Jan January
UK popularity of Beetle

UK popularity of Beetle

01 Jan 1956

 0083 Layer 95

UK popularity of Beetle

Sales of the Beetle, once described by the British Motor Industry Commission as "a bizarre, noisy, too flimsy" "a toy not to be tak…

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Sales of the Beetle, once described by the British Motor Industry Commission as "a bizarre, noisy, too flimsy" "a toy not to be taken seriously" a type of car like this will remain popular for two or three years, if that," rose from 945 in 1953 to 5,381 in 1956.
Feb February
Mar March
Hanover factory for the Transporter

Hanover factory for the Transporter

08 Mar 1956

 0119 Layer 59

Hanover factory for the Transporter

After a one-year period of construction, a new plant in Hanover-Stöcken starts producing the Transporter. The Supervisory Board agr…

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After a one-year period of construction, a new plant in Hanover-Stöcken starts producing the Transporter. The Supervisory Board agrees to this decentralisation of production on 24 January 1955, because higher demands require an increased capacity, which can no longer be met because of a limited pool of workers in the Wolfsburg area. By transferring production of the Transporter to Hanover, it is now possible to expand Beetle production in the plant at Wolfsburg and so keep up with increasing demand. In the autumn of 1957, construction of a new engine factory begins in Hanover, which starts production on 25 March 1959.
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Volkswagen foothold in South African market

Volkswagen foothold in South African market

12 Oct 1956

Our Story

Volkswagen foothold in South African market

In order to consolidate its position on the South African market, the Volkswagenwerk GmbH acquires an interest in the "South Africa…

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In order to consolidate its position on the South African market, the Volkswagenwerk GmbH acquires an interest in the "South African Motor Assemblers and Distributors Ltd. (SAMAD)", a company in Uitenhage predominately in English hands which imports dismantled Volkswagens and then assembles and sells them. In 1957, interest in the company is increased from 38% to 57.6%.
Nov November
Dec December
1956
1957
Jan January
Lord Brabazon

Lord Brabazon

01 Jan 1957

People

Lord Brabazon

In 1957, Lord Brabazon became the chairman of Volkswagen Motors Limited when it became part of the Thomas Tilling Group.

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In 1957, Lord Brabazon became the chairman of Volkswagen Motors Limited when it became part of the Thomas Tilling Group.
Thomas Tilling Group acquires Volkswagen Motors Ltd

Thomas Tilling Group acquires Volkswagen Motors Ltd

01 Jan 1957

Our Story

Thomas Tilling Group acquires Volkswagen Motors Ltd

Volkswagen Motors Limited becomes part of the Thomas Tilling Group. Thomas Tilling Limited retains the existing board of Volkswagen…

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Volkswagen Motors Limited becomes part of the Thomas Tilling Group. Thomas Tilling Limited retains the existing board of Volkswagen Motors but appoints someone from its own board, Lord Brabazon, as chairman. He takes an active role in the development of the company which benefits from the financial resources of Thomas Tilling Limited.
British relinquish control of last remaining site

British relinquish control of last remaining site

01 Jan 1957

Our Story

British relinquish control of last remaining site

Following the release of the last remaining site from British control, the production line in Brunswick is modified to meet the dem…

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Following the release of the last remaining site from British control, the production line in Brunswick is modified to meet the demands of "Ford-ist", large-scale production in Wolfsburg and Hanover. A phase of rationalisation follows accompanied by an expansion of production capacities and manufacturing processes. Shed 3 with 25.000 sq. metres, is completed by the end of 1957 and takes on the construction of front axles for the sedan previously located in Wolfsburg; in 1958 the manufacture of the front axle for the Transporter is temporarily transferred to Hanover in order to free additional capacities in Brunswick for the expanding production of the Beetle.
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
Employees hours reduced

Employees hours reduced

01 Apr 1957

Our Story

Employees hours reduced

An agreement between the Works Council and Volkswagen management reduces working hours for shift-workers to 40 hours a week, and fo…

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An agreement between the Works Council and Volkswagen management reduces working hours for shift-workers to 40 hours a week, and for standard employees to 42.5 hours a week. Most of the employees now work a 40-hour week with no reduction in pay.
Alfred Hartmann

Alfred Hartmann

01 Apr 1957

 0053 Layer 13

Alfred Hartmann

In 1957, Alfred Hartmann became Chairman of the Volkswagenwerk GmbH Supervisory Board.

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In 1957, Alfred Hartmann became Chairman of the Volkswagenwerk GmbH Supervisory Board.
Alfred Hartmann

Alfred Hartmann

01 Apr 1957

Our Story

Alfred Hartmann

Alfred Hartmann becomes Chairman of the Volkswagenwerk GmbH Supervisory Board.

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Alfred Hartmann becomes Chairman of the Volkswagenwerk GmbH Supervisory Board.
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Karmann Ghia convertible

Karmann Ghia convertible

01 Sep 1957

 0106 Layer 72

Karmann Ghia convertible

Production of the two-seat Karmann Ghia convertible starts in Osnabrück.

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Production of the two-seat Karmann Ghia convertible starts in Osnabrück.
Karmann Ghia convertible

Karmann Ghia convertible

01 Sep 1957

Our Cars

Karmann Ghia convertible

The convertible or cabriolet was launched in 1957. Originally only available in left-hand drive, the right-hand drive version of bo…

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The convertible or cabriolet was launched in 1957. Originally only available in left-hand drive, the right-hand drive version of both models was introduced in 1959 together with a re-designed front end. New engines were introduced in 1961, 1966 and 1971 together with other styling and interior changes during its lifetime. The model ceased production on the 21st June 1974.
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
Volkswagen Australasia Pty Ltd formed

Volkswagen Australasia Pty Ltd formed

06 Dec 1957

Our Story

Volkswagen Australasia Pty Ltd formed

Volkswagen forms the "Volkswagen (Australasia) Pty. Ltd." with Headquarters in Melbourne to produce Volkswagens where parts of are …

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Volkswagen forms the "Volkswagen (Australasia) Pty. Ltd." with Headquarters in Melbourne to produce Volkswagens where parts of are manufactured locally. In 1958, the Australian Volkswagen subsidiary acquires the stocks of the former authorised importer which now assumes responsibility for service.
1957
1958
Jan January
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Hans Busch

Hans Busch

16 Jun 1958

 0054 Layer 12

Hans Busch

In 1958, Hans Busch became Chairman of the Volkswagenwerk GmbH Supervisory Board.

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In 1958, Hans Busch became Chairman of the Volkswagenwerk GmbH Supervisory Board.
Hans Busch

Hans Busch

16 Jun 1958

Our Story

Hans Busch

Hans Busch becomes Chairman of the Volkswagenwerk GmbH Supervisory Board.

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Hans Busch becomes Chairman of the Volkswagenwerk GmbH Supervisory Board.
Jul July
Further factory opens in Germany

Further factory opens in Germany

01 Jul 1958

 0107 Layer 71

Further factory opens in Germany

Powertrain remanufacturing is moved from Wolfsburg to Altenbauna near Kassel. The factory is opened to supply the Volkswagen organi…

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Powertrain remanufacturing is moved from Wolfsburg to Altenbauna near Kassel. The factory is opened to supply the Volkswagen organisation with rebuilt engines, axles and other spare parts. By constructing new buildings and by enlarging Hall 3, which was completed in 1971, the Kassel plant with its 18,906 employees becomes the transmission production and the spare parts centre for the Volkswagen Group.
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1958
1959
Jan January
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Iconic Beetle advertising campaign

Iconic Beetle advertising campaign

01 Jul 1959

Our Story

Iconic Beetle advertising campaign

Volkswagen of America, Inc. drives a professional advertising campaign due to the market share lost to European rivals Renault as w…

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Volkswagen of America, Inc. drives a professional advertising campaign due to the market share lost to European rivals Renault as well as to American manufacturers and their new "Compact-Car-Offensive." With advertising agency "Doyle Dane Bernbach Inc.", Volkswagen creates a successful and legendary ad campaign, producing a number of classic slogans, such as: "Think small," "Lemon," "The Beetle runs,... and runs..., and runs". The segment of the market that Volkswagen is reaching out to reach is not, in any case, really affected by the larger American compact car manufacturers. While European competitors suffer from a decline in sales, Volkswagen is able to increase its import share from 20% to 32% in 1960.
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Volkswagen in Brazil

Volkswagen in Brazil

18 Nov 1959

 0152 Layer 26

Volkswagen in Brazil

Official opening of the new car-making factory in São Bernardo do Campo. The former assembly plant is now an independent manufactur…

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Official opening of the new car-making factory in São Bernardo do Campo. The former assembly plant is now an independent manufacturing unit with a press shop, body shop, paint shop, an engine construction line, assembly and an electroplating line. Once the shed for mechanical production is put into operation in 1960, the share of Brazilian parts used in the sedan production increases to 90%. One year later, Volkswagen of Brazil leads the Brazilian car industry, selling a total of 47,320 vehicles and with a 67% increase in sales over the previous year. The market share grows to 41% and the workforce of more than 8,000 now produces nearly 220 vehicles each working-day.
Dec December
1959