1937 – The German Labour Front established the “Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH”. The company was later renamed to Volkswagenwerk GmbH the next year.
1938 – The Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany is established and the first Type 1 — the Beetle — was rolled off the assembly line.
WWII – Civilian vehicle production was limited because of the war, and Volkswagen primarily focused on military vehicles. However, due to the Allied air attacks, the Volkswagen factory sustained heavy damage.
1945 – After the Allied victory, the British helped rebuild the Volkswagen factory and mass produce new cars. In fact, credit is often give to Volkswagen for playing a major role in rebuilding Germany’s post-war economy.
1949 – Volkswagen vehicles became available in the United States, and soon became a favorite worldwide brand. The Type 2 (known as the VW Bus) was also introduced, and along with the Beetle, would become a popular vehicle choice during the Hippie movement of the 1960s.
1955 – To better serve the growing US market, the Volkswagen Group of America is established. That same year, the millionth Type 1 Beetle also rolled off the assembly line.
1968 – Thanks to the Disney film, The Love Bug, moviegoers are introduced to Herbie, a headstrong Volkswagen Beetle with #53 decals.
1972 – On February 17, the Volkswagen Beetle surpassed the Ford Model T in production numbers (15,007,034). This made it history’s most produced single model at the time, although it would later be surpassed by the Toyota Corolla.
1974 – Volkswagen begins to produce its Golf hatchback model, which would arrive in the US in 1978 as the Rabbit. Models for the American market are produced in a new factory in New Stanton, PA.
1979 – The Volkswagen Jetta is introduced to great acclaim and sales in Europe. It wouldn’t arrive in the US until 1993, and when it did, sales were initially dismal.
1985 – The AutoMuseum Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, Germany opened its doors. In 2000, a secondary museum (the AutoStadt) was opened.
1998 – The Volkswagen New Beetle is produced and would remain in production until 2011.
2002 – Volkswagen introduced their first modern SUV, the Touareg.
2003 – The last Type 1 Beetle (production number 21,529,464) is made on July 30. Where is it now? You can find it at the AutoMuseum Volkswagen in Wolfsburg.
2008 – A new Volkswagen production plant opened up in Chattanooga, TN.
2009 – Volkswagen merges with Porsche.
2016 – For the first time ever, the Beetle is available with a factory-produced shade of pink (Fresh Fuschia) and is dubbed the #PinkBeetle. This would be the first car in automotive history to have a hashtag in its name.
2017 – Volkswagen introduces its first-ever full size crossover with third-row seating, named the Atlas.