Of all the parts manufactured by Volkswagen, its top-seller, #199 398 500 A, has stopped rolling off the assembly line.
The part is currywurst, a smoked pork sausage.
Made in 5- or 10-inch links and paired with a special VW ketchup (officially part # 199 398 500 B), VW-branded currywurst was produced at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg, Germany, headquarters and sold to the employees who worked there and other VW plants.
It was so popular that in some years, VW sold more sausages than cars.
Known for its special blend of spices and a lower fat content than competitor currywursts, VW currywurst has long been elusive for sausage seekers.
A 2019 article in the Wall Street Journal said it best: “Americans Can’t Buy VW’s Best Seller, and It’s the Wurst.”
For the most part, currywurst wasn’t available outside of VW. And now it isn’t available on the inside, either.
Part 199 398 500 A has been deemed obsolete.
The automaker, plagued by emission scandals, decided that the pork-based sausage isn’t a healthy choice for workers or the environment.
This is sad news for a brand with so much nostalgia under the hood. Drivers love their VWs, even despite the quirks. And sometimes, because of them.
Currywurst may be the biggest quirk in all of Volkswagen.
Check out the lovable sausage maker in this video. He actually says:
“You need sausages for the good work of making cars.”
An earlier phase-out of currywurst reportedly didn’t go well for Volkswagen: workers rebelled when currywurst was scaled back to being offered just one day a week at the Hanover VW canteen. Even the union got involved.
But this time, the backlash – which included a plea from Ex-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder to save the sausages – was short-lived, and efforts have fallen flat.
A vegan option is now being served to workers in VW cafeterias. The automaker has vowed to become a CO2-neutral company by 2050.
For better or wurst.