Volkswagen Group is a German automobile manufacturing enterprise headquartered in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. Manufacturer of both commercial and passenger vehicles, the company sells its passenger vehicles under the brand names Scania, MAN, Neoplan and Volkswagen. The commercial car brands for the company are Audi, Skoda, Bentley, Porsche, Lamborghini and Volkswagen.
Originally named as Gesellschaft Zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagen (Society for the preparation of the German People's Car), the company was founded in 1937 by Deutsche Arbetsfront (German Labour Front). It was renamed just after a year and named as Volkswagenwerk.
The chief aim of the company was to manufacture the Volkswagen car, now popularly known as Beetle. Shortly after its factory's constructions were done, World War II started. The company then started manufacturing military vehicles.
After the war, in 1949, Volkgswagen became Volkswagen-Finanzierung-Gesellschaft. The British Military Government, which was the then owner of the company, transferred it to the Government of Germany. The company went global only in 1953 with the establishment in Toronto Ontario.
Similarly, Brazilian and the American establishments were established in 1955. The company soon started establishing industries worldwide, reaching out to South Africa, Sweden and China. The company was renamed as Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft in 1960.
Although its operations continued to expand, the first major venture started outside Germany, under its co-operation with Spanish car manufacturer SEAT, S.A. The company was renamed again, to display its widening global expansion as Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaff (Volkswagen AG). By 1990, the company had completely overtaken SEAT, establishing its first non-German subsidiary. It was a starkly visible sign that Volkswagen was going global. Similarly, it completely owned Skoda Auto in 2003.
Volkswagen is now the third-largest vehicle manufacturer in the world. The company with the second largest market share in Europe and according to the 2013 Fortune Global 500, is the 9th largest company in the world. It has over three hundred thousand employees globally and sold a record of 9.7 million vehicles. Volkswagen targeted to attain the figure of staggering 10 million annually which looks not-so-improbable.
The global operation of the giant reaches out globally spanning 153 countries. The major subsidiaries of the company include AUDI AG, Bentley Motors Ltd, Automobili Almborghini S.p.A, Bugatti Automobiles, Suzuki Motor Corporations, and Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. Volkswagen AG has a primary listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and secondary listings in Stock Exchanges of London, New York and Switzerland.
Along with vehicle manufacturing, the company also invests heavily in sports sponsorship. The company has invested in prominent sports events like 2008 Summer Olympics, 2014 Winter Olympics and the David Beckham Academy. Volkswagen also owns the German football side BFL Wolfsburg.
Excellence and diversity are the key goals the company aims to achieve. Despite its humble start and a subsequent ruin of its chief factory in the Second World War; it stood back tall, leading the global innovation and market share in automobile industry. In its 77 years long history, only 10 personalities have acted as leaders steering the brand, which is a display of stability. This in turn points to the promise of a bright future ahead for the brand.
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- German Labour Front
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- Matthias Muller
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