Volkswagen has quickly grown to become one of the largest producers of automobiles in the world. But cars and trucks aren’t even its most prolific product. Sausages are.
That’s right: sausages. Currywurst, to be specific. They’re a highly popular type of sausage in Germany. And VW makes them by the tens of thousand every day.
In fact, last year, the company made 6.8 million of them – which is more than all the cars that the Volkswagen brand sold around the world last year. (Though that doesn’t count all the other brands under its expansive umbrella.) And that’s down from a couple of years ago, when it made 7.2 million of them.
VW has been making the sausages since 1973. At first they were made just for the workers in the company’s own factories to consume in their cafeterias. But 45 years later, VW sells them across the country in grocery stores. And local dealerships have even been known to hand them out in five-packs as gifts to its customers. They even have a part number – 199 398 500 A – in the Volkswagen Originalteil catalog of components.
The sweet and spicy sausages are made mostly from pork, brought into the dedicated workshop in Wolfsburg three times a week. “Our currywurst has a fat content of only 20 percent. Normally, it’s around 35 percent,” said head butcher Franco Lo Presti, who’s been making currywurst for VW since 1979. But by now, it makes vegetarian versions, too. Call it a sign of the times.
For better or wurst (sorry), you can’t get them in America, though. The few times VW has wanted to serve them at events in the United States, it’s had to fly in the butchers specially and source the pork locally.