PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (3): 327-329.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.03.003

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Automobile brand worlds:Do they also represent industrial heritage?

SOYEZ Dietrich()   

  1. University of Cologne, Cologne 50923, Germany
  • Received:2017-11-27 Revised:2018-03-08 Online:2018-03-28 Published:2018-03-28


Volkswagen's industrial brand world Autostadt in Wolfsburg is a showcase of the world car industry's technical and social evolution since more than a century. It is, however, sanitized as to its own history during Nazi Germany from the late 1930 to 1945: Darker facets, such as forced labor and weapons production, are documented in a small museum in the factory proper. The brand world, however, gives millions of visitors the impression that the company's history only starts in 1945. Bright sides are celebrated, uncomfortable events excluded. The standard jeep used by the German army, for instance, the country's first car produced on a Fordist production line, based on what later became the famous people's car, the beetle, is neither mentioned nor exhibited. Thus, while reflecting important feats, processes and components of the automobile industry as a whole, its industrial heritage value is deficient.

Key words: industrial experience, automobile history, brand marketing, authenticity, dark industrial heritage