Volkswagen honored its savings agreements after World War II; Ford, which had a similar "coupon" savings system, reportedly did not.
Prototypes of the car called the Kd F-Wagen (German: Kraft durch Freude = "strength through joy"), appeared from 1936 onwards (the first cars had been produced in Stuttgart).
Despite the Super Beetle's popularity with Volkswagen customers, purists preferred the standard Beetle with its less pronounced nose and its original torsion bar suspension.Ford representatives were equally critical: the car was "not worth a damn." Henry Ford II, the son of Edsel Ford, did reportedly look at the possibility of taking over the VW factory but dismissed the idea as soon as he looked up Wolfsburg on the map. In France Citroën started the 2CV on a similar marketing concept. From 1948, Volkswagen became a very important element, symbolically and economically, of West German regeneration.Heinrich Nordhoff (1899–1968), a former senior manager at Opel who had overseen civilian and military vehicle production in the 1930s and 1940s, was recruited to run the factory in 1948.In 1973, Volkswagen introduced the military-themed Thing (Type 181) in America, recalling the wartime Type 81.The military version was produced for the NATO-era German army (Bundeswehr) during the cold war years of 1970 to 1979.
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Volkswagen added a "Super Beetle" (the Type 113) to its lineup in 1971.