Volkswagen’s Rise to the Top: The Germans are Coming, The Germans are Coming.

While he ended up sidetracked by all sorts of crazy, there are two things that Adolf Hitler had planned for Germany that, 65 years after his death, have come to fruition. 1). He had envisioned a unified Europe under German command—something that to some extent (and through different tactics) has happened economically under the rules of the European Union; and 2). The rise of Volkswagen—the “people’s car” established under his rein. In 1933 Hitler is said to have given the order to Ferdinand Porsche to develop Porsche. The rest is a history still being written.

Without a whole lot of public notice, VW Group is now on-track to become the largest automobile company in the world. Just as the Japanese slid in to power after Detroit’s decline, VW is making hay as Toyota and other Japanese makes lose their grip on power 

The VW Group—which includes Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti, is on-track to dominate the world car market by 2016. The company sold 8.3 million cars in 2011, beating out Toyota for the number-two spot worldwide, and recorded a $20.6 billion profit, which is more than twice the take of number-one car seller General Motors.

While the world may still see a derailment of this global power grab, VW Group’s positioning as a purveyor of driving pleasure, quality and precision, aggressive design and engineering prowess, is taking hold, while Toyota’s quality strategy has been perceptually damaged of late.

VW Group is led my Ferdinand Piech, or “Ferdinand the Great” as he has been dubbed. Automobile Magazine says that much as Apple thrived on the genius of Steve Jobs, the Volkswagen empire relies on the vision and determination of Piech.

VW Group is seen to have an engineering advantage in the industry, and a whole host of new products ready to be rolled-out—funded in no small part by VW’s massive profits of late. With their offensive product strategy, we should see a Lamborghini SUV, a Ferrari fighter, and even a bunch of entry-level sports cars in the near future—most developed off of three new architectures (formerly called “platforms”). The simple architecture is said to save space, weight, assembly time, complexity and cost, and will allow Volkswagen to invest in more products, and overwhelm the competition.

Yes, the German’s are coming, but they seem a kinder, and gentler lot than 65 years ago.

The upcoming Lamborgini SUV

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