Volkswagen cars today are among the most popular and reliable, but at the same time relatively affordable. Still - the name is translated from German as "a car for the people", "people's car". The Volkswagen icon is known to many people, even those far from the auto world. We invite you to get acquainted with the history of its design, as well as the development of this significant German auto corporation.
The beginning of the story
The history of the concern began in 1933 with a conversation at the Kaiserhof Hotel in Berlin. There were three participants in the conversation: the notorious Adolf Hitler, Ferdinand Porsche (founder of the company of the same name) and Jacob Verlin (representative from Daimler-Benz). The Fuhrer set the task before his interlocutors - to create for the German people a strong and reliable car, the cost of which would not exceed a thousand Reichsmarks. In addition, for the machine of the new era, it was necessary to build a modern factory.
Hitler himself sketched on a piece of paper the main points of the development program. From the interlocutors, he demanded to name the designer who will be responsible for the proper execution of the state order.As a result of short discussions, F. Porsche was nominated. As for the future car, they called it Volkswagen ("people's car").
In 1934, Ferdinand Porsche sent a project of the future car to the German Reich Chancellery. The designer chose the Porsche Typ 60 as the basis for it.
In June of the same year, a contract was already signed between the Porsche concern and the Imperial Automobile Association for the development of three cars with the Volkswagen badge. The requirements for the machines were as follows:
- Maximum power - 26 hp s.
- 5 seats.
- Maximum speed is 100 km/h
- Fuel consumption - 8 liters per 100 km.
- Price - 1550 marks.
Design work continued for two years. As a result, three prototypes were made:
- V1 with two doors.
- Cabriolet V2 (Order of the Fuhrer).
- V3 with four doors.
Another 30 prototypes were made at the Daimler-Benz plant. Tested cars "German Labor Front" (Nazi trade union). The control test and the final decision on the launch of models in mass production took over the CC.
In 1937, the "Limited Liability Company for the Preparation of the German People's Car" was founded. In 1938 it will be renamed Volkswagenwerk GmbH. In the same year, a stone was laid on the site of the future plant near Fallersleben. And then Hitler will announce the name of the future "car for the people" - KdF-Wagen.
How did the Volkswagen badge come about?
And now it's time to move on to the history of the creation of the logo - after all, he became known to the world in 1939. Interestingly, at that time it was a stylized swastika, against which the letters VW (Volkswagenwerk) were depicted.
The author of the emblem was the engineer of the Porsche Corporation F.K. His project was recognized as the winner in an open competition. For this, Franz Xavier Reimspiess received a cash prize of 100 Reichsmarks (about $400, or the standard monthly salary of a worker).
However, Rimespiss's victory is also associated with a scandal. The Austrian artist N. Borg argued that it was he who made a similar sketch of the Volkswagen badge by order of the German Minister for Ammunition and Arms F. Todt in June 1939. However, he never won the trial - the Porsche engineer was able to prove that the sketches of the drawing of his authorship existed long before 1939.
Modern Volkswagen badges on the instrument panel and radiator have gone through a series of modifications to get the familiar look. Let's touch on the main stages of history:
- By 1939, the swastika was removed from the image. The letters VW began to turn over the gear.
- In 1945, the emblem became more recognizable to modern man: the gear was replaced by a circle, and the symbols were closer to each other.
- In 1960, the Volkswagen badge was changed to a slightly ridiculous logo - a circle with letters was inserted intosquare. However, he only lived for seven years.
- In 1967, it was decided to return to the round option. Only his color changed from black to blue.
- In 1978 - new changes. Now the background has already been painted in blue, and the monogram has been depicted in white. According to many designers, this made the emblem more serious and meaningful.
- The following changes took place in 1995 - the background of the logo changed from light blue to blue.
- In 1999, they settled on a blue-blue version of the nameplate.
The modern logo has been relevant since 2000. It adorns absolutely all cars of the corporation (including the Volkswagen Polo badge).
This is the same monogram of the letters V and W in a white circle on a blue background. However, the designers worked hard to make it look more convex and voluminous - as if in a 3D format.
We talked about the dawn of corporate history, the Volkswagen badges on the dashboard. What about the company today?
Among the latest news is the opening of the production of gasoline engines in Russian Kaluga (2015). And this year, the third-generation Volkswagen Touareg will be presented at the famous show in Beijing. It is known that the novelty will "boast" of gasoline and diesel engines of 2 and 3 liters, respectively, and will also be accompanied by a hybrid version.
So we got acquainted with the German "car forpeople". As it turned out, his simple and concise icon went through a series of redesigns.