Published: Thu, July 11, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Volkswagen Beetle ends production

Volkswagen Beetle ends production

The very last Volkswagen Beetle vehicle has rolled out of an assembly plant in Mexico.

The end of the Beetle comes at a turning point for Volkswagen as it rebounds from a scandal over cars rigged to cheat on diesel emissions tests. "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", Volkswagen of America president and CEO Scott Keogh said in a statement.

Since the days of the Beetle Volkswagen has a tough time of it.

The final Beetle to roll off the assembly line will be displayed at a Volkswagen museum in Puebla, the company said.

The original version of the Beetle, a rear-engine vehicle that owners often decked out in colorful paints during the flower power era of the 1960s and '70s, ended production in Mexico in 2003.

Since the first one was hatched more than 80 years ago, it's become a counterculture symbol.


Over the decades that the Volkswagen Beetle was in production, it has meant different things to different people.

Then in 1997, Volkswagen made a decision to bring back the people's auto with the "New Beetle". The new Beetle started production in 1998, and the design was tweaked in 2012. Finally, the third-generation Beetle went on sale in the United States in 2011 with over 500,000 examples built since its introduction.

During its multi-decade run, VW built a total of 21.5 million Beetles, almost 5 million of which ended up in the United States.

Known as the Type 1 back when Volkswagen was nothing more than the dream of a mad man, the Beetle was redesigned from the ground up in 1997 with the introduction of the New Beetle.

Over the subsequent generations, the Beetle retained its rounded shape. Volkswagen has yet to say what the new SUV will be but they did mention that it will slot below the Tiguan.

In late 2018, Volkswagen announced that its Beetle production would come to an end.

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