Everyone has a Volkswagen story! What's yours? Share Your Story Shop Inventory

Volkswagen has been a top-selling brand in the U.S. for decades, but many Louisiana drivers don't know how the VW brand came to be. At our Volkswagen dealership near Ft. Polk, LA, we take pride in our Volkswagen heritage and aim to educate VW fans on the VW brand's journey from Germany to America. You can read about the history of Volkswagen below and get directions to Volkswagen of Lake Charles to learn more. Once you see how far the VW brand has come, we know you'll want to buy or lease a new VW!

The History of Volkswagen

Volkswagen was founded on May 28, 1937 as a state-owned, German automobile company. It was launched under the name Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH and was renamed to Volkswagenwerk, which means "The People's Car Company." The Volkswagen company was headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany, and hired Austrian automotive engineer, Ferdinand Porsche, to design the first Volkswagen car. He designed the first-ever Volkswagen to be affordable, athletic and compact in the hopes of bringing joy to German drivers. This VW car was first introduced at the Berlin Motor Show in 1939, but production was halted until 1946 due to the outbreak of WWII.

After 1946, Volkswagen cars were slow to penetrate the American market due to their size. It took the American advertising agency, Doyle Dane Bernbach, to rebrand the Volkswagen car as "The Beetle" to help American consumers see the vehicle's size as a positive. With the help of their marketing campaign, Volkswagen became the top-selling automotive import in the U.S., and the VW Beetle beat the worldwide production record of 15 million vehicles previously set by the Ford Model T.

In 1960, Volkswagen sold nearly 60% of its stock to the public, which marked the denationalization of the company. Volkswagen then began to expand its lineup to include sportier models like the VW Passat in 1973 and the VW Golf (originally called the Rabbit in America) in 1974. Fast forward 80-plus years and the Volkswagen brand still remains a prominent part of the American household and culture. Whether you've passed the same VW down from generation to generation, or still own a classic like the 1955 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia yourself, the Volkswagen brand continues to live and grow with each passing year.

Your Stories

"In '73 I was stationed in Charleston, SC and living on the Isle of Palms. I purchased a '65 convertible Beetle (with no top) for $125. It was a "Beach Car" and in pretty rough shape but it got around the island. I was sent to Norfolk, VA so I drove the Beetle to Virginia. From Norfolk I was sent on a surface boat to Guantanamo Bay for my last few months in the Navy. I sold the Beetle to a Petty Officer in port for $125. I was in Guantanamo for a couple of months and received my discharge on our way back to Virginia. When we docked in Norfolk I bought the Beetle back for $125 and drove it home (still no top) to Texas receiving quite a sunburn in the process. There are quite a few related stories to that Beetle, several on the drive back, but I remember I drove it for some time before it crapped out completely. My brother reminded me that we painted it some sort of brown color using cans of spray paint we bought at the hardware store. I'm sure it looked great. I don't ever remember purchasing a top for it. Obviously never a necessary item I suppose. I do remember my brother and I driving back from the lake in pouring rain clenching beach towels and the edge of the windshields and the towels snapping in the wind behind our heads as we drove on the shoulder of the road so we could see where we were. I don't remember it being a successful solution.

Joe Johnson

VW Story Teller Since 1965

Earl And Geraldine Wright

Earl and Geraldine Wright

On their Wedding day on June 1, 1963


VW Story Teller

Bud Bus


"We had this bus in college while attending McNeese University in Lake Charles. We would load it full of beer and drive around campus and, when we stopped, we put an inflatable purple couch on the top and just have fun. We called it the Bud Bus"


VW Story Teller

Happy Customer since 1967

VW Story Teller

Eric, Happy Customer since 1967

VW Story Teller

Happy Customers

VW Story Tellers

Happy Customer since 1987

VW Story Teller

Happy Customer since 1958

VW Story Teller

Tiffany Miller

VW Story Teller

Another Dedicated Customer

VW Story Teller

Social Media Consent/Release Form

I hereby authorize Volkswagen of Lake Charles to use my photo, video recording, submitted written story and/or information related to "My Volkswagen Story". I understand this information may be used in publications, including electronic publications, social media websites, visual presentations, VW of Lake Charles websites, radio and print advertising, any other media and/or photographs.

My consent is freely given to Volkswagen of Lake Charles without expecting payment. I release Volkswagen of Lake Charles and their respective employees, officers, and agents from any and all liability which may arise from the use of such news media stories, promotional materials written articles, videotape and/or photographs. I understand that I can revoke this release at any time in writting and that the use of any photos or other information authorized by this release will immediatly cease. I understand that Volkswagen cannot reverse any published information prior to the written revocation.

To share your video and photos please send them to TellUsYourVWStory@vwoflakecharles.com

Tell Us Your Volkswagen Story!

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