Volkswagen traces its beginnings to Nazi Germany back in the 1930s. Adolf Hitler had articulated a desire for an affordable private motor vehicle that will be able to run a hundred kilometers per hour and seat two adults and three kids. He commissioned one of the brightest engineers of the time, Ferdinand Porsche, to design such a car. Hitler called the vehicle “KdF-Wagen” after the Nazi-led movement. The first batch of Beetles, as the car came to be popularly known (Volkswagen people simply referred to the first produced car as Type 1) had evolved through the years, but the distinguishing round shape and rear-mounted engine remained. In the late 1930s, Ferdinand Porsche’s Type 60 was launched in a car show. During the mid 1940s, the British military government placed a big order for the Beetle. It was during this era that KdF-Wagen became Volkswagen.
The company churned out diminutive yet fuel-efficient automobiles. Over time, in response to post-war consumer clamor for a more stylish car, the two passenger Volkswagen Karmann Ghia was created. Other VW cars – the Volkswagen Rabbit, the sporty Scirocco and the much touted Jetta, and the sleek new Beetle, followed.