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The history of Volkswagen Cars & Campers

The Wolfsberg story and the VW Golf Generation
Although the VW Beetle reached cult classic status throughout Europe, and the camper vans had sold well, the brand popularity began to decline by the mid 1970's. With the drop in Beetle sales, VW had to find another way forward, as people were choosing water cooled engines over their air cooled, German counterparts. This new way was the Golf, hailed as the saving grace of Volkswagen.
By now, VW had bought Audi, and began production on their new front wheel drive car, the Rabbit. Since its inception, there have been many incarnations of the Golf - 5 to date. This new found popularity led to a reincarnation of the beloved Beetle, and a revamp of the Camper into the Micro Bus, among other new vehicles.
Now called VAG - (the Volkswagen Audi Group) things continue to look good for the motor group, with names such as Lamborghini, Bentley, Skoda and Bugatti bringing with them their strength and prestige.
VW beat the Japanese to begin trading in the US market, and by the end of the 1960's, had become the brand name to be reckoned with. Beating Nissan to the Number One spot, the Beetle and the Ghia were shining examples of German automotive genius. 
Yet the Arabian Oil Embargo of 1973 hit VAG hard, and by 1993, the company had hit an all - time low of only 49,000 sales, a top figure that was less than 9% of their peak sales only twenty years before. Another rethink was in order, and a new marketing campaign to focus on the Jetta was organised.
With the new marketing strategy, the emphasis was on fun loving, energetic, young people. Leaving young married couples and parents behind, the brand was seen as the epitome of youth culture - cutting edge and cool again thanks to the successful new Jetta image.

New Strategies

This new rougher edged marketing did the trick, and by 1996, VW was back! Enjoying the kind of success that gave them a sales increase of nearly 700%, the Rabbit and the Passat were selling well by 1997.
Following this major run of success, VW got set to launch its new generation Beetle. Using this as a critical part of future business strategy, the company planned on adding an SUV and pickup ranges. After these would come the luxury range of Volkswagen.
Following on from the success of the Golf at this time, a Plus version was released - the same Golf only bigger! Other variations on this popular theme included an R32 model, which boasted an Audi 3.2L quattro engine. So successful, new versions of the Polo and Passat were also released!
Nowadays, the most recent versions include the Eos convertible, the Phaeton and the hybrid Passat and the next generation Jetta, Fox, Lupo and super mini the Up.
The newest Golf is the W12 - a wider version of the Mark 5 and the Golf R.


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Northern Group of Motoring Writers NGMW

Northern Group Of Motoring Writers

Annabelle Quirk Vice Chairwoman
Ben D T Quirk Member