The German automobile manufacturer produces 6 million cars per year but also 7 million bratwursts for sale in Germany. The story of this legendary production is unknown to most people, but actually Volkswagen has been manufacturing sausages to feed the many workers involved in the construction of cars since 1938.
What if we told you that Volkswagen's best-selling product is not a car but the bratwursts? Not everyone knows it but the German automobile manufacturer produces around 7 million bratwursts per year, compared to 6 million cars. If you want to find out why, here is the curious story of Volkswagen farms.
The story of Volkswagen bratwursts
The birth of the Volkswagen bratwursts is closely linked to the birth of the factory in 1937; Volkswagen literally means "people's car" and it was supposed to be the vision of modern Germany according to Adolf Hitler. With the workers growing the canteen problem arises, but Volkswagen was built near the Fallersblen estate which contains also a large pig farm. Why not take advantage of it? Since 1938, the pigs on the estate have been raised for the automobile manufacturer.
During the war, the factory was reconverted for the production of weapons and, with the surrender of the III Reich, the future of Volkswagen seems to be marked. But the automobile company was saved by Ivan Hirst, a major of the British army, and Ferdinand Anton Porsche who were preparing the release of the Volkswagen 1200, better known as the Beetle.
The huge success of this car brings a lot of work to the city and so more pigs are needed and Hirst decides to rely on external companies until 1973, the year in which Volkswagen presents the Passat created by Giorgietto Giugiaro, another car that will make history.
The Volkswagen revolution comes at the same time as the canteen, since external catering is too expensive returning to the old methods can be a solution. Butchers and farmers are hired, an entire wing of the factory is destined for the production of bratwursts and it is a huge success, so much that the workers talk about it outside and customers arrive ready to buy these famous bratwursts.
Starting with boiled sausages, Volkswagen then created numerous variants: light, with 20% fat, the grilled version, the version designed for the growing Muslim market in Germany and therefore made with chicken instead of pork. The bratwursts can be purchased at the factory and in many stores in Germany, of which the most famous one is that inside the Volkswagen Arena (since in 2007 the giant automobile manufacturer bought all the shares of the city's football team).
The characteristics of the bratwursts
Volkswagen treats this product exactly as if it were a normal component of a car. To order it, you will just need the serial number of the product, 199 398 500.
The flavor is very spicy, with a strong flavor of curry, pepper and ginger. The current recipe was devised by the original Volkswagen butchers in 1973 and it is secret; only very few employees of the company know the exact dosages. The pigs used are all raised on nearby farms and selected in the Wolfsburg car plant.
The head butcher, Franco Lo Presti, is one of the lucky few to know the recipe; in the company since 1979, he has assured that "our bratwursts are about 10% lighter than all the other sausages produced in Germany. There is a lot of attention in this regard because almost all the workers are from Wolfsburg, just like the pigs we slaughter and this makes the product highly respected by our customers. We have a huge responsibility".