Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Volkswagen to stop making iconic Beetle next summer

Volkswagen to stop making iconic Beetle next summer

The special editions will come in coupe and convertible body styles and there will be unique beige and blue colours in addition to the normal hues.

After almost seven decades of production, Volkswagen has announced that it will stop production of its iconic Beetle cars next year. That is the year the vehicle was taken off the market in the U.S., production continued in Mexico and Latin America.

The original version of the Beetle, a rear-engined 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. It's perhaps most widely recognized for its role as a racing vehicle named "Herbie" in the 1968 Disney film "The Love Bug". Additionally, VW will cover its bases with the recently announced T-Roc Cabriolet, which will serve as a Beetle Cabriolet replacement in some markets.

It was in 1938 that the Volkswagen Type 1, more commonly referred to as the Beetle, or "Käfer" in its home market of Germany, first rolled off the line.

Beetles became a global phenomenon after managing to shake off their Nazi roots. The Nazi ruler ordered the carmaker in 1934 to create a mass-market "people's vehicle", or "Volkswagen", and in 1937 formed the state-run "People's auto Company" to develop it. From the second film, Volkswagen name and brand returned and continued till the last film of the franchise "Herbie: Fully Loaded".

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U.S. consumers looking for a small Volkswagen vehicle overwhelmingly prefer the Jetta sedan, or the Tiguan compact sport utility vehicle.

Volkswagen revived the "New Beetle" in the United States in 1997.

Production of the Beetle is scheduled to end in July 2019.

The Beetle still has its share of adherents - owners gather annually at Volkswagen festivals like Ohio's Volksfest - but while Volkswagen tried to update the classic look of the Beetle each year, sales for the model have been slumping in the US, where consumers have a preference for larger cars.

But Woebcken opened the door to reviving the model at some point, alluding to the company's 2017 decision to unveil a revamped Volkswagen Bus as a possible template.

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