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Volkswagen History

Gossett Volkswagen of Germantown is proud to bear the Volkswagen name! Interested in learning more about the automaker that brought us the Beetle, Passat and Golf? Read on for a history of the Volkswagen brand!
Volkswagen’s story started in 1937, when the auto company was created by the German Labour Front in an attempt to bring quality, affordable cars to the German auto industry. During the 1930s, the German market was filled with luxury models that ordinary citizens most often could not afford. Seeing the potential for a new market, Volkswagen (German for “People’s Car”) set forth on its journey.
Volkswagen was headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany, where it still remains today. At the time, the German government had plans to build a network of autobahns across the country and wished to create a car that all citizens could afford to coincide with this idea. The government sought out the well-known automotive engineer, Ferdinand Porsche, to design the very first “people’s car.”
The KdF-Wagen was first introduced to crowds at the 1939 Berlin Motor Show. Volkswagen had to halt production soon after its release, however, because of the start of WWII. After Germany lost the war, the Allies of WWII focused on turning the company around in attempt to resurrect the German auto industry and the country as a whole. Soon after, Volkswagen cars were being sold around the world. Although sales were initially slow in the US because of lingering negative feelings toward Germany following the war, Volkswagen’s unique design began to catch on.
In 1959, the Doyle Dane Bernbach Advertising Agency launched a campaign that would forever change the face of Volkswagen. They introduced the German car as the “Beetle.” Quickly after the campaign launchked, Volkswagen became the top-selling import in the US. With an iconic look that attracted young drivers, the car has become one of the most iconic and instantly recognizable vehicles on the market for over 50 years.
Since the introduction of the Beetle, Volkswagen has gone on to create award-winning vehicles like the Golf, Passat and Jetta. VW cars are especially popular today due to their world-leading diesel engine technology. The automaker now has three cars on the top 10 list of best-selling cars of all time—the Beetle, Golf, and Passat—and the brand continues to set the bar for quality, performance and affordability all around the world.
Want to learn more about the heritage of Volkswagen? The best way is to see one firsthand! Stop by Gossett Volkswagen, located at 7420 Winchester Road in Memphis, Tennessee, to check out all of VW’s most popular models including the Beetle and Passat. You can also browse our website to learn about our great selection of used cars and our team of expert service technicians that will help you keep your car in top condition!

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