VW builds its last Beetle

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In July, the final Volkswagen Beetle reached the end of the assembly line in Mexico

The final Beetle rolled off Volkswagen de Mexico’s Puebla assembly line Wednesday and into a display space at the Volkswagen Puebla Museum, the car company said.

The car, in Denim Blue, “will live on display at Volkswagen’s local museum in Puebla as a lasting tribute to the automobile’s rich and stories heritage,” said Volkswagen of America.

Puebla plant will switch from Beetles to a new compact SUV

The Puebla plant will shift its production to a new compact sport utility vehicle, VWoA added.

“It’s impossible to imagine where Volkswagen would be without the Beetle,” said Scott Keogh, president and chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America. “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. 

“While its time has come, the role it has played in the evolution of our brand will be forever cherished.”

Introduced to America as the Type 1, Volkswagen sold nearly five million Beetles in the United States, and a worldwide total of 21.5 million. 

In 1998, the New Beetle re-introduced the silhouette to a new generation of drivers, and sold more than 1.2 million cars between 1998 and 2010. In 2011, the third, and current generation of Beetle went on sale in the U.S. as a 2012 model, and more than 500,000 have been built since.

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Sold in both coupe and convertible variants, the second- and third-generation of Beetles have collectively been produced in 23 exterior colors, 32 interior trims, 13 varying engine configurations and 19 special editions, including the Dune, Denim, Coast and #PinkBeetle. 

All second- and third-generation Beetles have been built by Volkswagen de Mexico, Puebla, and have been sold in 91 markets worldwide.

The last Beetles built for the U.S., a pair of Kings Red vehicles with custom dashes, keys and quilted seats, will join Volkswagen of America’s collection, the company added.

 

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

2 COMMENTS

  1. For us baby boomers, each of us have driven and possibly owned a VW bug in years past. The only vehicle built so good and tight that they would actually float if accidentally driven into water. The bug was made popular even when gas was only 25 cents a gallon. These cars were fun to drive and easy to park when everyone else was driving large heavy cars built for comfort and speed. The People’s car from Germany held it’s value and was popular world wide. I had a 1958 VW bug and a 1963 Karmen Ghia when in college. I loved them.

  2. I’m sad. Another icon and comfortable childhood memory now gone. A true Charlie Brown moment. Sigh.
    A car that in all iterations brought smiles, ended so we can have yet another SUV, probably styled by the "Angry- Hell No, Psychopathic Birds" school of Anime Addicts on Meth, making it indistinguishable from any modern Japanese or Korean offering (have you looked, really LOOKED, at these "every surface must be styled" abominations? Really? And approve?).
    I miss my Mom’s ’66 for it’s honesty and simplicity. I miss my Cal-look ’70 with the 1915cc screamer and "kill you in an instant" (ahem) handling- if you could hustle that car, you could drive anything well, and with an original Beetle, ya kinda had to, what with the fuel tank hovering above your knees and snap-oversteer just waiting to put you in the grave. 120+dynoed hp in a car designed for less than half as much can be fun, but…
    So the world loses another way to smile; seriously, on a bad day, could you see a Beetle of any generation, often "hippied up" and run down, shuffling through traffic and not smile?
    Not you, Grinch. That car meant so much to so many, not just the happiness of seeing it fighting traffic, it’s incomprehensible that it could be killed so quietly.
    I’m sad.

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