VW to stop making iconic Beetle next summer

Cornelia Mascio
Settembre 14, 2018

The German company said it would close the doors on the plant in Pueblo, Mexico, where the last of the original bugs were made in 2003.

The Beetle's demise was announced in March but it was unclear at the time how long the stay of execution would last. Hitler wanted German families to be able to afford a vehicle, so he enlisted automaker Ferdinand Porsche to make "the people's car" - or "Volkswagen".

Porsche's factory at Fallersleben, now known as Wolfsburg, had scarcely turned out 200 before the outbreak of the Second World War. The result was a crescent-shaped vehicle called the "New Beetle", launched in 1998, which offered playful touches such as a built-in flower vase.

What do you think of VW's decision to end production of the Beetle?

Fun Fact: Beetle has its own 1968 Disney movie of its own called the "Love Bug" in which the racing vehicle Herbie had a mind of its own.

The company say the final Beetle models will be available in both coupe and convertible styles.

Inside, all Final Editions are equipped with keyless entry, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, stainless steel pedal caps, automatic climate control, and three-color ambient lighting.

Production began to take off in the late 1940s, and by 1955 a million of the cars were driving on German roads. The current generation model has been in production in Puebla, Mexico, since 1997, VW said.

VW fans that like the iconic Beetle may not know that the auto has been discontinued.

Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken, in a statement, said there are "no immediate plans to replace it" as the automaker retools to become "a full-line, family-focused automaker in the U.S." and ramps up electrification efforts.

Sales are down significantly from even just a few years ago, with the 2017 total for the United States coming in at just 15,166 units, so the news doesn't come as a huge surprise.

"As we have seen with the I.D. Buzz-which is the modern and practical interpretation of the legendary Bus - I would also say, 'Never say never", said Woebcken.

Volkswagen sold 11,151 total Beetles through the first eight months of 2018, down 2.2 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

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