Top 10 Companies in the World 2017

Posted in Top Brand Lists, Total Reads: 3021

4. Volkswagen

Volkswagen is a German Automobile manufacturer headquartered in Wolfsburg.

Image: Wikimedia

The company was founded by the Deutsche Arbetsfront (German Labour Front) in 1937, under Adolf Hitler. The company was originally named “Gesellschaft Zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagen”, and focuses on two significant verticals – Commercial Vehicles and Passenger Vehicles.

Some of the notable brands under passenger vehicles include Scania, Man, Neoplan and Volkswagen. Brands falling under the commercial vehicles vertical include Audi, Skoda, Bentley, Porsche, Lamborghini and Volkswagen. In 1938, the company was officially renamed as Volkswagenwerk, and production of the KDF Wagen was started. This car was later rechristened as the “Beetle”, by advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach, so as to improve sales in the USA. The company was into the production of military vehilces such as the Kübelwagen, and Schwimmwagen for the following decade. In 1949, ownership of the company was transferred to the Government of Germany, and the first Beetle was sold in USA. The company went global in 1953, with the establishment of a factory in Toronto. The upcoming years saw rapid expansion, with manufacturing facilities being established in Brazil and America.

The firm entered into a joint venture with SEAT in 1960, and soon acquired the company, making it the first non-German subsidiary of Volkswagen. Disney, in 1968, came up with the movie Herbie, which was centered on a talking Beetle. Following this, sales soon crossed 15 million vehicles, surpassing the recors set by Ford’s Model T. The Beetle became the world’s most produced vehicle. In 1969, Auto Union and NSU Motorenwerke, subsidiaries of Volkswagen, were merged to create Audi.

The following years saw the company introducing the Golf MK3 and the Jetta in USA. Volkswagen acquired Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini in 1998. The Phaeton line was announced soon and an assembly plant was setup in Tennessee. Recent years saw the company being rocked by scandal; however, the company has done well to emerge from the ashes. The current CEO of the company is Matthias Müller, who took over the position in September 2015.

Sales ($Bn): 240.3

Profits ($Bn): 5.7

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