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Induction into the FIVA Heritage Hall of Fame represents the ultimate accolade for the life’s work of Prof. Dr. Carl Horst Hahn, the man responsible for the globalisation of Volkswagen and former Chairman of the Board of Management.

Story FIVA Award: Lifetime achievement award for Carl Horst Hahn
Allow us to do the honours: Senator Prof. Dr. Carl H. Hahn. Born in Chemnitz in 1926, officially employed by Volkswagen from 1954 to 1973 and from 1982 to 1997. Chairman of the Board of Management and responsible for the globalisation of Volkswagen between 1982 and 1993. Now presented with a lifetime achievement award, the FIVA Heritage Hall of Fame Award 2021.
When Volkswagen delivered 10,000 Golfs to the former GDR in 1977, Carl H. Hahn had been Chairman of the Board at Continental Gummi-Werke in Hanover for four years. The historic Golf in the picture is part of the Volkswagen Classic portfolio.
Carl H. Hahn in the 1938 Horch 930 V Cabriolet
“I insisted on the introduction of the fuel gauge for the Beetle in 1960. That was crucial for the US market, which was already very safety-conscious.”
Carl H. Hahn led Volkswagen of America from 1959 to 1964. He sold more Beetles there than anyone before or since. This picture shows Hahn with a 1961 Beetle.
The EA 266 appeared under Kurt Lotz, construction by Ferdinand Piëch. The special feature was the mid-mounted underfloor engine. This made the car as distinctive as the Beetle, but too exotic. The Golf designed by Giugiaro appeared under the leadership of Rudolf Leiding. “This car not only represented a global breakthrough for the transversely mounted front engine, with front-wheel drive, but also created a whole new class: the ‘Golf class’!”
The Golf II proved to be a “hit” with the public from 1983. Carl H. Hahn particularly appreciated and supported the sporty models. This picture shows the Golf GTI 16V and Golf GTI G60 as icons of the 1980s.
“Sixteen-valve engines and G-Lader were the driving forces of their day,” remembers Carl H. Hahn. That still applies to both models today – they have long become sought-after classics.
Appearing towards the end of Carl H. Hahn’s time as Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen, the Corrado G60 and Golf III VR6 were outstanding examples of form and technology on wheels. Originally sketched as a Shooting Brake, the Corrado was redesigned as a coupé to suit the US market.
In 1981, Volkswagen presented the Auto 2000 concept car. “That will be the new Golf!,” was the reaction of one worried rival – prompting significant improvements to their own competitor for the Golf. Carl H. Hahn did nothing to dampen these fears when he became Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen in 1982 – before surprising everyone with a Golf II that represented evolution rather than revolution.