in 1898 Mijndert Pon opened up a shop in Amersfoort, a town in the Netherlands, a country on the northwest border of German, selling sewing machines and a few years later he added Opel bicycles, both pedal operated and motorized, to the store’s lineup and in the 1920s the firm started selling Ford and Opel automobiles along with Continental tires.
In 1931, his sons took over the shop and renamed it Pon’s Automobielhandel.
After the end of World War II, in need of transportation the British occupation forces put the Volkswagen works in Wolfsburg back into production. Impressed with the quality of the VW Type 1 sedan, in August 1947 they began to import VWs to the Netherlands, bringing in 51 Beetles in that first year, selling the first Volkswagens to be sold outside of Germany.
In April 23, 1947 meeting with the Brits running Volkswagen at the time, they noticed a “Plattenwagen” at the VW works, an odd looking utility vehicle with a flatbed, based on Type 1 mechanicals.
Pon drew out a box shaped cabin over the rear engined Beetle chassis, putting the driver and passenger in a cabover position at the extreme front of the vehicle. While not a large vehicle, it could carry a large amount of cargo (or passengers) in the space in between the driver and the drivetrain. Pon specified that it should have an empty weight of 750 kilograms with an equal freight capacity.
In 1949 the Pons tried selling VW beetles in New York, but it didn't work for him. They returned to Holland to sell Beetles and eventually Microbuses to the Dutch, becomiong the richest people in the Netherlands.
Following up on Pon’s idea, New York based Max Hoffman started to import Beetles to the U.S. in earnest in 1950, being successful enough in establishing the brand that Volkswagen of America was set up, and the factory took over importing and distributing Beetles here.