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Volkswagen: Global Car Company

August 10, 2015

The Volkswagen Group is a German multinational automotive manufacturing company with headquarters in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. It is public company and has a primary listing in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, where it is a constituent of the DAX index, and secondary listings on the London Stock Exchange, Luxembourg Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange, and SIX Swiss Exchange. The state of Lower Saxony as of September 2012, holds 12.7 percent of the company’s share, granting it 20 percent of the voting rights.

With its subsidiaries, Volkswagen designs, manufactures and distributes passenger and commercial vehicles, motorcycles, engines, and turbomachinery and offers related services including financing, leasing and fleet management. The company produced in 2012, the second largest number of motor vehicles in the world, behind Toyota and ahead of General Motors. It has maintained the largest share market in Europe for more than two decades. In 2014, the group reached production output of 10.14 vehicles.

Volkswagen Group sells passenger cars under the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Skoda, and Volkswagen marques; motorcycles under the Ducati brand; and commercial vehicles under the MAN, Scania, Neoplan and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles marques. The multinational is divided into two main divisions, the Automotive Division and the Financial Services Division. It operates in around 150 countries and runs 100 production facilities across 27 countries. Volkswagen holds a 19.9 percent non-controlling shareholding in Suzuki and has two major joint-ventures in China (FAW-Volkswagen and Shanghai Volkswagen).

The company was founded by the German Labour Front on May 28, 1937, in Berlin to produce the German People’s Car. The Volkswagen car was originally referred to as the Porsche Type 60, then the Volkswagen Type 1, and commonly called the Volkswagen Beetle. The vehicle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche’s consulting firm.

After World War II no major car companies in the Allied countries wanted Volkswagen. The company survived by producing cars for the British Army. In 1948, the British Government handed over Volkswagen to the German state.

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