Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

VW to stop making iconic Beetle next summer

VW to stop making iconic Beetle next summer

The iconic Volkswagen Beetle, possibly the most recognisable shape in the history of the automobile has come to an end. The iconic vehicle sold for about 30 years before USA sales stopped in 1979.

Over the years, the Beetle became something of a cultural icon. Their increasing popularity in the U.S. in the 1960s prompted Volkswagen to build its first manufacturing plant in North America in order to meet the demand.

The company said two special models will be part of the final lineup - Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL - in the USA and would offer driver-assistance technology. The car's popularity, already quite high, skyrockets and 423,000 units are sold that year in the USA alone.

With a starring role in Disney's 1968 movie The Love Bug, the distinctive auto became hugely popular around the world.

The Beetle was developed in Nazi Germany after being conceived in the early 1930s by engineer Ferdinand Porsche. From the second film, Volkswagen name and brand returned and continued till the last film of the franchise "Herbie: Fully Loaded".

The compact Beetle was introduced in Germany in 1938 during the Nazi era and came to the USA 11 years later, where it became a symbol of utilitarian transportation often used by hippies.

The Beetle, with roots dating back to the 1930s in Germany, was revived and updated in 1998, with USA sales of the modern Beetle peaking at 83,434 in 1999.

Announcing the end of the Beetle, Volkswagen of America head Hinrich Woebcken there were no plans to replace as the company ramped up its electrification strategy - but he didn't rule it out altogether. "But as we have seen with the ID Buzz - which is the modern and practical interpretation of the legendary Bus - I would also say, "never say never".

The company is not leaving behind all of its well-known older models. All Final edition Beetles also feature a leather-wrapped steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, Climatronic automatic climate control and a three-color ambient lighting.

Dubbed the "Final Edition SE" and "Final Edition SEL", it will be available in either coupe or convertible body styles and will come with exclusive equipment and unique décor styling elements.

Volkswagen, in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal and huge investment in electric vehicles, says it will look to slim down its model range with a greater focus on family and electric cars.

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