Business & Finance: Germany's Flivver

Adolf Hitler, who promised to put a "people's flivver" (Volkswagen) in every German garage, collected $112 million in public subscriptions to build a big auto factory in Wolfsburg. About all it ever turned out was jeeps, and the only ride most Germans got for their money was a one-way trip to the battlefront. During World War II, Allied airmen smashed the plant.

Today the Volkswagen is West Germany's biggest-selling auto, and it is vying with France's Renault and Italy's Fiat for first place in Continental Europe. At the reconstructed plant, 16,000 workers are now turning out 120,000 Volkswagen a year (about one...

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