Left Right
1940s
1940
Jan January
Forced Labour at Volkswagenwerk

Forced Labour at Volkswagenwerk

01 Jan 1940

Our Story

Forced Labour at Volkswagenwerk

The demands of producing armaments leads Volkswagenwerk to meet its labour needs primarily by using forced labour. Establishing a n…

Read more…
The demands of producing armaments leads Volkswagenwerk to meet its labour needs primarily by using forced labour. Establishing a new company without a regular German workforce means that Polish women are the first to be forced to work for Volkswagenwerk. Later they are followed by prisoners of war and by concentration camp inmates. Approximately 20,000 forced labourers who are allocated to the Volkswagen plant during WWII come from European countries occupied, or dominated, by Germany.
Kübelwagen

Kübelwagen

01 Jan 1940

Our Cars

Kübelwagen

The Volkswagen Kübelwagen (short for Kübelsitzwagen, meaning "bucket seat car") was a military vehicle designed by Ferdinand Porsch…

Read more…
The Volkswagen Kübelwagen (short for Kübelsitzwagen, meaning "bucket seat car") was a military vehicle designed by Ferdinand Porsche and built by Volkswagen during World War II for use by the German military (both Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS). Based heavily on the Volkswagen Beetle, it was prototyped as the Type 62, but eventually became known internally as the Type 82. With its rolling chassis and mechanics built at Stadt des KdF-Wagens and its body built by US-owned firm Ambi Budd in Berlin [1], the Kübelwagen was for the Germans what the jeep was for the Allies.
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
Military vehicles from Volkswagen plant

Military vehicles from Volkswagen plant

01 Apr 1940

Our Story

Military vehicles from Volkswagen plant

A second assembly line is set up at the Volkswagen plant for the mass production of military vehicles such as the multi-purpose "Kü…

Read more…
A second assembly line is set up at the Volkswagen plant for the mass production of military vehicles such as the multi-purpose "Kübelwagen" and the "Schwimmwagen", a four-wheel drive vehicle capable of travelling on land and in water. Its strategic military importance reduces the risk of the plant being requisitioned by the German Air Force. Wolfsburg produces the chassis and engines, the body pressings come from the Ambi-Budd company in Berlin and are conveyed to Wolfsburg for final assembly. By the end of the war, the plant that was built to produce 500,000 passenger cars a year will turn out some 66,285 military vehicles. Between 1940 and 1944, turnover increases from 31 million to 297 million Reichsmarks.
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1940
1941
Jan January
Production site dispersed

Production site dispersed

01 Jan 1941

Our Story

Production site dispersed

Incorporating the Volkswagen plant into Germany's armament industry after 1941 leads to the annexation of its subsidiaries in Lucke…

Read more…
Incorporating the Volkswagen plant into Germany's armament industry after 1941 leads to the annexation of its subsidiaries in Luckenwalde and Ustron. In 1943/44, the company is able to enlarge its production capacities by transferring commissions to France and also by constructing underground production sites in tunnels, iron ore mines and asphalt tunnels. The factory is repeatedly bombed and in 1944/45 production processes are moved to provisional sites continuing the decentralising of the company.
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1941
1942
Jan January
Schwimmwagen

Schwimmwagen

01 Jan 1942

Our Cars

Schwimmwagen

The VW Type 128 and 166 Schwimmwagen (literally Floating / Swimming Car) were amphibious four-wheel drive off-roaders, used extensi…

Read more…
The VW Type 128 and 166 Schwimmwagen (literally Floating / Swimming Car) were amphibious four-wheel drive off-roaders, used extensively by the German Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS during the Second World War. The Type 166 is the most numerous mass-produced amphibious car in history. All Schwimmwagen were four-wheel drive only on first gear (and reverse gears with some models) and had ZF self-locking differentials on both front and rear axles. Just like the Kübelwagen, the Schwimmwagen had portal gear rear hubs that gave better ground clearance, while at the same time reducing drive-line torque stresses with their gear reduction at the wheels. When crossing water a screw propeller could be lowered down from the rear deck engine cover. When in place a simple coupling provided drive straight from an extension of the engine's crankshaft. This meant that screw propulsion was only available going forward. For reversing in the water there was the choice of using the standard equipment paddle or running the land drive in reverse, allowing the wheel-rotation to slowly take the vehicle back. The front wheels doubled up as rudders, so steering was done with the steering wheel both on land and on water.
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1942
1943
Jan January
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1943
1944
Jan January
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1944
1945
Jan January
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
American troops liberate forced labourers

American troops liberate forced labourers

11 Apr 1945

Our Story

American troops liberate forced labourers

American troops occupy the "Stadt des KdF-Wagens" (City of the KDF-Wagen). The troops put an end to the production of military equi…

Read more…
American troops occupy the "Stadt des KdF-Wagens" (City of the KDF-Wagen). The troops put an end to the production of military equipment, liberate the forced labourers and set up a maintenance works for the military vehicles in the Volkswagen factory. During the next few months, the United States Army utilises available parts to produce vehicles and the former inspection manager Rudolf Brörmann is designated as works manager.
Rudolf Brörmann

Rudolf Brörmann

11 Apr 1945

People

Rudolf Brörmann

Rudolf Brörmann was an inspection manager at the Stadt des KdF-Wagen. He was appointed by the US Army in April 1945 as the Works Di…

Read more…
Rudolf Brörmann was an inspection manager at the Stadt des KdF-Wagen. He was appointed by the US Army in April 1945 as the Works Director.
May May
KdF-Stadt renamed Wolfsburg

KdF-Stadt renamed Wolfsburg

25 May 1945

Our Story

KdF-Stadt renamed Wolfsburg

The British 52nd Division move into the "Stadt des KdF-Wagens", taking over responsibility. They appoint a council which votes to o…

Read more…
The British 52nd Division move into the "Stadt des KdF-Wagens", taking over responsibility. They appoint a council which votes to officially change the town's name to "Wolfsburg" turning their backs on a vague past and confronting what the few local residents feel will be an even more uncertain future.
Major Ivan Hirst

Major Ivan Hirst

25 May 1945

 0048 Layer 18

Major Ivan Hirst

Major Ivan Hirst was a British Army officer and engineer and was instrumental in reviving Volkswagen from a single factory in Wolfs…

Read more…
Major Ivan Hirst was a British Army officer and engineer and was instrumental in reviving Volkswagen from a single factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, into a major post war automotive manufacturer. Hirst was commissioned as an Officer into the Duke of Wellington's Regiment in the 1930s. A Captain on the outbreak of the Second World War, he transferred to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) as a Mechanical Engineering Officer in November 1941, and then to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) on its formation in November 1942. In the period after the D-Day landings, he was in charge of a tank repair facility in Belgium. He landed in Germany in the summer of 1945, along with his colleague, Colonel Charles Radclyffe, when the British Army took control of the town of Wolfsburg. The original intention was to scrap the factory and use the proceeds as war reparations. But Hirst found a pre-war prototype Volkswagen in a remote workshop on the site and realised that the factory could be used for producing cars for the British Army. Hence, Hirst and Radclyffe laid the foundations for Volkswagen's successful automotive business.
Jun June
British assume responsibility for Volkswagen

British assume responsibility for Volkswagen

01 Jun 1945

 0048 Layer 18

British assume responsibility for Volkswagen

Responsibility for the Volkswagen plant is handed over to the British Military Government to administer it in trusteeship until the…

Read more…
Responsibility for the Volkswagen plant is handed over to the British Military Government to administer it in trusteeship until the day it can be returned to German control. A deployment of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers arrive tasked with setting up a repair depot of British army vehicles in the ruins of the factory. In charge of all motor vehicle operations is Colonel Charles Radclyffe. With his deputy, Major John MacGregor, he appoints Major Ivan Hirst to run the repair depot. Hirst isn't long appointed before some of the existing workers manage to assemble two Beetles from the wreckage, using the only remaining working press.
Colonel Charles Radclyffe

Colonel Charles Radclyffe

01 Jun 1945

People

Colonel Charles Radclyffe

In June 1945, Charles Radclyffe, as part of a unit of Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, arrived at the Volkswagen plant and as…

Read more…
In June 1945, Charles Radclyffe, as part of a unit of Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, arrived at the Volkswagen plant and assumed responsibility for setting up a British Army Repair depot. With his deputy, Major John MacGregor, he appointed Major Ivan Hirst to run the repair depot. Hirst wasn't long appointed before some of the existing workers managed to assemble two Beetles from the wreckage, using the only remaining working press. Later in October 1949, Colonel Charles Radclyffe signed the protocol turning over the Volkswagen works to the trusteeship of the federal German government. The State of Lower Saxony assumed responsibility for the administration.
Jul July
Aug August
Volkswagen plant meets British demand

Volkswagen plant meets British demand

22 Aug 1945

 0048 Layer 18

Volkswagen plant meets British demand

The British Military Government instructs Volkswagen to produce 20,000 saloon cars in order to meet their increased transport needs…

Read more…
The British Military Government instructs Volkswagen to produce 20,000 saloon cars in order to meet their increased transport needs during the occupation period. This marks the beginning of post war production of Volkswagens. British involvement saves Volkswagen from threatened dismantling and protects the workforce from de-Nazification measures. The Volkswagen plant becomes a British controlled factory and Major Ivan Hirst assumes the position of Senior Resident Officer.
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
First Works Council meets

First Works Council meets

27 Nov 1945

Our Story

First Works Council meets

The Works Council elected in a democratic ballot at the beginning of November 1945 meets for the first time.

Read more…
The Works Council elected in a democratic ballot at the beginning of November 1945 meets for the first time.
Dec December
Service department set up

Service department set up

01 Dec 1945

Our Story

Service department set up

In accordance with British initiatives, a service department is set up by the end of 1945. This comprises a replacement parts wareh…

Read more…
In accordance with British initiatives, a service department is set up by the end of 1945. This comprises a replacement parts warehouse, a technical department and a service school.
Volkswagenwerk GmbH workforce increases

Volkswagenwerk GmbH workforce increases

01 Dec 1945

Our Story

Volkswagenwerk GmbH workforce increases

By order of the British Military Government, the facility in Brunswick is re-integrated in the production processes of Volkswagenwe…

Read more…
By order of the British Military Government, the facility in Brunswick is re-integrated in the production processes of Volkswagenwerk GmbH. The plant produces special welding machines, tools and equipment as well as carburettors, clutches, shock absorbers and fuel pumps for the production lines in Wolfsburg. The workforce increases from 218 wage earners and 58 salaried employees in December 1945 to 529 factory workers and 68 office workers in December 1949.
55 Volkswagen saloons produced

55 Volkswagen saloons produced

27 Dec 1945

Our Story

55 Volkswagen saloons produced

The standard production of the Volkswagen type 1 saloon under British administration begins with the assembly of 55 vehicles.

Read more…
The standard production of the Volkswagen type 1 saloon under British administration begins with the assembly of 55 vehicles.
Beetle

Beetle

27 Dec 1945

Beetle icon

Beetle

During the turmoil of the immediate post-war period, smoke above the Volkswagen plant signaled the continuity of production and the…

Read more…
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.
1945
1946
Jan January
The Beetle, "a toy not to be taken seriously"

The Beetle, "a toy not to be taken seriously"

01 Jan 1946

Trivia

The Beetle, "a toy not to be taken seriously"

Sales of the Beetle rose from 945 in 1953 to 5,381 in 1956 despite being described by the British Motor Industry Commission on a vi…

Read more…
Sales of the Beetle rose from 945 in 1953 to 5,381 in 1956 despite being described by the British Motor Industry Commission on a visit to Wolfsburg as, "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".
Feb February
Service department training

Service department training

01 Feb 1946

Our Story

Service department training

Dealers and mechanics from authorised workshops receive training at the service department.

Read more…
Dealers and mechanics from authorised workshops receive training at the service department.
Chief trustee appointed

Chief trustee appointed

26 Feb 1946

 0034 Layer 32

Chief trustee appointed

The British appoint the lawyer Hermann Münch as the Chief Trustee of the Volkswagen plant, he also becomes General Director on 17 J…

Read more…
The British appoint the lawyer Hermann Münch as the Chief Trustee of the Volkswagen plant, he also becomes General Director on 17 June.
Caspar Hermann Münch

Caspar Hermann Münch

26 Feb 1946

 0034 Layer 32

Caspar Hermann Münch

The British appointed the lawyer Hermann Münch as the Chief Trustee and Director General of the Volkswagen plant on 26 February 194…

Read more…
The British appointed the lawyer Hermann Münch as the Chief Trustee and Director General of the Volkswagen plant on 26 February 1946. On 17th June 1946 he became General Director.
Mar March
1,000th Volkswagen built

1,000th Volkswagen built

01 Mar 1946

Our Story

1,000th Volkswagen built

The workforce celebrates the production of the 1,000th Volkswagen.

Read more…
The workforce celebrates the production of the 1,000th Volkswagen.
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Volkswagenwerk survival guaranteed

Volkswagenwerk survival guaranteed

01 Sep 1946

Our Story

Volkswagenwerk survival guaranteed

The British Military Government's directive to dismantle the Volkswagenwerk GmbH is put on hold for the next four years. One month …

Read more…
The British Military Government's directive to dismantle the Volkswagenwerk GmbH is put on hold for the next four years. One month later, the level of industry plan, which limits the number of German automobiles to 40,000 per year, is revised. The survival of the Volkswagenwerk GmbH is guaranteed.
Oct October
Volkswagen dealerships established

Volkswagen dealerships established

25 Oct 1946

Our Story

Volkswagen dealerships established

A sales network is quickly organised following the announcement of selling Volkswagens to the general public. Factory management pr…

Read more…
A sales network is quickly organised following the announcement of selling Volkswagens to the general public. Factory management presses for the establishment of a dealer network. This is made up of 10 main distributors and 28 dealerships. It is supported by two field sales representatives and subjected to strict quality controls. The exchange of experience between dealers and management develops in time into a trusted partnership and becomes profitable for both sides. By the time Volkswagenwerk GmbH is returned to German control the company has established a closely knit sales and service network.
Nov November
Dec December
Hiatus at Volkswagenwerk

Hiatus at Volkswagenwerk

06 Dec 1946

Our Story

Hiatus at Volkswagenwerk

Overdue sheet metal deliveries, an acute coal shortage and a cold spell during the power crisis of 1946/47 forces the British Works…

Read more…
Overdue sheet metal deliveries, an acute coal shortage and a cold spell during the power crisis of 1946/47 forces the British Works Management to shut down the production of Volkswagens until the beginning of March 1947.
1946
1947
Jan January
Service workshop begins operations

Service workshop begins operations

01 Jan 1947

 0004 Layer 62

Service workshop begins operations

A Service Workshop begins operations. Volkswagen assists the repair workshops by producing service bulletins and repair manuals. In…

Read more…
A Service Workshop begins operations. Volkswagen assists the repair workshops by producing service bulletins and repair manuals. In addition, a damage file is devised which gives the technical department a systematic method of dealing with problems for the first time. The service department acquires an excellent reputation within only a few years and profits greatly from the experience of the British Army's Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers who set up their own workshop in the Volkswagen plant.
The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Workshop

The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Workshop

01 Jan 1947

Trivia

The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Workshop

The British Army's Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers set up their own service workshop in the Volkswagen plant.

Read more…
The British Army's Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers set up their own service workshop in the Volkswagen plant.
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
Volkswagen Camper Van

Volkswagen Camper Van

23 Apr 1947

VW camper Ben Pon small

Volkswagen Camper Van

Ben Pon first sketches the unusual vehicle in the Volkswagen Factory which was to become the Transporter and was nicknamed “Bulli” …

Read more…
Ben Pon first sketches the unusual vehicle in the Volkswagen Factory which was to become the Transporter and was nicknamed “Bulli” by 1949 due to its unusual shape.
May May
Works Council wins rights

Works Council wins rights

10 May 1947

Our Story

Works Council wins rights

The Works Agreement concluded by management and the Works Council goes into effect, in accordance with the Allied Works Council Law…

Read more…
The Works Agreement concluded by management and the Works Council goes into effect, in accordance with the Allied Works Council Law of 1946, ensuring the workers' representatives a voice in the decision making process. This gives the Works Council the right to participate in matters concerning hiring and firing, transfers, wages and salaries, as well as changes made in the works. In addition, the Council supervises the works canteen and allocates the food grown on the factory grounds as food shortages for employees had been a problem in the past. The Council are invited to contribute to the planning of the production programme and to examine company books.
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Volkswagen exports

Volkswagen exports

08 Aug 1947

 0019 Layer 159

Volkswagen exports

The British introduce a second decisive development in the summer of 1947, with long-term effects, to export Volkswagens. Aimed at …

Read more…
The British introduce a second decisive development in the summer of 1947, with long-term effects, to export Volkswagens. Aimed at replenishing the currency reserves of an English economy still reeling from the financial costs of the war, it also laid the foundation for the international success of the Volkswagen and the company's launch into the international market place. Pon's Automobielhandel, Amersfoort, was granted the main distributorship for Holland. At the beginning of October 1947 Ben Pon exported five saloons to Holland - the very first Volkswagens to be commercially exported. The post-war miracle of Volkswagen has begun in earnest.
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December
1947
1948
Jan January
Volkswagen's export trade grows

Volkswagen's export trade grows

01 Jan 1948

 0150 Layer 28

Volkswagen's export trade grows

In 1948 Volkswagen signs contracts to export vehicles to Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark and Norway to boost expo…

Read more…
In 1948 Volkswagen signs contracts to export vehicles to Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark and Norway to boost export sales. 1,380 vehicles are exported to these countries in 1948. Factory management develops a sedan model whose workmanship and features are superior to the domestic version attracting the export market. With exceptional paintwork, attractive colours, comfortable upholstery, chrome bumpers and hubcaps Volkswagen is maintains its grips on the international market and competes with foreign manufacturers.
Heinrich Nordhoff takes office

Heinrich Nordhoff takes office

01 Jan 1948

 0050 Layer 16

Heinrich Nordhoff takes office

The former Opel manager Heinrich Nordhoff, is appointed General Director of the Volkswagenwerk GmbH, a commitment which he would co…

Read more…
The former Opel manager Heinrich Nordhoff, is appointed General Director of the Volkswagenwerk GmbH, a commitment which he would continue to undertake until 12th April 1968.
Heinz Heinrich Nordhoff

Heinz Heinrich Nordhoff

01 Jan 1948

 0050 Layer 16

Heinz Heinrich Nordhoff

The former Opel Manager, Heinrich Nordhoff, was appointed General Director of the Volkswagen works by the British Military Governme…

Read more…
The former Opel Manager, Heinrich Nordhoff, was appointed General Director of the Volkswagen works by the British Military Government and he took office on 1st January 1948.
Beetle

Beetle

01 Jan 1948

Our Cars

Beetle

It was only during 1947 that foreign business gradually took hold. In the meantime, the factory management had developed a sedan mo…

Read more…
It was only during 1947 that foreign business gradually took hold. In the meantime, the factory management had developed a sedan model whose workmanship and features were superior to the standard domestic version, making it suitable for export. Thanks to exceptional paintwork in attractive colours, comfortable upholstery, chrome bumpers and hubcaps, Volkswagen was able to maintain a hold on the international market and compete with foreign manufacturers. In 1948, 4,385 vehicles were exported to European countries: 1,820 to the Netherlands, 1,380 to Switzerland, 1,050 to Belgium, 75 to Norway, 55 to Sweden and 5 to Denmark. The export figures for the following year climbed to a total of 7,127 vehicles, meaning that Volkswagen sold about 15 percent of its total production to European markets.
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
German Mark spurs Volkswagen's profits

German Mark spurs Volkswagen's profits

20 Jun 1948

 0036 Layer 30

German Mark spurs Volkswagen's profits

Currency reform and the introduction of the German Mark establishes a functioning market for goods, ending the short supply economy…

Read more…
Currency reform and the introduction of the German Mark establishes a functioning market for goods, ending the short supply economy and paving the way for Volkswagen's economic growth.
Jul July
New Wolfsburg HQ for Volkswagen

New Wolfsburg HQ for Volkswagen

29 Jul 1948

Our Story

New Wolfsburg HQ for Volkswagen

Volkswagenwerk GmbH registered office is transferred from Berlin to Wolfsburg.

Read more…
Volkswagenwerk GmbH registered office is transferred from Berlin to Wolfsburg.
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Franz Xaver Reimspiess

Franz Xaver Reimspiess

01 Oct 1948

 0035 Layer 31

Franz Xaver Reimspiess

Reimspiess was the designer of the Volkswagen logo. The Volkswagen trademark, the 'letters V and W contained in a circle', was regi…

Read more…
Reimspiess was the designer of the Volkswagen logo. The Volkswagen trademark, the 'letters V and W contained in a circle', was registered with the German Patent Office in Munich in October 1948. A slightly modified form of the same logo still typifies the face of the Volkswagen brand today.
Nov November
Dec December
1948
1949
Jan January
Volkswagen's Irish franchise established

Volkswagen's Irish franchise established

01 Jan 1949

Our Story

Volkswagen's Irish franchise established

Volkswagen begins its involvement with Ireland when Motor Distributors Limited, founded by Stephen O'Flaherty, secures the franchis…

Read more…
Volkswagen begins its involvement with Ireland when Motor Distributors Limited, founded by Stephen O'Flaherty, secures the franchise for the country. The firm becomes Volkswagen Distributors Limited and eventually sets up a plant to assemble Beetles in the Irish Republic. The Volkswagen Beetles started arriving in Dublin in 1950 in batches of 20, each accompanied by £10 worth of spare parts packed in crates in what was termed 'completely knocked down' (CKD) form, ready to be assembled. The first Volkswagen ever built outside Germany is assembled in Ireland.
Stephen O'Flaherty

Stephen O'Flaherty

01 Jan 1949

 0007 Layer 59

Stephen O'Flaherty

Volkswagen began its involvement in Ireland when in 1949, Motor Distributors Limited, founded by Stephen O'Flaherty, secured the fr…

Read more…
Volkswagen began its involvement in Ireland when in 1949, Motor Distributors Limited, founded by Stephen O'Flaherty, secured the franchise for the country at that year's Paris Motor Show. In 1953, O'Flaherty acquired the Volkswagen franchise for the United Kingdom, which he sold to the Thomas Tilling group in 1957.
15% of Volkswagen's production sold in Europe

15% of Volkswagen's production sold in Europe

01 Jan 1949

Trivia

15% of Volkswagen's production sold in Europe

In 1949, 15% of Volkswagen's total production was sold to European markets.

Read more…
In 1949, 15% of Volkswagen's total production was sold to European markets.
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
50,000th Volkswagen produced

50,000th Volkswagen produced

01 May 1949

Our Story

50,000th Volkswagen produced

The 50,000th vehicle leaves the production line.

Read more…
The 50,000th vehicle leaves the production line.
Jun June
Joseph Hebmüller

Joseph Hebmüller

01 Jun 1949

People

Joseph Hebmüller

Joseph Hebmüller established Hebmüller and Sons in 1889. They were best known for the production of a two seater convertible based …

Read more…
Joseph Hebmüller established Hebmüller and Sons in 1889. They were best known for the production of a two seater convertible based on the Volkswagen Type 1 platform - known as Volkswagen Type 14A. Volkswagen ordered 2000 vehicles and production started in June 1949. Instead of the planned 2000 VW convertible, Hebmüller delivered only 696 pieces, due to a major fire on 23rd July 1949 which destroyed production facilities.
Volkswagen finance company established

Volkswagen finance company established

30 Jun 1949

Our Story

Volkswagen finance company established

The "Volkswagen-Finanzierungs-Gesellschaft mbH", a financing company, is created to provide loans to domestic customers and dealers…

Read more…
The "Volkswagen-Finanzierungs-Gesellschaft mbH", a financing company, is created to provide loans to domestic customers and dealers. This measure boosts Volkswagen sales serving as a tool to compensate for the lack of purchasing power on the domestic market.
Jul July
Production begins on Beetle Convertible

Production begins on Beetle Convertible

01 Jul 1949

1949 Beetle Convertible

Production begins on Beetle Convertible

The Beetle Convertible with the body built by Hebmüller goes into production at almost the same time as the new export model VW 110…

Read more…
The Beetle Convertible with the body built by Hebmüller goes into production at almost the same time as the new export model VW 1100. This is a two-seater with a flat dropping rear and a top that can be completely lowered. Because of a large fire during the summer of 1949, Hebmüller was only able to deliver a few hundered of the 2,000 ordered units. A long-term partnership with the Karmann coach works in Osnabrück is established and they produce a four-seater convertible for Volkswagen and build all open Beetles.
The Beetle Convertible

The Beetle Convertible

01 Jul 1949

Our Cars

The Beetle Convertible

The Beetle Convertible with body by Hebmüller goes into production at almost the same time as the new export model VW 1100. As oppo…

Read more…
The Beetle Convertible with body by Hebmüller goes into production at almost the same time as the new export model VW 1100. As opposed to the convertibles that follow, this is a two-seater with a flat dropping rear and a top that can be completely lowered. Because of a large fire during the summer of 1949, Hebmüller was only able to deliver a few hundred of the 2,000 ordered units. This brief cooperation was followed by a long-term partnership with the Karmann coach works in Osnabrück. In 1949, they began producing a four-seat convertible for Volkswagen and built all open Beetles. These were based on the current export versions, which were superior to the standard models thanks to improved engineering and enhanced interiors.
Aug August
Sep September
Volkswagenwerk GmbH handed back to the state

Volkswagenwerk GmbH handed back to the state

06 Sep 1949

Our Story

Volkswagenwerk GmbH handed back to the state

In accordance with Ordinance 202, the British Military Government hands over the Volkswagenwerk GmbH to the State of Lower Saxony w…

Read more…
In accordance with Ordinance 202, the British Military Government hands over the Volkswagenwerk GmbH to the State of Lower Saxony with the provision that they take control on behalf of, and under the supervision of the federal German government. The question of ownership is left open until the partial privatisation of the company. The company is in good health with approximately 10,000 employees, a monthly production of 4,000 vehicles and cash reserves of about 30 million German Marks; production for the occupying forces had given Volkswagen a substantial competitive advantage. It built just under half of all vehicles produced in West Germany and secured a quasi monopoly for supplying the Reichsbahn (state railway) and the Reichpost (state postal service) thus underpinning its advantages over the competition.
Oct October
Workers pension scheme introduced

Workers pension scheme introduced

01 Oct 1949

Our Story

Workers pension scheme introduced

Volkswagen increases its range of social benefits by introducing a voluntary insurance system. The work's pension programme, availa…

Read more…
Volkswagen increases its range of social benefits by introducing a voluntary insurance system. The work's pension programme, available to all employees over 25 years of age who remain with the company for at least four years, supplements state social security payments upon retirement. The sum is based on the affiliation to the company.
German Federal Government assumes trusteeship of Volkswagenwerk GmbH

German Federal Government assumes trusteeship of Volkswagenwerk GmbH

08 Oct 1949

protocol

German Federal Government assumes trusteeship of Volkswagenwerk GmbH

Colonel Charles Radclyffe signs the protocol turning over the Volkswagenwerk GmbH to the trusteeship of the federal German governme…

Read more…
Colonel Charles Radclyffe signs the protocol turning over the Volkswagenwerk GmbH to the trusteeship of the federal German government. The State of Lower Saxony assumes the administration.
Nov November
VW Transporter prototype

VW Transporter prototype

04 Nov 1949

Our Story

VW Transporter prototype

The somewhat rounded prototype has its premiere behind closed doors within the factory in November 1949 and is immediately nickname…

Read more…
The somewhat rounded prototype has its premiere behind closed doors within the factory in November 1949 and is immediately nicknamed “Bulli” in German which refers to its beefy appearance
Dec December
1949