Das Auto - All About German Engineering

When people think of Germany, generally, their first thoughts are of German food or of the majestic view of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Aside from big-time car enthusiasts, most do not immediately associate Germany with engineering and automobiles. Germany, in fact, is widely known as the birthplace of the modern-day automobile. While Germany produced the first automobile, their engineering talent did not end there. Throughout history, including during World War II, Germany was well-known for having excellent engineering skills. This superiority in the engineering field has allowed the country to produce iconic cars and brands throughout history while still remaining one of the top automobile manufacturers in the world.

World War II Technology and Engineering

In World War II, Germany's engineering skills and advanced technology were obvious. A large reason for this was because of the focus that Nazi Germany placed on the development of weapons and technologies. In creating these weapons and new technologies, the Germans performed a lot of research to ensure that their technology would be innovative and superior. This drive for advanced weaponry led the Germans to create the first known assault rifle during World War II in 1944. This assault rifle was known as the Sturmgewehr 44 and gave Germany a huge advantage over those using traditional rifles. Aside from traditional weaponry, Germans also focused a lot of resources on creating various types of transportation for use in war. They focused on developing aircraft and rockets as a strategy for air attacks. They also spent a lot of time and energy on tanks for land battles and submarines for aquatic use. Germany was the first to develop several new technologies, including missiles and combat jets, during the World War II time period.

Iconic German Cars

The country of Germany is responsible for producing many famous vehicles, including the Volkswagen Beetle and the Vanagon. The Volkswagen Beetle was introduced as being a car for the people. The Beetle was first introduced as a prototype in 1938 in Berlin. The car was created by Ferdinand Porsche and introduced at an auto show by none other than Adolph Hitler. Hitler presented this car as an excellent option for families in Nazi Germany. The car was inexpensive and small and also had a very unique shape. Over the years, the Volkswagen Beetle gained popularity around the world, and it is a favorite car of many.

Following the Beetle, the popular Volkswagen bus, or Type 2 (T1), was introduced in 1950. The bus was extremely popular in the United States and is considered a large part of "hippie" culture of the 1960s. The Vanagon is another iconic German vehicle, and it is similar to the bus, although smaller. It is known by different names around the world; however, Vanagon, Transporter, or Volkswagen Type 2 (T3) are three of the most common. The Transporter series of Volkswagen vehicles were essentially large vans that were produced between 1979 and 1990.

Today's German Automobile Brands

Today, Germany ranks fourth in auto production in the world, behind China, the United States, and Japan. German firms produce nearly six million cars per year and are well-known for their high-quality vehicles and innovative engineering. Some of the most popular German automobile brands include Audi, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen. Audi is a brand that has been producing luxury German vehicles since 1965. It is a division of the Volkswagen brand. The name "Audi" was given to the brand because it is a translation for founder August Horch's last name: "Horch" in German means "listen," and in Latin, "Audi" is "listen." Porsche is an extremely popular German brand of luxury vehicles. The Porsche brand is named after the legendary automobile engineer Ferdinard Porsche. Porsche contributed greatly to German developments and technology during the World War II era, assisting with the development of new tanks and weaponry. The Porsche brand, however, was founded in 1931.

The BMW Company was founded several years before Porsche, in 1916. BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (or Bavarian Motor Works in English), although the abbreviation is much better known as a brand than the full name of the company. Ten short years after the founding of BMW, another popular German luxury vehicle brand emerged: The Mercedes-Benz company was developed in 1926 after the merging of two companies, Benz & Cie and Daimler Motor. This new company became Daimler-Benz, although the automobiles that were produced would be called "Mercedes" after the most popular car of Daimler Motor and "Benz" after Carl Benz, owner of Benz & Cie. Volkswagen is another popular brand of German automobiles. The company was founded in 1937 and is responsible for producing iconic cars such as the Beetle and the Vanagon. Each of these companies is still manufacturing vehicles today, and in fact, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz are Germany's top three automobile companies and produce some of the highest-rated luxury automobiles in the world.


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