Final production models will roll out of Mexico production line as two special editions
14 September 2018

Volkswagen has officially confirmed the end of production of one of the world's most iconic models: the Beetle.

Two final runout special editions will mark the end of an 80-year chapter in the brand's history.

The decision not to introduce a new version of the Beetle was first reported by Autocar back in March. The ID Buzz electric concept – a machine that takes cues from the Type 2 Transporter launched in 1949 – will take its place as the firm’s retro-inspired model.

Saying goodbye to the Volkswagen Beetle

The last variants of the third-generation Beetle, launched in 2011, will roll out of Volkswagen’s Mexican production line next year. The two new special editions - the Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL - feature unique colours, exclusive equipment upgrades and new interior trim options. 

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Volkswagen Group of America's CEO, Hinrich Woebcken, admitted that “The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans."

He continued: “As we move to being a full-line, family-focused auto maker in the US and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it".

However, Woebcken did hint that this may not be truly the end of the Beetle, as it could reappear within the company's line-up at some point in the future, commenting "never say never" in a statement.

The conception of the original Beetle began in the 1930s, with production commencing in 1938 and continuing in some markets until 2003. A 'New Beetle' was launched in 1997, based on the Golf platform, although in the last few years sales have tailed off. 

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Comments
8

14 September 2018

Is the current Beetle or its immediate predecessor in any way iconic?  The tone of this piece, and the BBC's coverage of this story today, does not distinguish between these and the original rear-engined, air-cooled model, which was truly iconic, and the FWD models that were merely a pastiche of the original.  I would argue that the "end of an icon" piece should have been written in 2003, not today.

15 September 2018
Daniel Joseph wrote:

Is the current Beetle or its immediate predecessor in any way iconic?  The tone of this piece, and the BBC's coverage of this story today, does not distinguish between these and the original rear-engined, air-cooled model, which was truly iconic, and the FWD models that were merely a pastiche of the original.  I would argue that the "end of an icon" piece should have been written in 2003, not today.

I couldn't sgree more. The modern 'Beetle' was nothing more than a repackaged Golf backed by cynical marketing. It's hardly been a great sales success story either.

14 September 2018

That sad I really loved the Beetle 

14 September 2018

For me the Beetle is a case in which the variations are more interesting than the theme. 

New Beetle 1 & New Beetle 2 take different aspects of the original Beetle and develop them most imaginatively. When no convincing variation can be found for Beetle 3 it is right that Beetle 3 is not made (unlike the Mini which keeps on going regardless)

To be sure, the two generations of the new Beetle remain no more than stylistic exercises, the packaging for exapmle remains poor.

14 September 2018

Come on Autocar.  Stop this faux-sentimental twaddle about fake Beetles.

 

 

14 September 2018

The Buyers didn't really care where the engine was or how it was cooled neither were they bothered by what wheels are driven.  At the end of the day it looked like a modern Beetle and drove better than the old one, end of!

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

14 September 2018

One of the best brands of car ever! Can you send us the original site?

15 September 2018

Why do I think it’ll be back one year or decade when VW runs out of ideas?

 

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