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Translated from German as "the people's car," that's what Volkswagen has exemplified during its long, checkered and yet proud history as a global brand. Launched as a populist platform in pre-war Germany, Volkswagen became a very important element of West German regeneration after World War II, both economically and symbolically. Volkswagen began selling cars in the United States in the mid-Fifties. The Type 1 (not officially called "Beetle" until decades later) became a smash success in America, with its distinctive ladybug shape, engine in the rear, and a Madison Avenue advertising campaign that catered to young American sophisticates with clever pitches. The "Bug" became associated with cultural touchpoints from the Sixties war-protest movement to Disney's Lovebug movies. After phasing out the Beetle in the early Seventies, VW's next global car was the Golf, a sprite subcompact that it eventually built and sold as the Rabbit in the U.S. It never became a huge hit with American consumers. Consequently, Volkswagen spent the next couple of decades trying to recover momentum with new models, always in the mold of lively, affordable, reliable little cars benefiting from sound German engineering, including Jetta and Passat. VW also revived the Beetle several years ago, re-establishing it as a significant niche product -- far from its populist origins.

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Volkswagen News & Reviews

2016 Volkswagen Passat: Real World Review - Video
October 21, 2016 
If you'd love to own a European luxury sedan, but your budget's holding you back, you need to check out the 2016 Volkswagen Passat.   Read more
Why Do Some States Still Require a Front License Plate?
October 21, 2016 
Today on Ask Doug: a very controversial question that's sure to draw out some very controversial opinions. Including mine.   Read more
President Obama's First New Car Was a Jeep Grand Cherokee
October 21, 2016 
President Obama had a black Grand Cherokee Limited -- and it last sold 6 years ago for eight times its usual value.   Read more
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