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Volkswagen AG. or VW. is an automobile manufacturer based in Wolfsburg, Germany. It forms the core of Volkswagen Group, which is the world's fourth largest car producer after GM, Toyota and Ford, respectively.

The name means "people's car" in German, in which it is pronounced [ˈfolksvagən]. Its tagline is "Volkswagen - Das Auto" or "Volkswagen - The Car". Its previous German tagline was "Aus Liebe zum Automobil", which is translated as "Out of love for the car" - or, "For Love of the Automobile", as translated by VW in other languages.

Adolf Hitler had a keen interest in cars even though he did not drive. In 1933, he asked Ferdinand Porsche to make changes to his original 1931 design to make it more suited for the working man. Hans Ledwinka discussed his ideas with Ferdinand Porsche who used many Tatra design features in the 1938 Kdf-Wagen, later known as the VW Käfer - or Beetle.

Changes included better fuel efficiency, reliability, ease-of-use, and economically efficient repairs and parts. The intention was that ordinary Germans would buy the car by means of a savings scheme ("Fünf Mark die Woche musst Du sparen, willst Du im eigenen Wagen fahren" — "Save five Marks a week, if you want to drive your own car" ) which around 336,000 people eventually paid into. Volkswagen honoured its savings agreements in West Germany (but not in East Germany) after World War II. Prototypes of the car called the "Kdf-Wagen" (German: Kraft durch Freude -- "strength through joy"), appeared from 1936 onwards (the first cars had been produced in Stuttgart). The car already had its distinctive round shape and air-cooled, flat-four, rear-mounted engine. The VW car was just one of many KdF programmes which included things such as tours and outings. The word 'Volks' or 'Peoples' was not just applied to cars, but also to other products in Nazi Germany; 'VolksRadio' for instance.