Left Right
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…

Read more…
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…

Read more…
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%.

Read more…
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…

Read more…
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…

Read more…
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 …

Read more…
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…

Read more…
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…

Read more…
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.

Read more…
Oeftering served on the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen.
Feb February
The Samba Bus is introduced

The Samba Bus is introduced

05 Feb 1951

Our Story

The Samba Bus is introduced

The Samba Bus is introduced. It is designed for passenger transport only.

Read more…
The Samba Bus is introduced. It is designed for passenger transport only.
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…

Read more…
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.

Read more…
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…

Read more…
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…

Read more…
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…

Read more…
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…

Read more…
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…

Read more…
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
The Dropside truck is introduced

The Dropside truck is introduced

22 Apr 1952

Our Story

The Dropside truck is introduced

The Dropside truck is introduced and is still today the ideal vehicle for the building trade and many more besides.

Read more…
The Dropside truck is introduced and is still today the ideal vehicle for the building trade and many more besides.
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…

Read more…
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. …

Read more…
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…

Read more…
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…

Read more…
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.

Read more…
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.

Read more…
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…

Read more…
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.
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1953
1954
Jan January
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1954
1955
Jan January
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1955
1956
Jan January
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1956
1957
Jan January
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1957
1958
Jan January
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
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
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1959