70 years ago the series production of the VW Beetle (type 1) began. By the end of 1945 just 45 pieces were produced. Incredible, because the Second World War ended half a year before. The factory is a 800-meter-long torso, destroyed to 80 percent, most of it by a bomber with its deadly load.
The withdrawing Americans followed Britains. It is due mainly to the only 29-year-old major Ivan Hirst, that there ever started a production with controlled sales (to military authorities). British experts expressed gloomy predictions about a possible future of the crawling animal, found it ugly and noisy. In spite of this the VW Beetle became a world success. One of the reasons may have been the understatement starting here.
In the beginning its product quality didn't fulfill. The shortage of material and machines did the rest. Beetle versus a trainload of coal. Certain paint colours did not like neither too much sun nor snow. Manufacturing partially took place in halls without a roof. The control system became more and more better. Many faults were gradually eliminated.
And production grows with astonishing rapidity. In March, 1,000 vehicles were already produced and throughout 1946 more than 10,000. Nevertheless, the workers and their families suffered from lack of food. The production came really up to speed by the now possible sale to private and due to the currency reform in 1948, the introduction of the Deutschmark.
As early as 1947 exports began to the Netherlands. Until then it is possible to eliminate the biggest faults. The Morgenthau plan, Germany to be an agricultural country, was no longer relevant. Early 1948 Heinrich Nordhoff took over, former head of the truck plant of Opel. Already in November 1945, the factory had with the works council a powerful employee participation organ. 12/15