Home Volkswagen History Battle for the Beetle

Car News (Australia) - October 27-November 9, 2000

Karl Ludvigsen is a prolific motoring author, with numerous accolades to his credit.

Unlike most VW Beetle books, Ludvigsen has searched through previously unused archival material and interviewed many of the key people who were on the Allies' team that investigated the Wolfsburg factory, and decided its fate after World War II.

That many American and British company chiefs, including Henry Ford II, looked at the factory and the unconventional small car that it was designed to produce and went away less than convinced about its future is now part of motoring history.

That the factory was kept operating by a small group of dedicated English engineers and their German colleagues during these uncertain times is also history.

Ludvigsen's story tells why and how the rest of the bombed-out factory - and the car.

But did you know there was an Australian connection to the story?

Sir Lawrence Hartnett, formerly managing director at General Motors-Holden and generally acknowledged as the "father" of the Holden car, was offered the factory and all it contained to build the Volkswagen here in Australia. But while he was impressed with the quality of the machine tooling he could not see a market large enough in Australia for the car.

There are many previously untold stories in Battle for the Beetle that separates this book from the rest and makes it a worthwhile read for true history buffs.

Article from and courtesy of Car News (Australia) - October 27-November 9, 2000

Karl Ludvigsen
Karl Ludvigsen

In addition to his motor industry activities as an executive (with GM, Fiat and Ford) and head of a consulting company, Karl Ludvigsen has been active for over 50 years as an author and historian. As an author, co-author or editor he has some four dozen books to his credit. Needless to say, they are all about cars and the motor industry, Karl's life-long passion.

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