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Walking a lap of the earth

Wolfgang Marschall has shown around 350,000 visitors around the Kassel plant.

Wolfgang Marschall is hanging up his hat. In the middle of January, the honorary guide for the Visitor Service at the Kassel plant embarked on his final guided tour through the workshops and has now switched off his microphone for the last time. Marschall has worked at the plant for 50 years and has played a key role in the Visitor Service for almost four decades. In actual fact, this isn’t the first time the 68-year-old has retired, as he tried to say goodbye once before in 2009.


But it didn’t take long for him to miss the familiar workshop air, and so Marschall returned to his role as an honorary guide. At that point in his 30-year career at the Visitor Service, he had already taken around 300,000 visitors on tours of the plant – and always on foot. One tour is around three kilometers long. He’s never stopped to think about how many pairs of shoes he must have gone through. In his past eight years as honorary guide, he’s added another 50,000 or so visitors to his tally.

Statistically speaking, Marschall and his microphone have effectively now walked a full lap of the Earth.

Wolfgang Marschall came to Volkswagen in 1968 as a trained toolmaker, working double shifts to make tools before moving into the measuring room for non-cutting production. In 1977, he and his family moved to Pennsylvania, USA, to help with the production start-up of the US Golf – then known as the Rabbit – in the new plant in New Stanton. His role in the Visitor Service came about when Marschall relocated back to Nordhessen in 1979. He eventually became Head of Visitor Support in 1989 – a role he held until his official retirement in 2009, before later returning as an honorary guide.

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