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Volkswagen Beetle – Dale’s Daily Data

The redesigned Volkswagen Beetle introduced this week in Berlin, Germany (Getty Images)

It was interesting to see that Volkswagen this week introduced what they called the re-invented Beetle.  The Associated Press says the car “that evolved from the hippie ride of choice to a cute chick car” is being reinvented again.  In its first overhaul since 1998 the company debuted a new sleeker design with a flatter roof, a slightly longer hood, narrower windows and a crease along the sides.  But looking at it there’s no doubt it’s a VW Bug.   That basic design hasn’t changed in more than 70 years since it was first introduced.   

Three of the original 1938 model Volkswagen "People's Cars" on display at a ceremony in Germany in which Hitler laid the cornerstone of a new factory (Getty Images)

By the way it was German dictator Adolph Hitler who at the 1933 Berlin Auto Show spoke about a new family car that any family could afford because at that time only the wealthy could afford them.  A short time afterwards he got together with Ferdinand Porche who had the same vision.  Hitler told him the car he had in mind must be able to carry 3 adults and two children.  It should get 42 miles per gallon of gas and be able to travel at speeds of up to 65 miles an hour.  Hitler even drew a sketch of what he thought the car should look like at a restaurant table.  And that sketch is almost exactly what the Volkswagen Beetle turned out to be.  He even had a name for it – Volkswagen meaning “the people’s car”.

The first American Volkswagen dealership opened up in New Jersey in 1955.  It was also the same year Volkswagen sold its 1-millionth car and for the first time moved past the 1-thousand cars a day production benchmark.  

It took about a decade for Volkswagen to make a serious dent, but by the mid 1960’s, the Volkswagen bug almost single-handedly ended Detroit’s dominance.  By that time Americans were taking a serious look at foreign made cars as an option.  Later when other foreign-built cars were percieved to be better built than what the Big Three were putting out it almost ended the American car building industry altogether.

SOURCE: wikipedia

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