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For other related logos and images, see:
Franz Xaver Reimspiess
Volkswagen was founded on May 28, 1937 by the German Labour Front in Nazi Germany.
The first logo was designed by the engineer Franz Xaver Reimspiess, as the the "VW" initials of the company "Volkswagen" (which means People's Car in German) placed inside a cogwheel surrounded by silhouettes of flags or wings, which represented a Nazi swastika.
In 1939, the logo was modified prior to World War II. The flags were removed leaving only the cogwheel with the initials inside. This was the emblem with which the famous Wolfsburg factory was inaugurated.
In 1945, the logo was modified after the end of World War II.
The cogwheel was replaced by a beige circle with a brown outer ring, the initials were colored beige too and the top of the "W" was separated from the circle and the bottom of "V" was further of the "W", a red background was also added. This logo was pretty rare, since very few models use it for a period of time and there isn't much historical documentation about it.
After the intervention of the British army in Wolfsburg and the new momentum of the German car industry, the logo was retouched in 1948. The colors were removed, the outer ring became thicker and the top of the "W" merged again with the circle, also the "V" was brought closer to the "W". This would became the main design of the company for over seventy years.
In 1960, the logo was made black and was contained within a square. The outer ring was also removed and the circle and the "VW" initials became thinner.
In 1967, the logo dropped the square and became azure in color.
In 1978, the colours of the previous logo were inverted and the "VW" initials were retouched.
The logo used during this time period was a colored version of the 1948 logo.
In 1995, the previous 1978 was reused but with a darker shade of blue than before.
In 1999, the previous logo was slightly modified to have a blue gradient. This variant only appeared on promotional material and was used as a testbed for the 2000 logo.
The logo received a semi-3D look to update itself for the new millennium.
In 2012, Volkswagen introduced a new logo with the silver lettering appearing to have a shine, as well as the reflection from the 2000 logo reinstated. The then-current logo was unveiled on September 4, 2012, with the world premiere of the 2013 Volkswagen Golf Mk7 in Berlin. Still being used in Europe and other countries, as well as the official website.
2019–present (International), 2020–present (United States)
In July 2019, it emerged that Volkswagen is planning a more substantial, globally revamp of its logo, following its June minor refresh in the United States. The new branding was officially revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 9, 2019, along with the new ID.3 hatchback. The rebrand also features a new sound logo with a female voiceover saying "Volkswagen", to be used in advertising and in their vehicles' startup.
This logo is designed like the 1967-1978 version, but the Circle and the "VW" symbol are both thinner, and for the first time the bottom of the "W" is separated from the circle. The new logo was released to Europe just after the reveal, followed by Asia in October, and eventually in the Americas (particularly in the United States) which had limited appearances before being fully adopted on April 8, 2020.
Subsidiaries: SAIC Volkswagen Sales Co. Ltd.