The History of Volkswagen

1934 17th January. Ferdinand Porsche delivers an "Esposé on the building of a people's car" to the Reich government.
22nd June. Contract between the Porsche Design Office and the "Reichsverband der Automobilindustrie" (German Automobile Industry Association concerning the design of a "Volkswagen".
1935 October. The first prototype travels on its own power.
1936 22nd October - 22nd December. the VW 3 series: Three prototypes are tested over a distance of 50,000 km, under the supvervision of the Automobile Industry Association.
1937 A further 30 cars cover a total distance of 2.4 million kilometres in the course of tests: the construction of the VW 30 series
22nd May. Decision to hand over the Volkswagen project to the planned "Gezuvor - Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des deutschen Volkswagens GmbH" (Company for the Development of the German Volkswagen).
28th May. Establishment of "Gezuvor". The Volkswagon takes on its final shape.
1938 26th May. Foundation stone of the Volkswagen factory laid near Fallersleben. In the same year the Brunswick factory is also built for training purposes. After the war it is used for production.
1st July. Foundation of the "Stadt des KdF-Wagens" (Town of the strength-through-joy car) through the amalgamation of several communities.
1st August. Proclamation of the Volkswagen savings scheme by the German Labour Front.
16th September. Conclusion of the articles of assocation for the "Volkswagenwerk GmbH".
6th October. The "Gezuvor" is officially renamed "Volkswagenwerk GmbH".
13th October. Volkswagen GmbH is entered in the commercial register, Berlin.
1939 Spring. Topping-out ceremony at the Volkswagen factory.
1940 April. Start of assembly of Type 82 jeep-type vehicles. Then increasingly armaments production.
1942 The majority of the workforce is provided by forced labour from various countires.
June. Start of production of Type 166 amphibious vehicles.
By the end of the war some 70,000 amphibious and jeep-type vehicles have been produced.
1944 As a result of several daylight air raids, some two-thirds of the factory production halls are destroyed.
1945 10th April. The Americans occupy the town, which has a population of 17,109. the factory employs around 9,000 people.
Some 336,000 savers have concluded agreements for the purchase of a volkswagen. The 267 million Reichs-marks accumulated is deposited in a special account at the "Bank der Deutschen Arbeit" (German Labour Bank).
25th May. The town is given the name of "Wolfsburg".
The Volkswagen factory is swiftly renamed "Wolfsburg Motoren-Werke" ("Wolfsburg Motor Works") and the company's assets are requisitioned.
May/June. Work is recommenced. In addition to the repair of British army vehicles, by year-end 1,785 Volkswagens are "produced" and supplied exclusively to the allied occupation forces (as auxiliary delivery vans) and to the German Post Office.
17th September. Order from the British miltary authority for 20,000 Volkswagens.
1946 10,020 Volkswagens produced in the course of the entire year.
1947 Of the annual production (8,987 vehicles), 56 saloons are exported to the Netherlands. Since 8th August, the Pon Brothers have been the VWw importers for the Netherlands.
1948 1st January. Dipl.-Ing. Heinrich Nordhoff becomes General Manager and takes over the running of the factory. He proceeds to build up a sales and service organisation for the Volkswagen.
May. The 25,000th Volkswagen comes off the assembly line.
June. The currency reform ushers in the time of the "economic miracle".
29th July. The Company's registered office transferred from its original location in Berlin to Wolfsburg.
7th October. Foundation of "Volkswagen Savers' Association Niedermarsberg" and legal action taken for delivery of Volkswagens for which the money was saved.
1949 8th January. Two Beetles are shipped from the Netherlands overseas. Their final destination is the United Stated of America.
13th May. The 50,000th Volkswagen to be built since the end of the war comes off the assembly line.
30th June. A subsidiary company "VFG - Volkswagen-Finanzierungsgesellschaft mbH" (Volkswagen Finance Company) is set up.
1st July. The "Export Model" is introduced costing 5,540 DM. At the same time a four-seater VW Convertible manufactured by Karmann is introduced. In the course of its history, wit 330,281 units sold, it is to become the best-selling convertible in the world.
6th September. The military government relinquishes control of requisitioned assets.
Power of disposition over the Volkswagenwerk GmbH is transferred to the Federal Republic of Germany, which appoints the State of Lower Saxony as trustee.
1950 February. The first Volkswagen Transporter comes off the assembly line. Series production begins on March 8th with 10 vehicles produced per day.
1951 29th - 31st March. Brief suspension of production. The cause is a shortage of sheet metal as a result of the Korean crisis.
Hugo Bork is elected Chairman of the Works Council. He holds this position until 1971.
1952 11th September. "Volkswagen Canada Ltd." Toronto established as a distributing company
1953 23rd March. "Volkswagen do Brasil S.A." established in Sao Bernardo do Campo near Sao Paulo.
20th March. Establishement of "VW-Wohnungsbau GmbH" (a non-profit housing corporation).
1954 30th March. The film "Aus eigener Kraft" is premiered.
1955 22nd April. Federal Chancellor Adenauer visits the Volkswagen factory.
14th July. The VW Karmann Ghia Coupe developed jointly with Karmann, is introduced.
5th August. The 1,000,000th Volkswagen comes off the assembly line.
27th October. "Volkswagen of America, Inc." established in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. as a distributing company.
1956 8th March. The first Transporter comes off the assembly line in the newly constructed VW Transporter factory in Hanover
20th March. Start of Series Production.

VW acquires the shares of the South African VW Importer and establishes a subsidiary compnay which operates an assembly plant in South Africa: "Volkswagen of South Africa (Pty.) Ltd.", Uitenhage.
1957 September. Presentation of the Karmann Ghia Convertible and start of series production.
6th December. Establishment of "Volkswagen (Australasia) Pty. Ltd", Melbourne, Australia.
1958 1st July. Drive unit reconditioning begins at the new Volkswagen factory in Kassel.
1st November. In addition to Volkswagen Transporters, from now on Volkswagen engines are also produced at the Hanover factory.
1959 7th January. In the presence of the President of Brazil, Prof. Heinrich Nordhoff inaugurates the new plant of "Volkswagen do Brasil S.A." near Sao Paulo.
1960 11th March. "Volkswagen France", Paris, established as the distributing company for France.
29th June. The Federal Parliament passes the act by a large majority for the privatisation of the Volkswagen factory in the form adopted by the mediation committee. "Volkswagenwerk GmbH" becomes a joint stock corporation. 40% of the capital stock is held by the Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Lower Saxony, 60% is sold as People's shares.
The "VW Act" secures State participation in Volkswagen.
22nd August. "Volkswagenwerk AG" is entered in the commercial register at the district court in Wolfsburg.
25th November. Resolution to establish the "Stiftung Volkswagenwerk" (Volkswagenwerk Foundation) to further science and technology in research and teaching.
1961 16th January. VW shares go on sale.
1st July. First Volkswagen AG Annual Meeting of Stockholders takes place.
1st September. The new "VW 1500" is included in the production range as a Saloon and Karmann Ghia Coupe.
18th October. The eleven-year-long VW Savers' lawsuit ends in a settlement.
1962 9th January. Start of production of "VW Variant".
16th January. The first Italian "guest-workers" are taken on. A "village" is built for them.
20th December. Establishment of "VW-Siedlungsgesellschaft mbH", Wolfsburg (housing construction company).
1963 August. New model: VW 1500 S as Saloon, Varian and Coupe.
Also in this year over 50% of vehicles exported from the Federal Republic of Germany are Volkswagens.
1964 15th January. Establishment of "Volkswagen de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.", Puebla.
1st December. Production begins at the new Volkswagen factory in Emden.