Wolfsburg is located on the Aller River and is the fifth largest city in the German state of Lower Saxony. Wolfsburg is well-known for being the home of Volkswagen AG’s headquarters and the world’s largest car plant. But why was Wolfsburg constructed?
Wolfsburg, Germany, was entirely built for the workers of the Volkswagen car factory, one of the world’s largest at just under 70 million square feet. The factory’s roofs combined are larger than Monaco.
What is the Volkswagen Group?
Volkswagen Group, also known as Volkswagen AG, is a major German automobile manufacturer founded in 1937 by the German government to mass-produce a low-cost people’s car, with headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.
The German Labour Front, a Nazi group, formerly ran the business. The German Labour Front employed Austrian automotive expert Ferdinand Porsche in 1934, and the foundation for a new factory in the state of Lower Saxony was broken in 1938. Ferdinand Porsche was in charge of the original design of the automobile. Before mass production could start in 1939, World War II broke out, and the factory was converted to make military hardware and vehicles.
Because of its military involvement, Volkwagen’s factory became a target for Allied bombers, and the factory was in ruins by the end of the war. The Volkswagen was rebuilt under British supervision, and mass production began in 1946. The company was taken over by the West German government and the state of Lower Saxony in 1949. Volkswagens accounted for more than half of all passenger cars produced in the country at the time.
In the 1950s, Volkswagen’s production grew rapidly. The Transporter van debuted in 1950, and the Karmann Ghia coupe debuted in 1955. Sales in most export countries were generally strong. Still, sales in the United States were initially sluggish due to the car’s small size, unusual rounded appearance, and historical connection to Nazi Germany. However, as the 1950s progressed, the car gained acceptance, and Volkswagen of America was founded in 1955.
In 1959, the brand was represented by the American advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach, and the result was a landmark advertising campaign that helped popularize the car as the Beetle and promoted its size and unconventional design as a consumer benefit. The campaign was a huge success, and the Beetle was the most popular imported car in the United States for many years. (Source: Britannica)
Wolfsburg’s city center is unique in Germany. In place of a medieval city center, Wolfsburg has a new and modern attraction known as the Autostadt. Alt Wolfsburg’s old town has some major buildings in the traditional framework style. The Wolfsburg Castle sits atop a hill near the Aller River.
The Autostadt is an open-air museum and theme park dedicated to Volkswagen automobiles. The pavilions featuring Volkswagen’s major brands are located in the park’s center: Volkswagen and Audi to the north, SEAT, Koda Auto, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, and the Premium Clubhouse to the south. The Porsche pavilion is located right next to the lagoon. The striking Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles pavilion is located in the park’s southeast corner. A planetarium, a Ritz-Carlton hotel, the Phaeno Science Center, Germany’s largest hands-on science museum, a water skiing resort, and a private art museum specializing in modern and contemporary art are also part of the Autostadt. (Source: Niedersachsen Tourism)
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