Volkswagen was begun by a Nazi Trade Union, the German Labor Front in 1937. Adolf Hitler's plan was to start a state-sponsored "Volkswagen"
program to produce vehicles that citizens of the Third Reich could afford. Dr. Ferdinand Porsche was chosen to design the new vehicles and focused
on creating a car with better fuel efficiency, reliability, ease of use and economically efficient repairs and parts. By the time the war started
in 1939 only a few vehicles had been produced and none had been delivered to customers; Hitler was the only one to receive a Volkswagen vehicle,
a Type 1 Cabriolet. During the war the Volkswagen factory produced military vehicles. After the war the Volkswagen factory was put into the hands
of the British and by 1946 it was producing 1,000 cars a month, the VW Beetle. Volkswagen became a part of the German economic recovery. The Volkswagen
was first sold in the U.S. in 1949 but in that first year only two units were sold.
Today, Volkswagen is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world, with sales in the U.S., Canada, all of Europe, parts of Central and South
America, Asia and Africa. In 2009, Volkswagen was officially ranked the 3rd largest manufacturer in the world. They aim to be the world's largest
auto maker by 2018. In 2010 Volkswagen had operating profits of $ 3.1 billion and sold over 4.5 million vehicles.
After taking a year off the Volkswagen Beetle is back for 2012. This new model is no longer round and "cute" and Volkswagen hopes no longer seen
as a chick vehicle. The former roundness of the Beetle has been smoothed and is more refined and sleek. In addition to new looks the 2012 Beetle will
be built with a standard 2.5-Liter 5-cylinder engine that will get 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 on the highway. It is also equipped with
split-folding rear seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, and eight-speaker sound system. Overall the new design of the Volkswagen
Beetle should put it back in the good graces of the people and regain its classic "peoples car" designation.