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Volkswagen's best-selling product is actually sausage

When's the last time you saw currywurst with a part number?


While it might freak you out to know that Volkswagen manufactures pork sausage alongside its cars in Wolfsburg, I can assure you that it's amazing. It wouldn't be celebrating its 45th birthday this year if it wasn't.

Volkswagen's currywurst is currently in its 45th year of production. The automaker makes its pork sausages in Germany, and it's wildly popular -- VW made 6.8 million currywursts in 2017, which is higher than the number of cars it manufactured in the same timeframe. The sausage even has its own part number -- 199 398 500 A.

Thankfully, the pork sausage is not a component of VW's new-car smell. Could you imagine that? Woof.


While the sausage does get made at the Wolfsburg plant, it's not like the person bolting in the seat assembly is in charge of it. A team of about 30, mostly butchers, oversees the process that starts with accepting fresh pork from local German farms. The currywurst is mixed with spices and added to its casing before being beechwood-smoked and steamed. VW estimates that it produces about 18,000 sausages a day.

Vegetarians aren't exempt from VW's sausage... sort of. The automaker also manufactures a vegetarian version, and has since 2010. Volkswagen also makes a curry-flavored ketchup, but as a born-and-raised Chicagoan, I am forever bound to the belief that ketchup does not exist. That said, I can tell you from firsthand experience that the currywurst is the bomb dot com.

If you haven't heard of it, I don't blame you, because it's not offered in the US. It's not entirely legal to import fresh pork sausage, and if you've had something similar to it over here, it was a local creation -- that is, Volkswagen flew in its butchers and recreated the currywurst using local pork.

Available in 11 different countries, the sausage is popular beyond VW's office kitchens. It's also been known to make an appearance as a gift for buying a new Volkswagen, which is a program I really wish VW would establish in the US. I would have bought my Golf either way, but hey, free sausage never hurts.