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Volkswagen AG is a German corporation. It was founded in 1937 as a public concern by the then Nazi government to sell the now legendary Volkswagen Beetle automobile. After the Second World War in 1945, the British Army took control of the bomb-shattered factory and restarted Beetle production for the difficult post-war years which Germany had to face. In 1948, the British Government handed the company back over to the German state, where it was managed by ex-Opel chief Heinrich Nordhoff.
Volkswagen's second-largest market is China where its subsidiary, Volkswagen Group China is the largest foreign automaker.
In 1960, upon the floatation of part of the German federal government's stake in the company on the German stock market, its name became Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft (Aktiengesellschaft, abbreviated AG, being equivalent to the English Corp[oration] or American Inc[orporated]). The name was changed to VOLKSWAGEN AG on 4th July 1985, to reflect the company's increasing global diversification from its headquarters and main plant, the Volkswagenwerk in Wolfsburg, Germany. The corporation now goes by that name or occasionally 'Volkswagen Group' in non-German speaking markets, and is currently the third largest car-manufacturer in the world.
Automobile brands owned by the company:
Two branches exist within this group of brands:
The sporty VW-branch - The Audi-branch (D)
The classic VW-branch - The Volkswagen-branch (D)