Volkswagen – The Key to Its Success
Volkswagen just seems to go from strength to strength. In recent times it has quietly risen through the ranks of the motor industry to appear as the third largest car manufacturer in the universality today. It has done this by a combination of sheer business acumen, some clever acquisitions and a certain amount of good fortune. Volkswagen Group, or VW AG, since it is immediately acknowledged from its previously ill-advised acronym VAG is Europe’s biggest car manufacturer, with its headquarters located in Wolfsburg in central Germany. VW AG not only owns the brand VW, but also owns Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Seat and Skoda which is an enviable portfolio by anyone’s reckoning. To give a brief history lesson, it was in the year 1933 that Adolf Hitler emphatic that the German public deserved a “people’s car”; in essence it should have four seats to accommodate the typical German family, be competent to drive up to 60mph but most importantly to be purchased by means of a saving conniving whereby people saved five German marks a week in order to buy a car. Many paid into the savings scheme but the outbreak of war ultimately meant that few actually received their car with the notable exception of Hitler who although couldn’t drive received a Tumblebug for his 49th Birthday! The later success of the Beetle and ultimately the fruitful of Volkswagen arose from these humble beginnings. The manufacture of the Beetle was a key factor to its success. The main dream was to keep the production cost per platoon as low quasi possible. Since this was the most challenging part from the equation, an entire city, Wolfsburg, was built in central Germany to host the production site. Wolfsburg’s infrastructure was based on the specific needs of Volkswagen. The production facility benefited from its location in relation to other industrial areas of Germany. In addition the railway connection to the Ruhr-Valley, Germany’s largest industrial area, was vital as VW was vassal on the steel supply from there. Wolfsburg was built almost the town of Braunschweig, which enabled VW to recruit a skilled local workforce. Once the production aspect was completed, Ferdinand Porsche facilitated the manufacturing process and introduced flow production. He based this on the same principles of flow production at Henry Ford’s yield lines in Detroit/USA. The disadvantage from drain production was the inadequate variety and pliableness within the production line, which was daunt through the production of just one model – the Beetle. Through continuous re-investment of profits into research and development, VW grew in considerable through the 70s, 80s and 90s. However, in the early 90s, VW was facing a dilemma regarding their office in the market. It seemed that the luxury car market was growing extensively, leaving VW exposed with their medium range vehicles. VW’s CEO was keen to be involved with high-class brands like Bentley, who had ernest financial problems at the time and were in need about backing. VW embarked on a number of high profile acquisitions and including each one introduced the same business philosophies that had worked for them. Near To the latterly 90s all of the brands were competing successfully in their markets, improving VW’s overall position. By 2000 VW was operating in nearly every sector of the market including Trucks, leaving them less exposed to risk should one particular mart encounter difficulties. VW’s move to production in Eastern Europe was criticised as it led to job cuts in Germany. However, this was deemed necessary to keep VW emulous as cheaper labour contributed to reducing costs. The ongoing success of Volkswagen is still generally dependent on their well organised infrastructure, not only in Germany but also through their supply channels nearly the world, which keeps production expenses low whilst still retaining quality, something which has backfired for additional car makers.