The Best Selling Volkswagen Isn’t a Car, It’s a Sausage
Car people love weirdo car people facts. One of the best weirdo facts is that the best-selling Volkswagen isn’t a car or an SUV, but a sausage. Really. Since the early 1970s at its Wolfsburg plant, the company has made a pork Currywurst sausage that you can buy in Europe and it sells more than 7 million of them every year. It’s made in the commissary in Wolfsburg and is usually served with VW brand ketchup and fries.
Does VW make Currywurst?
According to Visit Germany, the official German National Tourist Office, the company makes more sausages than cars. The sausages are made at its Wolfsburg plant, in the same building where Golfs and Tiguans are made. Overall, the company sells about 7 million sausages annually in 17 canteens at factories across Europe.
According to VW, the Wolfsburg plant is the world’s largest single-car manufacturing plant and has 15,000 employees. That means there’s a lot of people to feed and there’s an on-site commissary to make lots and lots of food. It was originally developed in 1973 by a butcher for on-site employees.
The best-selling Currywurst has its own Volkswagen part number
Unfortunately, you can’t buy the sausage in the U.S. The company says it wouldn’t survive the trip. But, in Europe it’s so popular as a souvenir that it has its own part number, just like a headlight or a plastic trim piece. You can order part number 199 398 500 A, and get a sausage.
Other car companies make weird food, too
Car companies have a long history of making non-car things. Lamboghini, famously, started as a tractor company. But, it didn’t completely give up on its agrarian roots. Every year it gives employees special jars of honey. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sell the honey to the public, which makes this one of the rarest Lamborghini-branded products you can buy.
Carroll Shelby, of Shelby Cobra fame, of course famously made chili. Porsche and Rolls-Royce, too, make honey. And, you can top it all off with pepper ground from a Peugeot pepper mill.
Do we pour one out for the best-selling Volkswagen product?
Yes, VW still makes the Currywurst. But, its future is uncertain. In 2020 the company announced that it was pausing selling the sausages at one of its plants in a move to go more green and to encourage more healthier vegetarian and vegan options in its cafeterias.
However, VW did see a backlash from the decision to cut Currywurst production from employees, the public, and even politicians. Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroder said in a LinkedIn post, “A vegetarian diet is good, and I do it myself in phases… But basically no currywurst? No.”