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Volkswagen Passenger Cars, also known as VW, is an automobile manufacturer based in Wolfsburg, Germany. It is the original as well as the largest brand by sales volume within the Volkswagen Group. Volkswagens were first exhibited and sold in the United States in 1949, but only sold two units in America that year. On its entry to the U.S. market, the VW was briefly sold as a "Victory Wagon". Volkswagen of America was formed in April 1955 to standardize sales and service in the United States. Sales soared due to the famous advertising campaigns by New York advertising agency Doyle, Dane Bernbach, led by art director Helmut Krone, and copywriters Julian Koenig and Bob Levinson. Volkswagen ads became as popular as the car, using crisp layouts and witty copy to lure the younger, sophisticated consumers with whom the car became associated. Despite the fact it was almost universally known as the Beetle, it was never officially labeled as such by the manufacturer, instead referred to as the Type 1. The first reference to the name Beetle occurred in U.S. advertising in 1968, but not until 1998 and the Golf based New Beetle was the name adopted by Volkswagen. Production of the Volkswagen Beetle increased dramatically over the years, the total reaching one million in 1955. The Volkswagen factory at Wolfsburg came under UK control in 1945, it was to be dismantled and shipped to Britain. British car manufacturers were not interested in the Volkswagen as "the vehicle does not meet the fundamental technical requirement of a motorcar it is quite unattractive to the average buyer. To build the car commercially would be a completely uneconomic enterprise". The factory survived by producing cars for the British Army instead. Allied dismantling policy changed in late 1946 to mid 1947, although heavy industry continued to be dismantled until 1951. In March 1947 Herbert Hoover helped change policy by stating "There is the illusion that the New Germany left after the annexations can be reduced to a 'pastoral state'.

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