To its credit, the modern conglomerate known as Volkswagen AG has spent much of the past several decades atoning for the society of its creation — under the direction of Adolph Hitler, who envisioned a German version of Henry Ford's Model T, who recruited Ferdinand Porsche to design the car that became the Beetle and who set up the "Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH" on this date in 1937.
Today, Ferdinand Porsche's grandson Ferdinand Piech has transformed VW into one of the world's largest automakers, with 400,000 workers building 245 different models around the world, from the VW Polo to the Bugatti Veyron, and which now controls Porsche as well. VW has set a goal of becoming the world's largest automaker by 2018, with more than 10 million vehicles sold a year; no other automaker has such an agressive forecast. It's safe to assume none will include the hack Beetle's owners knew about how to change the alternator belt with the engine running (don't try this, at home or anywhere else):
- Ferdinand Porsche
- Volkswagen AG
- Adolph Hitler