Karmann in Osnabrück was so surprised by the success of their coupé based on the VW Beetle that they couldn’t keep up with production. Over 1000 units were therefore assembled in Switzerland.
As American vehicles became larger and larger at the end of the 1950s, people in Schinznach-Bad were grateful that approximately 1098 units of the new, sleek Karmann Ghia coupé could be assembled in Switzerland to relieve production in Osnabrück. Karmann had Ghia in Turin develop a vehicle on the Beetle chassis, something which the director of Volkswagen AG did not favour, since it meant putting foreign parts on the Beetle platform. However, the outcome was convincing.
And unlike other bodywork technicians who improved the Beetle back then, Karmann received the green light, and above all the necessary parts to build the Karmann Ghia. The Karmann Ghia was marketed by Volkswagen around the world. When the coupé was unveiled to the public in 1955, the reaction was so overwhelming that Karmann couldn’t keep up with production. Employees in Osnabrück were thus glad that vehicle assembly operations in Schinznach had spare capacity.
While the American vehicles were delivered completely as individual parts, Karmann delivered complete body frameworks that had to be equipped with doors and bonnets in Switzerland. After corrosion protection was applied and the paintwork was finished, final assembly was performed in Switzerland.