Volkswagen calls time on the Beetle
Volkswagen is to end production of its iconic and beloved Beetle in 2019 after a series of celebration run-out models
Volkswagen is killing off the Beetle. The German auto manufacturer has confirmed that Beetle production will end in July 2019 after a series of celebration models roll out from the VW factory in Mexico.
The iconic name and shape may hold steadfast roots in Nazi Germany, but it lived up to its literal 'people's car' name in an entirely different manner, becoming an icon of the 1960s counter-culture peace movement. The Beetle even captured the hearts of millions of children with Disney’s Herbie film series – the racing Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own.
- 1958 VW Beetle to compete against WRC titans on Wales Rally GB
- Volkswagen Beetle Buying Guide
- Buy a classic VW Beetle from our classifieds
Boasting record sales throughout more than 60 years in production, with three generations of upgraded styling, sales have fallen in recent years, down by 2.2% this year. Sales were especially important in North America, where Volkswagen has suffered the largest market drop.
According to market insiders, customers in the US have been turning to far larger cars, such as SUVs and crossovers – such as the similarly retro-inspired Fiat 500X. There doesn't appear to be a market segment for the VW Beetle as there was ten years ago.
Volkswagen is slimming down their entire model range, with investment in electric vehicles taking primary emphasis. In the wake of the self-inflicted diesel emissions scandal, budgets have reputedly been cut; leaving less-performing models to be axed.
'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,' said Hinrich Woebcken, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America.
For those still tinged with nostalgia, there's still time to buy one. Final Beetle models will be available in both convertible and coupé styles – but you’ll need to order fast, as numbers will be limited.
Originally designed in the mid-1930s by the legendary Ferdinand Porsche at the behest of Adolf Hitler, the car’s original aim was to provide the masses with cheap, practical mass-produced transport.
However, with the outbreak of WWII, production stalled and the Volkswagen factory fell into allied hands. Production took off after the political deals of the war, and by 1955 a total of 1 million Beetles were clattering up German roads.
Production of the Beetle has been terminated and then re-introduced a number of times over the years, with the final ‘original’ Beetle rolling off the Mexican production line back in 2003. The ‘New Beetle’ design was based upon the existing Volkswagen Golf, and stormed the U.S after a wave of publicity. More than 80,000 examples were sold in 1999 alone.
There are reports that a possible model revamp may be in the works, with an electric variant on the way – but we’ll have to wait and see what’s in store. But it appears the Beetle might finally disappear for good.
Classic Cars for Sale
Nicely invested, nicely presented, and nicely priced – this 1974 Volkswagen Beetle is that ideal timeless classic that can fit into an affordable lifestyle. It's hard not to love a Beetle in such a bold color. It only gets better the longer you look at it, because this green is part of a more recent respray. They took their time, and so you get a terrific gloss that lets the sunshi
1968 VW Beetle Right hand drive. I have owned this Beetle for the last two years. In that time I have maintained it and brought it up to be a very clean and useable Beetle. Since my ownership the following has been carried out: New interior consisting of seat padding and TML covers, Black basket weave. Brand new VW HERITAGE Oatmeal carpet. Service inc new spark plugs new leads and new
After years of being regarded as disposable, the vintage VW Beetle is now gaining ground as a legitimate collector vehicle. Early models like this 1964 Volkswagen Beetle coupe seem to command a premium, offering the original VW experience with a healthy dose of nostalgia. Refinished several years ago, with a tidy interior and a cool slightly custom look, this lovely little Bug is a wond
By now you've noticed the trend in Volkswagen Beetles, and they're not getting cheaper. This 1971 VW Super Beetle convertible is a great example of still-affordable fun, though, with a classic color combination, a solid structure, and all the charm that came standard with every single one they ever built. This jaunty little Beetle convertible should look instantly familiar to just abou