Product life cycle of volkswagen beetle

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Product life cycle of volkswagen beetle

Julia and Lisa The dream of an affordable and reliable car for ordinary people has been a driving force throughout automotive history. A fact that is not widely known is that magnesium from Norsk Hydro is one important ingredient in the Beetle. The dream of an affordable and reliable car for ordinary people has been a driving force throughout automotive history.

Henry Ford took a giant step with his Model T, but it was Ferdinand Porsches Volkswagen that brought a car within the reach of the man on the street.

The metal is magnesium, the car is the Beetle

Porsche had decided as early as to build an inexpensive and reliable car — a car for the people — that everyone could drive. During the war years, the Volkswagen design was used as a light military vehicle. The Volkswagen prepared for the market before the war had an entirely different chassis, but otherwise the military vehicle and the civilian model were identical.

The engine and gearbox were installed above and behind the rear wheels. This required the drive system to be light weight so that the front wheels gripped the road adequately. The engine was air-cooled, and magnesium was the natural material choice for the engine block and gear box.

In this connection, Volkswagen built a modern magnesium foundry at Kassel, Germany. Both the foundry and the parts produced attracted attention and came to epitomize modern, rational car-part production in the western world. A close cooperation developed between Volkswagen and Hydro.

A small car and a light metal — produced from rock, water and heat — joined in a strong and enduring alliance. After a cautious start, production grew steadily to a maximum 50, tonnes per year. Byproduction was up to 23, tonnes. Some 75 per cent of magnesium sales went to West Germany, and Volkswagen was by far the largest customer.

Around 20 kilos of magnesium was used in each car, and half of this came from Porsgrunn. Deliveries were so large during these years that Norway had a trade surplus with Volkswagen, despite high imports of the popular Beetle. Volkswagen was also a sizeable customer of Norwegian shipping services.

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The collaboration continued until Hydro is also actively involved in developing magnesium applications in car bodies, for example through the company Meridien Technologies.

It also established access to metal in China. The supply of cheap magnesium from China has led to significant changes in the magnesium industry in recent years.

Prices have plummeted and competition has sharpened for western producers. Diminishing profitability was also one of the reasons behind the decision to close magnesium production in Porsgrunn after 50 years of operation.

Hydros magnesium plant in Becancour, Canada, is an important supplier to the US car industry.All Product Reviews.

Product life cycle of volkswagen beetle

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