Monday, April 26, 2010

Volkswagen Beetle, the original people’s car

When I read about the introduction of a people’s car, Tata Nano by Tata Motors, the first thing that came to my mind was the original people’s car, the Volkswagen Beetle. I think Nano’s design, pricing, looks and everything else were inspired by the inimitable Beetle.

And when I saw the Volkswagen Beetle for the first time, I was not much impressed by its looks, though later I started loving it for many reasons. Arguably, it is the only one car model that can claim to be the world's best-selling car design. It is now counted as the longest-running and most-produced automobile of a single design, with over 21 million units built and sold by the German auto maker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003.

Volkswagen Beetle has the simplest of the designs that in turn made it the sturdiest compact car in the world. Its air-cooled rear engine with a rear wheel drive could withstand Africa's desert heat in military actions of the German Afrika Korps during WWII.

In the 1930,s when larger luxury cars were the norm on German roads, most Germans could not afford such cars. The solution for this problem was provided by the renowned engineer Ferdinand Porsche, who designed a compact car for the ordinary citizen. In 1933 Adolf Hitler asked Porsche to develop a ‘Volks-Wagen’ (people's car in German), which was to be manufactured with state funding.

So, a few Volkswagen Beetles were manufactured before the Second World War started in 1939 but they were used by top Nazi officials. During the war a few more were produced but for the military. The factory was bombed during the war occupied by the Allied forces. The factory’s future was in doubt but it resumed production after the occupying forces left. By 1955, the Volkswagen Beetle created history with the one-millionth car coming off the assembly line.

Volkswagen Beetle became a hot favorite in overseas markets too. Assembly lines came up in all continents and most countries where personal cars became popular. By the beginning of the 70s, the VW Beetle had topped the legendary Ford Model T in overall production.

The 70’s also witnessed the introduction of the premier models such as the Passat and the Golf, followed by new models like the Jetta. In the 90s, acquisitions of luxury brands such as Lamborghini, Bentley, and Bugatti gave VW more reach in the markets. It was followed by the fifth-generation Golf (2002), the SUV Touareg, Phaeton and the hardtop convertible Eos.

Drivers look for different qualities in a vehicle. Some may give more weight to elegant looks, others may like sturdy construction, higher HP, eight cylinders, and the preferences may go on varying. However, Volkswagen always provides something for everyone, with great looks, durability, mileage, technology, and top performance.

As with some of the best cars, SUVs and trucks, the accessories seem to bother some drivers, as VW accessories cannot be easily developed and produced. But keeping up with their reputation, and as enterprising engineers with them as in VW, CARiD has the top line of vw accessories to perfectly suit your VW model. They are also renowned for unparalleled service and customer care. To keep your VW Beetle or other models in true VW tradition, try them today.

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