Volkswagen to end production of the Beetle next year

Volkswagen to end production of the Beetle next year

Volkswagen to end production of the Beetle next year

Even though it looks as though the Beetle as we know it is coming to the end of its time, it's hard to imagine this being the end of the Beetle name in the Volkswagen portfolio for good.

Although the outbreak of war went some way to stall production, demand for the Beetle began to take off in the late 1940s, and by 1955 a million of the cars were driving on German roads.

The Jetta, Tiguan and Beetle are built for North America and other markets at a factory in Mexico. The "New Beetle" redesign of the 1990s ― essentially a repurposed VW Golf ― captivated the USA market, and sold more than 80,000 in 1999.

The VW was made famous by Herbie the love bug. "The people who wanted them, mostly baby boomer women, bought them, enjoyed them and they're on to something else".

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Over the years, the Beetle became something of a cultural icon. Actor Arshad Warsi also owns a Beetle.

Last year, Volkswagen sold roughly 15,000 Beetles in the US.

15,000: sales progressively slowed and only 15,000 Beetle cars were sold in the United States in 2017, leading the company to announce on Friday that the last Beetle is to be produced in summer 2019. SUVs, meanwhile, are capturing record share of the market.

The original Beetle, born out of Nazi Germany's quest for a low-priced "people's car" in the late 1930s, went on to become an icon of the counter-culture movement in the 1960s.

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Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken, in a statement, said there are no plans to replace the Beetle as the company focuses on becoming "a full-line, family-focused automaker in the U.S." and ramps up electrification efforts. But the vehicle may not go away for good: Diess has pondered reviving the Beetle as a fully electric auto to tap the model's popular culture cachet.

Andy Warhol created prints featuring the Beetle, and the model was also the most prominent vehicle in the background of The Beatles' final album Abbey Road. The company has touted the upcoming I.D. Neo hatchback to be rolled out in 2020 as the new Beetle for the electric vehicle age.

But Mr Woebcken opened the door to reviving the model at some point, saying "never say never".

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