If you are close to my age, you would have owned a Beetle at some stage or at least known two or more family members who owned one.
I have fond memories of my first Beetle that I purchased for a whopping R150.00. Her nickname was 10/50: 10 mph uphill and 50 mph downhill.
I cannot remember the year model, but it operated on a 6-volt battery with flag indicators – built into the side door panel. Never did she leave me stranded at the roadside.
This year the VW Beetle is 80 years old, with more than 21 million units produced.
In 1937, the government of Germany – then under the control of Adolf Hitler of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party – formed a new state-owned automobile company, known as Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. Later that year, it was renamed simply Volkswagenwerk, or “The People’s Car Company”.
Hitler’s pet project was the development and mass production of an affordable, yet still speedy vehicle, that could sell for less than 1,000 Reich marks (about $140 at the time).
To provide the design for this “people’s car,” Hitler called in the Austrian automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche. In 1938, at a Nazi rally, the Führer declared: “It is for the broad masses that this car has been built. Its purpose is to answer their transportation needs, and it is intended to give them joy.”
However, soon after the KdF (Kraft-durch-Freude-Wagen), or translated, (Strength-through-joy), car was displayed for the first time at the Berlin Motor Show in 1939, World War II began, and Volkswagen halted production. After the war ended, with the factory in ruins, the Allies would make Volkswagen the focus of their attempts to resuscitate the German auto industry.
Volkswagen sales in the United States were initially slower than in other parts of the world, due to the car’s historic Nazi connections as well as its small size and unusual rounded shape. In 1959, the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach launched a landmark campaign, dubbing the car the “Beetle” and spinning its diminutive size as a distinct advantage to consumers.
Over the next several years, VW became the top-selling auto import in the United States. In 1960, the German government sold 60 percent of Volkswagen’s stock to the public, effectively denationalising it. Twelve years later, the Beetle surpassed the longstanding worldwide production record of 15 million vehicles, set by Ford Motor Company’s legendary Model T between 1908 and 1927.
The last original Beetle rolled off the line in Puebla, Mexico, on July 30, 2003.
To all our members, may this Christmas be a fitting ending to a successful year for you and may the New Year bring fresh hopes and bright beginnings.
November 2017 Sales in a nutshell
We share the best used car sellers (only IDA dealers on the Signio platform)
The top three used commercial vehicle sales per manufacturer (bakkies)
RANGER 2.2TDCi XL P/U D/C
UTILITY 1.4 A/C P/U S/C
RANGER 2.2TDCi XL A/T P/U D/C
Top 10 derivatives used car sales
POLO GP 1.2 TSI COMFORTLINE (66KW)
POLO GP 1.2 TSI TRENDLINE (66KW)
RANGER 2.2TDCi XL P/U D/C
FIGO 1.4 AMBIENTE
POLO 1.4 COMFORTLINE 5DR
POLO VIVO GP 1.4 CONCEPTLINE 5DR
COROLLA QUEST 1.6
POLO VIVO GP 1.4 TRENDLINE 5DR
POLO VIVO 1.4 TRENDLINE 5Dr
POLO 1.6 COMFORTLINE 5DR
The average age of used vehicles sold in November was 3.72 years.