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Volkswagen Group (parent company Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft) is a German multinational automotive company headquartered in WolfsburgLower SaxonyGermany. It designs, manufactures and distributes passenger and commercial vehicles, motorcycles, engines, and turbomachinery and offers related services including financing, leasing and fleet management. In 2012, it produced the third-largest number of motor vehicles of any company in the world, behind General Motors and Toyota. It has maintained the largest market share in Europe for over two decades. As of 2013, it ranked ninth in the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest companies

Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, headquarters of Volkswagen AG

  • 1937 – Volkswagen was founded in to manufacture the car which would become known as the Beetle This vehicle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche‘s consulting firm.
  • 1938, Gezuvor was renamed Volkswagenwerk GmbH (“Volkswagen Factory limited liability company”). Shortly after the factory near Fallersleben was completed, World War II was started and the plant primarily manufactured for the military.
  • 1945 – Major Ivan Hirst of the British Army Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) took control of the bomb-shattered factory, and restarted production,
  • 1947 – However, no British car manufacturer was interested; “the vehicle does not meet the fundamental technical requirement of a motor-car … it is quite unattractive to the average buyer …
  • 1948 –  the Ford Motor Company of USA was offered Volkswagen, but Ernest Breech, a Ford executive vice president said he didn’t think either the plant or the car was “worth a damn.” The company survived by producing cars for the British Army, and in
  • 1948, the British Government handed the company back over to the German state, where it was managed by former-Opel chief Heinrich Nordhoff. Production of the Type 60 Volkswagen (re-designated Type 1) started slowly after the war due to the need to rebuild the plant and because of the lack of raw materials
  • 1950 – Production grew rapidly the company began introducing new models based on the Type 1, all with the same basic air-cooled, rear-engine, rear-drive platform. These included the Volkswagen Type 2 in,
  • 1955 – Volkswagen introduced the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
  • In 1960, upon the flotation of part of the German federal government’s stake in the company on the German stock market, its name became Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft (usually abbreviated to Volkswagenwerk AG).
  • 1965 – Volkswagen acquired Auto Union GmbH from its parent company Daimler-Benz and introduced the Volkswagen Type 3.
  • 1968 – Volkswagen introduced the Volkswagen Type 4.

  • 1969 –  NSU Motorenwerke AG, was merged into Auto Union on 26 August 1969, creating a new company, Audi NSU Auto Union AG (later renamed AUDI AG in 1985). Volkswagen introduced the Volkswagen Type 181.
  •  1970 – the acronym V.A.G started being used by Volkswagen AG as a brand for group-wide activities, such as distribution and leasing until the 1990’s.
  • 1982 – Volkswagenwerk made its first step expanding outside Germany by signing a co-operation agreement with the Spanish car manufacturer SEAT, S.A.
  • 1986 – Volkswagen AG acquired a 51% controlling stake in SEAT, making it the first non-German subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.
  • 1990 – Purchasing its entire equity – Volkswagen AG took over the full ownership of SEAT, making the company a wholly owned subsidiary
  • 1991 another step to the expansion of the group’s activities was made through the signing of a joint venture partnership agreement with Škoda automobilová a.s. of Czechoslovakia
  • 1998 – Three prestige automotive marques were added to the Volkswagen portfolioBentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti.[19]
  • 2000 – Volkswagen AG, after having gradually raised its equity share, turned Škoda Auto into a wholly owned subsidiary.
  • 2002 up to 2007, the Volkswagen Group’s automotive division was restructured so that two major Brand Groups with differentiated profile would be formed, the Audi Brand Group focused on more sporty values – consisted of Audi, SEAT and Lamborghini – and the Volkswagen Brand Group on the field of classic values – consisted of Volkswagen, Skoda, Bentley and Bugatti.
  • 2008 –  Volkswagen Golf Mk1; the Golf is the third best-selling car of all-time, selling over 26 million.
  • 2010 – Volkswagen Group, through it subsidiary Lamborghini Holding S.p.A., acquired a 90.1% stake in the Italian automotive designhouse Italdesign Giugiaro
  •  2012 Volkswagen group announced they purchased the remaining stake in Porsche AG equaling 100% of the shares in Porsche Zwischenholding GmbH, effectively becoming its parent company.

The 2014 Beetle boasts serious performance and its power is matched by its style.