Volkswagen has been promoting vehicles within the U.S. for the previous 75 years, turning into one of many largest automakers on this market. And it began with simply two Beetles.
As recounted by the automaker, Dutch businessman Ben Pon landed in New York with the 2 vehicles in 1949. The Kind 2, also called the Microbus, adopted, reaching U.S. shores in 1950. Volkswagen of America was then established in 1955 to arrange a proper vendor community and components and repair equipment.
VW gained traction within the U.S. partly due to intelligent “Suppose Small” advertisements, the primary of which appeared in 1959, touting the Beetle’s simplicity and thriftiness as a counterpoint to the larger, flashier vehicles from American manufacturers that dominated the U.S. market on the time.
As in different markets, VW’s U.S. lineup grew to embody different rear-engined, air-cooled fashions just like the Karmann Ghia and Squareback earlier than shifting to extra standard car designs within the type of the Dasher (because the first-generation Passat was referred to as within the U.S.), Scirocco, and Golf—initially offered within the U.S. because the Rabbit.
One of many first Volkswagen Beetles being exported to the U.S.
VW’s historical past within the U.S. hasn’t been solely a story of success. In 1978 the automaker opened its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, to construct the Rabbit. Whereas the manufacturing facility did in the end construct 1.1 million of the hatchbacks, in addition to different fashions, it solely lasted till 1987. VW would not open one other U.S. meeting plant till 2011, when its present Chattanooga, Tennessee, manufacturing facility started constructing Passat sedans.
Just some years after the Chattanooga plant opened, the EPA introduced in Sept. 2015 that VW had cheated on diesel-emissions exams—one in every of greatest scandals within the historical past of the U.S. automotive business. A settlement with the federal authorities and the state of California included fines and a dedication to fund the Electrify America charging community.
The scandal additionally kicked off a shift towards EVs that began with the ID.4 crossover, which is at the moment being inbuilt Chattanooga alongside the gasoline Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport.