Adolf Hitler’s contribution to the automobile company won’t be forgotten. Volkswagen Beetles is a car that existed as a result of the dictator’s need to provide a cheap “people’s car” for Germans.
When you visit Kinfe Abera’s garage in Ethiopia, you will get a 50-year-old Volkswagen Beetle that reminds us of the contribution of Hitler in the automobile industry. According to him, the old parts of the Beetle are re-used to keep the other Volkswagen in the city to keep moving. Tens of millions of Volkswagen Beetle were sold after the Second World War, but its production was stopped in 2003. The Volkswagen Beetle is regarded as a servant car for low-income earners since they rarely fail, consume low fuel and function efficiently. However, one’s probability of getting the original and authentic spare parts is almost impossible. As a result, mechanic Kinfe Abera “slaughters” the parts of his old vehicle to keep the customer's vehicles alive. The mechanic's desire is that the Germans would have continued producing the vehicles. He regards them as lovely cars but from the time production was stopped, things fell apart.
As new middle class emerge, there are many expensive imported car models on the road. Besides, Ethiopia assembles cars, and approximately 2000 cars are assembled for the home market, which is roughly 25% of the total vehicles assembled annually. However, some young Ethiopians find the Volkswagen Beetle classy while others have a poor attitude towards it. Those who view the Volkswagen as a loyal fanbase remain to be Kinfe Abera’s customers.
According to Workineh Kebede, a businessman who is 41 years old and operates in Addis Ababa, the Volkswagen Beetle is easy to drive, and he uses them not for economic purposes but his love for the car. It reminds him of his brother-in-law who owned the same car model when he was young, and he enjoyed driving it to school.