Volkswagen is German for the “people’s car”. It was founded in 1937 to produce an affordable vehicle that was also economical to run. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche, there were a number of prototypes built of what became known as the Beetle, before manufacture began in 1940. After WW II had ended, production re-started with manufacture of a variety of different vehicles and sales grew rapidly through the 1950’s and 60’s. In 1965 Volkswagen acquired Auto Union GmbH. In 1982, the company cooperated with SEAT to build cars in Spain and in 1990, entered a joint partnership with Skoda. In 1998, Volkswagen acquired the Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti brands. Based in Wolfsburg, Volkswagen today produces a wide range of passenger and commercial vehicles and is the world’s second largest car manufacturer.