Tag Archives: Andrea Hiott

Who Came Up With The Volkswagen Design?

Did you know that Hitler promoted, or insisted on the development of a small, affordable, everyman’s car, more notably the Volkswagen.  I didn’t know this.  

There is question regarding who actually came up with the Volkswagen design.  Two new books, The Extraordinary Life of Josef Ganz: The Jewish Engineer Behind Hitler’s Volkswagen by Paul Schilperoord and Thinking Small: The Long, Strange Trip of the Volkswagen Beetle by Andrea Hiott,  research the issue, and come up with different conclusions.  According to Paul Schilperoord, Josef Ganz designed a car called the Maikafer, or May bug.  The car was a tremendous hit in Germany.  One of the test drivers was an Austrian-born automotive engineer name Ferdinand Porsche.  In 1931 Porsche had no experience designing light-weight models with rear-mounted engines and fully independent suspension, but after his test drive of the May bug, he commenced developing drawings of his own small car, including many features of Ganz’s Volkswagen design.

So who should get credit for the Volkswagen design?  Read the books by Paul Schilperoord and Andrea Hiott and decide for yourself.