A Brief History of Volkswagens
Volkswagen, meaning “People’s Car” in German, is a German automaker owned by Volkswagen AG. With China being the group’s largest market, Volkswagen AG was the worldwide leader in automobile sales in 2016 and 2017. The company was founded in 1937 by the German Labor Front under Adolf Hitler in Berlin. Cars were considered a luxury in Germany in the early 1930s. Because of this, Adolf Hitler ordered the production of affordable automobiles suitable for families so cars would be more accessible to German citizens. Volkswagen took the model developed by Ferdinand Porsche, and the Volkswagen Beetle was born (hence the name “People’s Car). Today, Volkswagen remains one of the most successful automotive marques in the world.
Popular Vehicles and Scope of Models
Known as one of the most popular vehicles ever to exist, the Volkswagen Beetle has always been marketed as a reliable, affordable vehicle. This remains true with the largest demographic of Beetle drivers being college students. The Beetle was also environmentally friendly. In fact, the Beetle was the first car model to achieve over 30 miles per gallon. However, Volkswagen announced that the 2019 model would be the last Beetle model they would produce. This year marks the end of one of the most recognizable cars worldwide. Other popular Volkswagen models include the Jetta and Golf models.
The company found themselves in deep trouble when they were hit with two lawsuits by the State of California and the United States Federal Trade Commission. Volkswagen was alleged for mismanaging emissions testing and deceiving customers on their 2009-2015 diesel models. Volkswagen agreed to spend $14.7 billion to settle the dispute. $10.7 billion was to be used to buy back or terminate leases on all 2009 to 2015 Volkswagen 2.0-liter diesel models. The additional $4.7 billion was to be used to counteract pollution and invest in zero-emission vehicle technology.
Synopsis of Small Car Models
Volkswagen’s small cars include the iconic Beetle and the Golf models. The Volkswagen Golf models are amongst the most popular electric vehicles in the world. The Golfs have been in production since 1974. And the company has been tinkering with the idea of electric cars since the Golf was first introduced. The 2019 E-Golf is a fast-charging plug-in hybrid capable of traveling a combined 119 MPGe. This model starts at $31,895.
Synopsis of Mid-Size Car Models
The mid-size lineup from Volkswagen includes the Jetta, Passat, and Arteon. The most popular and affordable amongst this group is the Jetta, which starts at $18,745. The Jetta GTI is a turbocharged version of the Jetta model that maintains the same reliability, with a focus on performance.
Synopsis of Large Car/SUV Models
Volkswagen has several wagons and SUV models. Their two wagon models are variations of the VW Golf, and they are called the Golf Sport Wagon and the Golf Alltrack. Their SUV models include the Tiguan and Atlas. The Volkswagen Atlas was featured on Forbes as one of the hottest new sport utility vehicles for 2020.
Despite the lawsuits, Volkswagen remains one of the most popular automotive marques in the world. In fact, Volkswagen has produced five winners of the Motor Trend Car of the Year award, and four winners of the World Car of the Year award.