1933 - Adolf Hitler teams up with Ferdinand Porsche to create
a different version of the original 1931 Porsche design in order
to make a car for "the working man." Volkswagen is then
founded ("Volkswagen" means "People's car").
1934 - Ferdinand
Porsche agrees to assist Hitler in the creation of automobiles.
1936 - The
first KdF-Wagen, later known as the Volkswagen Beetle, is introduced
to the market and is paid for by citizens through savings schemes.
1938 - Volkswagen
builds a new factory for its cars in KdF-Stadt, now called Wolfsburg,
a town built specifically for the workers of the factory.
1939 - The
beginning of WWII creates a demand for military vehicles and
Volkswagen shifts its focus to the German military.
1945 - The
KdF-Stadt and factory are taken by the Americans and handed
over to the British and put under the control of Major Ivan
Hirst. Since the British army was short on light transport vehicles,
Hirst decided that, instead of using the factory for maintenance
on existing British automobiles, the plant should produce actual
cars for the British.
1946 - After
some soldiers took Beetles back to the UK, the Volkswagen factory
begins getting orders for cars. The cars adapt the brand Volkswagen
1949 - Hirst
leaves any association with Volkswagen and turns its control
to the West German government. Volkswagen introduces cars to
the United States.
1964 - Volkswagen
purchases Auto Union and the Audi
brand of cars.
1972 - After
years of soaring sales despite criticism, Volkswagen sells its
15,007,034th Beetle, surpassing any other car for most-produced
auto model in history. February 17th marked the date the Beetle
surpassed the Model T as the most popular car ever sold.
1973 - Volkswagen
introduces the Passat, based on an Audi design, to lure more
consumers to their market.
1974 - Vokswagen
introduces the VW Golf, a compact car to meet the demands of
a new market for fuel-efficient cars.
1983 - The
VW Jetta is introduced to the American market.
1990 - Volkswagen
acquires the Spanish auto maker SEAT.
1994 - The
"New Beetle" is introduced to the American market.
1996 - As
Audi begins to climb into the luxury market alongside BMW
and Mercedes, Volkswagen upgrades its existing line of Passats
to fill the void.
1998 - Volkswagen purchases three famous marques: Lamborghini,
Bentley and Bugatti.
2002 - Bernd Pischetsrieder becomes the new CEO of Volkswagen
2006 - Bernd
resigns and Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Audi, takes over the Volkswagen
2012 - Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft buys the famous Italian
motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.