Monday, 19 November, 2018

Volkswagen to stop making Beetle as of 2019

The 1968 Disney film Image Beetles attained further popularity with the 1968 Disney movie The Love Bug
Priscilla Morrison | 14 September, 2018, 21:03

The future of the iconic Beetle had been a subject of speculation for months. Perhaps it can take another in its stride. With production slated to wind down next year, the German automaker has showcased the "Final Edition" of the compact vehicle in the United States.

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 originally designed in the 1930s by legendary engineer Ferdinand Porsche - a name now synonymous with fast cars - at the behest of Adolf Hitler, who wanted to see a cheap and practical mass-produced auto made available to the German people.

Porsche's factory at Fallersleben, now known as Wolfsburg, had scarcely turned out 200 before the outbreak of the Second World War.

The move was supported by Adolf Hitler, who in 1937 formed the state-run Volkswagenwerk, or "The People's Car Company".

Volkswagen said that they will stop production of the Beetle in 2019.

The Beetle played the starring role of Herbie in the 1968 Disney film, "The Love Bug". The vehicle is iconic - immortalized in pop culture for almost 50 years.

More news: Apple's iPhone XS and XS Max are now available for pre-order

Frank Welsch, Volkswagen R&D boss, past year told Autocar you can't have a "new, new, new Beetle" and, instead, "two or three generations is enough now".

Last year VW sold only 8627, according to Autodata Corp.

Before production ceases, the company will offer USA customers two special models - the Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL - starting at roughly $23,000 (€19,670).

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

The original Beetle, billed as "The People's Car" because of its value price and sold in the US from 1950 to 1979, was created by Ferdinand Porsche and sparked a raft of imitators.

"The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over almost seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle's many devoted fans", Volkswagen of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken said in a statement. And while its signature, model-specific colors are the Safari Uni and Stonewashed Blue pictured here, VW will offer the Final Edition Beetle in white, black and gray, as well.

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