End of an era: Volkswagen to quit iconic 'Beetle' cars in 2019

The VW Beetle has been dropped from production before and could yet make a comeback

The VW Beetle has been dropped from production before and could yet make a comeback Manjunath Kiran AFP Getty Images

Final Edition models are available only in Safari Uni (which started life as Harvest Moon Beige on the original New Beetle) and Stonewashed Blue (recently featured on the Beetle Denim).

After almost seven decades of production, Volkswagen has announced that it will stop production of its iconic Beetle cars next year.

The move was supported by Adolf Hitler, who in 1937 formed the state-run Volkswagenwerk, or "The People's Car Company".

Sales of the carmaker's reboot of the "people's car" have fallen dramatically in the USA, where drivers are increasingly turning to larger cars and SUVs, and away from the modern version of the quirky auto that once starred as Disney's Herbie the 1963 "Love Bug".

The "New Beetle" redesign, which was based on VW's Golf, stormed the U.S. market in the late 1990s, selling more than 80,000 in 1999.

The vehicle sold for about 30 years in the United States before it was taken off the market in 1979.

Beetles became a global phenomenon after managing to shake off their Nazi roots.




Herbie is never referred as a Volkswagen or a Beetle in the first firm but called "the little car" or "the Douglas Special".

The interior also had some changes compared to the regular model along with special badges.

Volkswagen sold about 423,000 Beetles in the U.S. that year.

Last March, Volkswagen R&D Chief Frank Welsch confirmed at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show that the company has no plans of building another Beetle after the third-generation model.

U.S. consumers looking for a small Volkswagen vehicle overwhelmingly prefer the Jetta sedan, or a Tiguan compact sport utility vehicle. "I would say "never say never", VW of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken said in a statement. The cars also get three color ambient lighting; SE versions get cloth and leatherette rhombus-pattern seats with SEL offering standard diamond-stitched leather.

The Beetle comes with lots of features like a touch-screen infotainment system, leather seats, cruise control, automatic headlamps and more.

Surrounded by fuel-emission scandals since 2006, Volkswagen persisted with models such as Jetta, Tiguan and Bettle and shipping cars from its Mexican factory, but dipping worldwide sales and consumer preferance for electric-cars have forced the German brand to brain-storm on a newer strategy.

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