Volkswagen. The German car company based in Wolfsburg was founded in the 1930's by Ferdinand Porsche, supported by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Their first vehicle was the Volkswagen (german for "People's Car". Thus the company name) a.k.a. Käfer (Beetle). These small cars revolutionized the auto industry as people could afford a small-yet-reliable car. VW also produced the notoriously reliable Bus in the 1960s and 70s. After unsuccesful years between the 1970's and the early 1990's -- with the exception of the Golf, which is the Beetle successor -- they had difficulty with their models. Yet, they have definitely succeeded from then on and became one of the most successful automakers of all time, also owning many other brands as Audi, Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Lamborghini.
VW continues to have the best car colors, a stellar safety record, and are now one of the most "cutting-through" automakers in Europe, having practically all the automobile market classes covered, from the small city-car Lupo to the the luxurious Top-class Phaeton. The Golf is still their most infamous and successful model having sold over 23 million units worldwide since 1974.
VW was the first automaker introducing a turbodiesel engine in a small car.