Volkswagen Will Stop Making The Iconic ‘Beetle’ By July 2019
The German automaker may replace the regular Beetle with an electric version.
After selling it on and off in the US for nearly seven decades, Volkswagen has decided to halt the production of its iconic Beetle by July 2019.
The company's American unit announced Thursday, 14 September, that it would end global production of the third-generation ‘bulbous bug’ in July of next year after offering two special editions for sale.
The special editions, come in coupe and convertible body styles, and will be available in unique beige and blue colors, in addition to the normal hues. The new editions also get standard extra chrome, new wheels and three-color ambient lighting inside.
Volkswagen has no immediate plans to revive the Beetle again, but the company wouldn't rule it out. "I would say 'never say never,'" said Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen America CEO in a statement.
In India, the Beetle was formally introduced as a modern avatar Beetle in 2015 but with its steep price tag (close to Rs 30 lakh), the car never found its feet in the country. This forced the German automaker giant to discontinue the Beetle in India earlier this year.
Before that, anybody with deep pockets was able to own a Beetle by importing it from other markets. It’s likely that the Beetle might re-enter the market in the coming years, but expect it to be an electric version, which rules out its availability in India for the time being.
Just like BMW’s Mini Cooper, the Beetle was always seen as a premium, aspirational model, which was directly going up against SUVs like the Toyota Fortuner in this price segment.
The official production of the Beetle came to a halt earlier itself but the company decided to bide its time before making the formal closure of one its iconic product.
The compact Beetle was introduced in Germany in 1938, during the Nazi era and came to the US 11 years later, where it became a symbol of utilitarian transportation. The iconic car sold for about 30 years before US sales stopped in 1979. The last of the original bugs was produced in Puebla, Mexico, in 2003.
(With inputs from AP)
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