Happy birthday Bulli! The iconic Volkswagen model is 65 years old
Poznań, March 11, 2015 - Others, at the age of 65, are getting ready for retirement, he is at the apex of his life! The popular Bulli turns out to be simply immortal - the production of the first Volkswagen Transporter began 65 years ago. Initially, the car was built in Wolfsburg, and from 1956 in Hanover. The success story has been going on continuously for 65 years. To this day, the Volkswagen Transporter is coveted by both young and rebellious and small companies, and this model has gained cult status.
It all started in 1947 with a pencil sketch - Ben Pon , who imported cars to the Netherlands, saw a simple platform on wheels at the Volkswagen plant. He treated it as a starting point for a larger project - on a sheet of Mon's notebook he roughly sketched the Transporter design, using, among others, Beetle components.
Two years later, Volkswagen factory director Heinrich Nordhoff presented four prototypes: two vans, a station wagon and a minibus. Nordhoff assured that the Transporter will be as solid and durable as the Beetle: "You do not need to approach this car in elegant gloves, but you can give it a solid bone."
The designers used the Beetle's engine and axles. Instead of a central tubular frame, the bus is equipped with a self-supporting body. The engine capacity was 1131 cm3 and its power was 18 kW at 3300 rpm. The bus could carry eight people. A few simple movements were enough to remove the seats from the two rear rows and create a space for carrying a load of 750 kg.
“Thanks to this - praised Alfred Haesner, head of the technical development department at Volkswagen GmbH in the years 1948-1952 - this delivery-passenger vehicle can be used by companies from various industries, e.g. for quick deliveries of goods or as a small bus. It can also be a special vehicle, a postal vehicle or an ambulance. "
Serial production started on March 8 in hall 1 of the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg and amounted to 10 vehicles per day. By the end of 1950, 8001 Transporters were produced. The demand was huge, because at the price of 5850 marks, small artisans or sellers could afford it. The unusual car quickly became an export hit. Volkswagen transporters transported everything : scrap metal and rubble, mortar and bricks, rolls and floor polish, cigarettes and newspapers - just everything the Germans needed in the times of the economic miracle.
Already in 1951, a camping version of the Volkswagen Transporter was shown at the motor show in Berlin. The delivery van with the rear engine was thus promoted to the role of a completely different kind of transport. First he crossed the Alps back and forth, then, when the hippies discovered him, set off for India.
Four years after the start of production, the 100,000th Volkswagen Transporter rolled off the assembly line in Wolfsburg, and there were already 30 versions of this model to choose from. 80 copies were produced daily - it could not be more, because the plants were overloaded with the production of Beetles. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Transporter needed a separate factory.
In March 1955, the construction of new plants began in Hanover, in which the production of the Transporter was launched just after a year. The first cars rolled off the line in March 1956, and over time they became a symbol of the German economic miracle. To date, almost 11 million five generations of Volkswagen T-series have been produced worldwide .
Dr. Eckhard Scholz, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles: “The start of the T1 production marks the beginning of a success that continues to this day. Both then and today the market needs vehicles that are absolutely reliable, versatile and tailored to individual needs. These are the cars we deliver to our clients. In addition, they are of the highest quality and configured for different needs - be it for artisans of various industries, for traders, for any task in services, as well as for the needs of the family or for recreation. "
Production of the sixth generation model, the T6, will start this year . In addition to the Transporter, the plant in Hanover will also produce an Amarok pickup truck and the production and varnished bodies of the Panamera, while in the nearby plant in Limmer - tourist California . Volkswagen employs 12,200 people at the Hanover plant.
The plant in Poznań (employing 5,700 employees) produces the Transporter and Caddy, and the production of the Crafter will be launched in another factory under construction - in Września. In total, the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand employs 19,500 people today.
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