VW to stop making iconic Beetle summer 2019

Marco Green
September 14, 2018

The Beetle had already been removed from Volkswagen's British brochures, but the announcement from Volkswagen of America confirms the car's passing worldwide. Perhaps it can take another in its stride.

VW had been pulling the Beetle from select markets as part of a broader effort by the German giant to rein in its bloated product range, which spans more than 300 different vehicles and variants, including heavy trucks, motorbikes and passenger cars.

The Beetle's demise was announced in March but it was unclear at the time how long the stay of execution would last.

The Beetle was introduced in Nazi Germany in 1938, after Adolf Hitler had asked automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche to design a people's vehicle (Volkswagen in German).

But Volkswagen chief Woebcken left open the possibility that the Beetle may one day rise from the grave.

It's hard to imagine the end of the Beetle name in the Volkswagen portfolio for good. The car's popularity, already quite high, skyrockets and 423,000 units are sold that year in the U.S. alone.

In a statement announcing the end of the Beetle, Hinrich Woebcken, head of Volkswagen of America, said that as the company ramps up its electrification strategy, there are no plans to replace the Beetle.

Production of the Beetle moved to Puebla in Mexico. There are also some links to the final version of the first-generation Beetle, which bowed out of production in 2003 and was known as the Última Edición.

But company officials, still trying to completely turn the page after 2015's costly "dieselgate" scandal, opened the door to reviving the model at some point, alluding to the company's 2017 decision to unveil a revamped Volkswagen Bus as a possible template.

For now, the Beetle as we know it will be sent off with a Final Edition trim, available in either coupe or convertible body styles.

Volkswagen revived it 1998 as a more modern "New Beetle", but it attracted mainly female buyers.

USA sales of the Beetle slumped to just 15,166 in 2017, less than one-seventh the sales of the Jetta sedan.

Volkswagen sold a total of 11,151 Beetles in the United States through the first eight months of 2018, down 2.2% from the same period a year earlier.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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