Business: 500,000 Beetles

At a sprawling plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, one day this month, workers tightened the last bolts on a beetle-like sedan, and rolled it off the production line. It was the 500,000th Volkswagen to be produced since the war.

Smashed by allied bombs in World War II, the Volkswagen company has made an impressive recovery under the leadership of Managing Director Heinz Nordhoff, who in prewar days ran a General Motors subsidiary in Germany (TIME, Aug. 25, 1952). Nordhoff boosted Volkswagen production from 20,000 in 1948 to an estimated 170,000 this year, made Volkswagen the biggest auto plant in Europe and a potent...

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