What makes Volkswagen a successful company? How is it able to thrive during a global economic downturn? Flexible labor policies? Streamlined, efficient production? As Maxwell Smart might put it, Would you believe … sausages?

In a letter to the Financial Times, Annandale, Va., resident Jens Reinke writes, in part,

The question remains how VW managed to raise volumes and profitability in those challenging times while others failed…. [L]et me propose that the real recipe for success lies elsewhere: VW is the only car company with its own line of sausages; indeed, VW produces more sausages than cars. Usually served as “Currywurst”, it is a lean pork sausage best enjoyed with ketchup and curry powder. And, as we all know, a good sausage does wonders for workers’ and customers’ loyalty, not least in Germany.

It’s true: Inside VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, a butchery cranks out some 2 million links annually. And not only do the workers love it, but so do the locals in the Wolfsburg-Braunschweig region, according to a 2008 writeup in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Would you eat a hot dog made at General Motors in Detroit?

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