Four Things You Probably Don’t Know About the Volkswagen

Volkswagen beetle

It’s hard to miss a Volkswagen, especially the Beetle. The cars have a robust European design and efficient interiors and performance. But do you know there’s more story to know about this iconic brand? Read these facts.

German Names

Volkswagen, the brand, and all its models derived its name from German words. ‘Volks’ means ‘people’ while ‘wagen’ translates to ‘wagon’ or ‘car’. Put the two together, and it should refer to the ‘people’s car’.

When it comes to the popular models, Jetta stands for ‘jet stream’ while Passat is the German word for ‘trade wind’. ‘Golf’ refers to the ‘gulf stream’. How about the Beetle? That’s not German, right? The company never called it that way. In fact, it took a while before it appeared.

The Beetle was the first VW model ever produced, and back in the 1930s, manufacturers were less likely to have fancy names for their vehicles. Back then, people called the car as the classic VW or simply VW. In the factories, they earned the moniker of Type One to distinguish them from the others.

Some people believe the term ‘beetle’ referred to the way the British media called the car perhaps due to its shape.

Resale Value

According to AA Motoring in New Zealand, some of the cars that sell well in the used markets are those that have a long-lasting legacy, durability and sense of being classic. The Volkswagen brand fits the bill.

In a 2017 survey, the used-market price of a Golf car in New Zealand was much higher than in the United States.

Those with an idle VW in the garage can now consider bringing it to a VW repair shop. Improving it to a mint condition can only further increase its resale value.

Hitler Association

What makes the Volkswagen brand even more interesting than the others is its association with the former Nazi party leader, Adolf Hitler.

History suggests the brand (and the first model) was part of the socialist program called the ‘People’s Car Project’. The goal was to create affordable vehicles that could transport a family of five.

This Jalopnik article, though, seems to debunk some of the often-told stories about the car. For one, the idea of a ‘people’s car’ began even before Hitler rose to power. There was even a different Volkswagen at the time called Standard Superior designed by Josef Ganz.

Relationship with Porsche

Porsche logo

These days, the Volkswagen Group owns at least 12 other brands and models. These include Ducati, Scania, Skoda, Bentley, Audi, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Porsche. Perhaps the most significant of them all (and probably closest to the company’s heart) is Porsche.

Like Volkswagen, Porsche also had its history in Germany. Unlike VW, it didn’t begin as a car manufacturing company. Rather, it specialised in design development, which the German government back then needed.

When Hitler wanted to launch his pet project, they called Ferdinand Porsche, Porsche’s then-founder, to design what then became the first Beetle.

Now you know these facts, did it change the way you see a VW? Regardless of your opinion, one thing is clear: VW is a classic, and until now, people clamour for it and pay a handsome price to have one.