Published: Thu, July 11, 2019
Economy | By

Goodbye, 'Love Bug': The Volkswagen Beetle is going extinct

Goodbye, 'Love Bug': The Volkswagen Beetle is going extinct

The final auto, which was produced in Volkswagen de Mexico's Puebla plant, will live on in the vehicle manufacture's museum in Puebla.

Robust, easy to maintain and high-performance, it reached its apogee in the 1960s and 70s before its popularity waned and Volkswagen ceased European production in 1978.

First introduced way back in 1938, the Beetle became an instant hit after World War 2 due to its simplicity, reliability and practicality as the quintessential "people's car".

Final example of iconic nameplate rolls down the assembly line in Mexico, as VW prepares to shift its resources to produce a new compact SUV for North America.

With its funky design and cheap price, the vehicle became a success story over subsequent decades and was one of the top-selling models of all time as well as the best-selling import in the United States in the 1960s, according to auto publications. The 1968 movie "The Love Bug,"which featured a zany anthropomorphic vehicle, stoked Beetle fever". It was powered by an air-cooled engine mounted at the rear and was known for its simple design and reliability. More than 21 million were produced over the car's 65-year lifespan. "From its first import in 1949 to today's retro-inspired design, it has showcased our company's ability to fit round pegs into square holes of the automotive industry".

"It's impossible to imagine where Volkswagen would be without the Beetle", said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. The second generation of 1998, by comparison, only managed 1.2 million units, while the current model saw just 500 000 sales. He added "While its time has come, the role it has played in the evolution of our brand will be forever cherished". And it's being killed off to make way for compact SUVs and crossovers.

"In this environment the business case for cars in general, and small cars in particular, becomes increasingly hard to justify", Bauer said. The German automaker announced in September that the Beetle would go extinct.

The final Beetle was a Denim Blue coupe which will be displayed at Volkswagen's museum in Puebla, Mexico.

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