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August 18, 2021

30 Vintage Photographs Capture Daily Life at the Volkswagen Factory in Wolfsburg in 1972

Volkswagen is one of the world’s biggest car manufacturers in the world but it’s worldwide headquarters are still based in the small city of Wolfsburg, where the company was founded in 1938.

The VW factory complex in Wolfsburg is apparently the largest factory in the world and covers an area of over 1,000 acres, which is 3 times the size of Boeing’s factory in Everett, Washington, USA. Over 70,000 people work for VW in Wolfsburg, so not only is it the world’s biggest factory in terms of size, it is also one of the world’s biggest factories as regards numbers employed.

Only 210 cars were built before World War II, before the factory was converted to manufacture arms for the German Army. The Volkswagen factory was heavily bombed during World War II and only re-opened in May 1945 as the British Army needed 20,000 vehicles in order to patrol occupied Germany. Incredibly, despite the shortage of supplies in post-war Germany, almost 2,000 Beetles had been built by the end of 1945 and just 3 months later, over a thousand cars a month were being built in Wolfsburg.

By 1955, over 1 million VW Beetles had been built and by 1972, over 15 million were produced surpassing the previous record holder, the Ford Model T. Production of the original VW Beetle ended in Wolfsburg in 1974 but it continued in VW’s factory in Pueblo in Mexico until 2003.


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