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What we can learn from Volkswagen’s history

By SYF77 on 03 Aug 2011

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Volkswagen has been on a roll in Singapore as of late. It would be hard not to see one when you step out of your house. I decided to read up more about its history and had some interesting findings.

Volkswagen was originally founded in 1937 by the Nazi trade union, the German Labour Front. In the early 1930s, German auto industry was still largely composed of luxury models, and the average German rarely could afford anything more than a motorcycle (let’s hope that will not happen to Singaporeans due to sky-rocketing COE). Seeking a potential new market, some car makers began independent "Peoples' car" projects, which means making a car that is affordable by the mass. Adolf Hitler declared his intentions for a state-sponsored project of such nature, and he required a basic vehicle capable of transporting two adults and three children at 100 km/h. It would cost about the price of a small motorcycle.

Hitler chose to sponsor an all new, state owned factory and the engineer chosen for the task was Professor Ferdinand Porsche. He was actually the founder of the company called "Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH", which is known as Porsche now.

Initially, the company offered motor vehicle development work and consulting but did not build any cars under its own name. The VW beetle was one of its initial assignments, tasked by the German Government. Ferdinand Porsche's son, Ferry Porsche, decided to build his own car after WWII. Therefore, Volkswagen was actually developed and groomed by Porsche in its infant stage.

Coming back to not-so-long ago in December 2009, Volkswagen officially took a 49.9% stake in Porsche with no less than €3.9 billion. In acquiring Porsche, Volkswagen not only gains a premium brand that is still among the most profitable in the business, but expects its operating profit to jump by €700 million over time due to cost-saving synergies.

Such is the irony of life. It is like the subordinate whom you have guided in your company become your superior one day. Therefore, be nice to everyone around you, even to those who work under you. You will never what the future may bring.

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Written by SYF77
I have been a car fanatic since 1989, when my father was changing our family car then to a Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL fitted with a Twin Cam 16 valve engine that was carburetor-fed, a big deal back in those days. The automobile technology and industry fascinates me and I hope to broadcast these interesting developments to everyone out there through this blog.

  • 1
Darthrevan Aug 05 2011 02:20 AM
agreed..don't burn your bridges
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