When the record of one million vehicles was achieved on 5 August 1955, Volkswagen celebrated a huge party. The Beetle (in the meantime known as the "Ovali" model) and the Transporter, still constructed in Wolfsburg back then, comprised the model range. Additionally, the Beetle convertible, manufactured at Karmann. The star of the anniversary celebration at the works stadium was a golden 30 PS Beetle, gemmed with rhinestones on the chrome parts and the typical oval-shaped rear windscreen. Thousands of employees and their guests celebrated and enjoyed a show with presentations from all export countries.
Only a few people believed in such success back at the end of 1945 when production started. However, there were sufficient visionaries amongst the workers and managers who gave their all for "their" product. It took ten years to crack the first million – of which the majority was the Beetle (Type 1) and its convertible spin-off and the remainder the Transporter (Type 2). This was augmented by the Karmann-Ghia at the end of 1955 and the "Large Beetle" 1500 (Type 3) followed suit in 1961. In the meantime, export was in full swing, with long delivery times for the Beetle. As a consequence, production was boosted and the tenth million already achieved in 1963.
Between 1973 and 1975, the Beetle and its derivates were superseded with the modern, front-wheel drive vehicles Polo, Golf, Scirocco and Passat. The success story continued with an ever-expanding range of models. Today, Volkswagen has a global standing – the overall number of vehicles produced by the Group lies in excess of 200 million.
Sixty years ago: Volkswagen cracks the threshold of the first million
- Millionth Volkswagen rolled off the assembly lines on 5 August 1955.
- Back then only Beetle, Beetle Cabriolet and Transporter in the model range
The first million Volkswagen vehicles were reported ten years after the end of the war. Back then, a respectable record. But Volkswagen was already to celebrate ten million vehicles in 1963. An incomparable success story had started.