Volkswagen Kicks Off 75 Years in America With Super Bowl Return

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick

Volkswagen will spend 2024 celebrating an important milestone in the US, with a wide-ranging campaign including a Super Bowl spot.

Today marks an important anniversary for Volkswagen in America. On January 17, 1949, the first two VW Type 1s—more commonly known as Beetles—landed in New York. To celebrate, the German brand is kicking off a year-long campaign, one that will see VW return to the Super Bowl with an ad spot next month.

It was an inauspicious start for the fledgling brand. Dutch businessman Ben Pon had already successfully opened the first Volkswagen dealership outside of Germany; he arrived at the port of New York with two Beetles in tow, eager to get any East Coast dealer on board. As the story goes, Pon not only failed that mission, but sold just one of the Beetles for $800, to cover his bill at the Roosevelt Hotel.

But it was a start nonetheless. A year later, Max Hoffman—he of various '50s sports car fame—began importing a few hundred VWs a year. In 1955, the Volkswagen Company of America was incorporated. The lineup included the iconic Type 2, the bus, which serves as the inspiration for today's all-electric ID.Buzz.

46 years ago, Volkswagen opened its first American production plant. 30 years after that, work began on the current Chattanooga mega-complex. It's here where the current ID.4 is produced, alongside the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport.

So what can we expect from the festivities? "As we look forward to the next 75 [years]," said Rachael Zaluzec, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience & Brand Marketing, Volkswagen of America, "we will celebrate the real people and real-life moments that have made Volkswagen brand the people’s love story it is today." Volkswagen has two all-electric debuts lined up for the year in the shape of the ID.Buzz van and ID.7 sedan, and just teased the next iteration of the GTI. A busy year, then.

Check out the classic vehicles and ads down below. Happy birthday, VW of America; you don't look a day over 60.

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Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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  • Les Fender Les Fender on Jan 18, 2024

    Too bad that VW seems pretty committed to going full-on EV. Will probably devastate their U.S. sales.