The Wartburg 353, designed in the mid-1960s, was an attractive car for its day. In its early years, it was even exported to the Netherlands and Great Britain. Although engineers had plans for the ongoing development of the model, the Wartburg did not undergo further modernization – this being prevented by the strained economic situation in the GDR. Therefore, from the mid-1970s, the Wartburg could no longer compete with Western cars. The Wartburg 353 was produced until 1988, at which point it was replaced by the Wartburg 1.3, which was considerably more expensive and, as some GDR consumers noted with disappointment, riddled with technical defects.
This photograph shows the production of the Wartburg 353 in the firm's Eisenach factory. The banner suspended from the ceiling reads: "Our duty: to continue to strengthen the GDR through good deeds as we approach the Seventh Party Congress." Photo by Jochen Moll.