During the turmoil of the immediate post-war period, smoke above the Volkswagen plant signaled the continuity of production and the hopes of a new beginning. As the largest and most important employer in a region with little industry, Volkswagen guaranteed the survival of the local population. The factory provided work, housing and food. These functions were certainly in the minds of the British Military Government when they took over the administration of the firm in trusteeship in June 1945. Their decision to reinstate peacetime production and the assembly line manufacturing of the Volkswagen sedan was primarily a decision made in their own interest. By assuming the responsibilities of an occupying force, their need for additional means of transport increased, especially since the war diminished the number of available British military vehicles. The production requirement for the occupation forces and British pragmatism saved Volkswagen from threatened dismantling and protected the workforce from drastic denazification measures.