Volkswagen



Classic Volkswagen Tyres


On the following pages, Longstone Classic Tyres give classic tyre fitment recommendations for Volkswagen cars.


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Volkswagen History

Volkswagen Beetle
Volkswagen Beetle

On May 28, 1937, the German government, led by Adolf Hitler of the Nazi Party, established a new state-owned automotive firm known as the German Labour Front. Later on that same year, it was renamed Volkswagenwerk, which translates as "The People's Car Company." Volkswagen was Hitler's passion project, in addition to his ambitious plan to establish a network of autobahns and controlled access motorways across Germany, was the creation and mass manufacture of an economical yet still fast automobile that could be sold for under 1,000 Reich marks. Military vehicles, such as the Type 82 Kübelwagen ("Bucket car") utility car and the amphibious Schwimmwagen, were produced for German soldiers throughout the war.

Slave labour, such as those from the Arbeitsdorf concentration camp, was used in the Volkswagen plant, as was usual in Nazi Germany throughout the war. In 1998, the firm admitted to using 15,000 enslaved people during the war. Survivors filed a lawsuit in 1998 seeking recompense for their forced labour. Volkswagen would establish a fund for voluntary compensation. After the war, the allied nations made Volkswagen the focal point of their efforts to resurrect Germany's automotive industry.

1977 Volkswagen Scirocco
1977 Volkswagen Scirocco

Due to the car's historic Nazi associations, as well as its tiny size and unique spherical design, Volkswagen sales in the US were slower than other areas of the world. The marketing company Doyle Dane Bernbach developed a historic campaign in 1959, naming the automobile the "Beetle" and touting its small size as a distinguishing benefit to buyers. VW went on to become the highest imported car in the U.S for the next few years. In 1960, the German government sold 60% of Volkswagen's shares to the general public, thus denationalising the company.

Twelve years later, the Beetle exceeded Ford Motor Company's renowned Model T's lengthy global manufacturing record of 15 million cars set between 1908 and 1927. Audi is Auto Union's sole remaining marque. In 1969, they bought NSU. VW was able to develop technological advances such as front-wheel drive and engines with water-cooling systems because to the experience of these firms. They combined Auto Union and NSU to become the luxurious Audi brand that we know today. By the 1970s, the Beetle had become obsolete, and the Type 3 and 4 were not particularly popular. Audi's influence proved to be VW's saving grace throughout this era. The Scirocco, Passat, Golf, and Polo were the first in a new generation of Volkswagens.

Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia Type 14 Coupe
Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia Type 14 Coupe

While Volkswagen's automobile lineup quickly grew comparable to that of other prominent European car manufacturers, the Golf has remained the cornerstone of the Volkswagen range since its launch, and the technical foundation for numerous other Volkswagen vehicles. The Volkswagen Golf has gone through eight versions, the first of which was built from the summer of 1974 until the fall of 1983. Its chassis also gave birth to the Volkswagen Scirocco sport coupe, the Volkswagen Jetta saloon/sedan, the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet convertible, and the Volkswagen Caddy pick-up.

Volkswagen struck a collaboration arrangement with SEAT, a Spanish automobile manufacturer, in 1982. However, in 1986, it purchased a controlling stake, and by 1990, it owned the company entirely. Volkswagen formed an arrangement with Skoda a year later, gradually increasing its stock holding to 70% by 1995. They didn't stop there, though. VW began accumulating brands, purchasing Bentley, Bugatti, and Lamborghini before the end of the millennium.


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