West Germany: The Bug Forever

West Germany's Volkswagen is gradually overtaking the Model T as the most produced single auto in history, this fall will reach the 10 million mark.-Emulating Henry Ford, Volkswagen has left the profile of its basic car virtually untouched since 1948. Unlike Ford, whose failure to master change caused his company to slip permanently into second place (behind General Motors) in the 1930s, Volkswagen thrives on quiet innovation. Its engineers constantly tinker with the beetle's innards, improve engineering and equipment, make numerous modifications each year. There are hardly a dozen parts in the Volkswagen that were there in 1948.

Faster Beetle....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!