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Volkswagen is a German automaker founded on 28th May, 1937 by the German Labor Front under Adolf Hitler. It is headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. It is the flagship marque of the Volkswagen group which is the largest automaker worldwide by sales.
The company operates in the global automotive industry as a manufacturer and distributer. Volkswagen is Europe’s number one car maker. With production facilities in around 31 countries, the company’s products are sold in around 153 countries. The current chairman of the company is Herbert Diess. Volkswagen in German means “people’s car.” It supplies automobiles in huge numbers to the entire world.
The total revenue of the company is more than $75 billion. The company generally aims to increase its focus on the core business, reduce production costs and enhance profitability of the cars which are produced. The overall activities of the company are carried out in two divisions: Automobile and Financial services. The Automobile sector deals with the production and manufacturing of vehicles. The Financial department deals with the monetary aspect of the company i.e. customer financing, banking and insurance activities, etc. The strategy adopted by the company is beneficial for future development and sustainable growth.
Volkswagen was founded in 1937 by Ferdinand Porsche. It was originally operated by the German Labor Front, a Nazi organization. The party was looking for a sustainable vehicle with a capacity of five passengers and a top speed of 100 km/h. The company was aiming for an inexpensive alternative for vehicular transportation. However, this was not possible without a private workforce. Thus, in the early 1930s, Adolf Hitler sponsored a state-owned-factory to manufacture these inexpensive vehicles.
By the time of the Second World War (1939), only 30 Volkswagen’s were built before the factory was converted to be used for military purposes. In 1945, when the war ended the production branch at Wolfsburg was damaged. The work began again and under the leadership of Ivan Hirst, the company established itself again. It started manufacturing cars which were to be used for German Postal Services.
By 1946 the Wolfsburg plant that produces 1000 vehicle manufacturing it was still not fully operational. In 1947 the Volkswagen beetle would begin exporting to other countries as the inexpensive alternative to transportation. By 1949 Volkswagen would produce its 50,000 vehicle with 15% of its production be sold in the surrounding European market. During the same year under the hands of the British military government and the ordinance 202, Volkswagen would be handed over to GmbH. At the time of the handover Volkswagen would employ 10,000 individuals and produce four thousand vehicles monthly. Throughout the 1950s Volkswagen introduced themselves into the North American market and sales would quickly take off.
Volkswagen would soon start to introduce the Type 2 commercial vehicle that could be used in various platforms such as a van, pickup, or camper. The beginning of the 1960s would lead Volkswagen to begin to diversify its product lines with the introduction of the Karmann Ghia (Type III).
The late 1960s and early 70s would see the introduction of the Volkswagen Type IV which would come in various different models such as a coupe, sedan and wagon. In 1973, the oil crisis would affect auto manufacturers around the world and Volkswagen was included. In the following year Volkswagen would have to take effort to downsize its workforce and by October 1975, 32,761 employees would no longer work for the company.
The positive side for Volkswagen was the fact that they were producing small, affordable vehicles which would help keep sales boosted more than nearly all competitors. By the 1990s Volkswagen was starting to see gains in the company as well as some more vehicles in the North American markets.
Volkswagen is a huge brand in the market. The company has always strived towards consistent growth. There was a time when the innovation was steady, but company provided good cars in the market to the customers. Engineers in Volkswagen aim to increase efficiency and create surplus by manufacturing good quality vehicles. For instance, the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion SE is currently one of the most fuel efficient cars, with CO2 emissions of just 107g/km.
The innovation aspect was increased when Volkswagen was the first company to become the member of ‘Business and Bio-diversity Initiative’. The company is constantly working for fuel efficient vehicles. The Volkswagen XL 1 model is one of the most fuel efficient cars in the world. Its tiny 1 liter twin cylinder diesel engine uses only 2.0L/100km. Combined with on board electric motor that efficiency increases to 0.9L/100km. The XL 1 is a powerful car too.
Volkswagen holds the possible key to the future of vehicle control in its interior. There are three LCD screens which govern literally all functionality and information display in the car. A digital active information display shows the instrument cluster, a large touch screen control infotainment and navigation system. A smaller screen is dedicated to climate and audio controls.
These systems may not sound like something new, but what sets these functions apart is that touching them is completely optional. Cameras present inside the car helps the drivers to use gestures like pointing at the button without taking their eyes off the road. You can access the sunroof or adjust your seat only by using gestures to indicate directions. The Volkswagen’s DCC Adaptive Chassis Control System is magnificent. It has clearly surpassed the innovations by the competitors and its efficiency cannot be matched easily.
It uses electronically controlled suspension struts that reacts to changes in road environment within milliseconds. Another beautiful feature in Volkswagen is that the rider can access the precision settings to change the way he/she drivers. For casual driving, you can choose ‘Normal’ or ‘Comfort’ settings which reduces shock and bumps. A ‘sport’ version gives further control to the rider to access braking and acceleration system. The car also has a brilliant 3D camera with a GPS system.
Volkswagen’s precision and futuristic approach has gained the company huge market shares. The sheer brilliance and performance of the cars make them stand out both on and off the road.
Volkswagen has always aimed to deliver what the customers require. The ongoing current innovation of electric cars is one to watch out for the viewers. All these qualities have made it a superior brand. Following are some cars which are most famous among the customers:
The Volkswagen cars have gradually improved their build quality. There still exists a lot of issues related to the exterior built of the vehicle. Competitors like Ford are deemed in the market to have strong material cars. If Volkswagen needs to surpass that, it needs to improve the build quality of its cars. When you drive any Volkswagen car like the Polo or Jetta, there is a lot of road noise which is uneasy for a driver.
Of course the company has made sustainable improvements in the new Beetle which has a tremendous on road performance but it still lags behind in some aspects. One exception is the Volkswagen Vento, which has a very strong build quality. The hard material outside the car is coated to protect from corrosion and rusting. Vento was one of the first cars to pass the safety test with great results.
The interior built of Volkswagen cars are undoubtedly awesome. The safety features with a number of installed airbags gives good assurance to the drivers. Further, Blueprinting is the latest technology used by Volkswagen. It is the science of engine rebuilding.
The careful construction, measuring, fitting and balancing done during the blueprinting creates an engine that returns improved quality, fuel economy and dependability. The other tech features are driver assisted and makes the life of drivers easy. The inbuilt LCD screens along with the seats are constructed keeping in mind the comfort of the drivers. The cars also have ample storage space.
The less services and availability of spare parts decreases the resale value of a Volkswagen in India. The after sale service of the company is not quite good. This leads to depreciation in overall value of the car. Volkswagen faces the same resale value problem like Audi, BMW or any other luxury car brand.
Therefore, the car is not purchased in abundance in the Indian market. Considering the overall quality of the car, more service centers should be set up to improve the brand and purchase of the Volkswagen cars.
Volkswagen is a world renowned company. Its strive towards manufacturing parts and cars which are beneficial for the customers and the environment is commendable. The company can be seen as an organization that knows how to maintain proper balance between producing low priced vehicles and growing financially by selling them. The automobiles manufactured by the company offer supreme quality, design and framework, features and innovations. These characteristics makes it a famous brand in the market. The company has a strong market share.
Strong R&D activities exist in the organization to give it a higher authority and place in the market. Due to these features Volkswagen has strong growth prospects in future. The alliances in the past done by the company have turned out very beneficial. More strategic alliances in the future can be a big opportunity for the company. It should learn from the past and should take steps in positive direction.
The market has intense competition. The other luxury car brands are working towards manufacturing more fuel efficient and eco-friendly vehicles. Volkswagen should preserve its market share and improve on different problems if the company wants to be a hegemony in the car market.
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