What was this theme, you ask?
Before the Beetle came along and became the definitive people's car (even before Volkswagen came into being as a company), Mercedes had come up with a concept for a, well, Volkswagen - a people's car.
The concept, called the 130, was unveiled to the public at the 1934 Berlin Auto Show, and it was revolutionary because it was rear-engined - the first mass produced, rear-engine car ever.
In fact, Mercedes had been developing a rear-engine concept years before the Berlin show, and the car was intended to be one that anybody could afford; this was unusual for Mercedes-Benz, because they were known principally for expensive, elegant cars.
As it turned out, the car that anyone could afford became the car that only a sprinkling of people actually wanted to buy, and by 1936, Mercedes ceased production of the 130.
Image: A 1935 Mercedes-Benz 130H.