World

Last Volkswagen Beetle drives into the sunset

11 July 2019 - 76   - 0

PUEBLA, Mexico (Reuters) - Volkswagen rolled the last Beetle off the assembly line on Wednesday, the end of the road for a car that ran from Nazi Germany through hippie counterculture but failed to navigate a swerve in consumer tastes toward SUVs.

Serenaded by a mariachi band and surrounded by proud factory workers, the final units of the retro, rounded compact were celebrated at a VW plant in Mexico’s central Puebla state more than 80 years after the model was introduced in Germany.

The Puebla factory, which already produces VW’s Tiguan SUV, will make the Tarek SUV in place of the Beetle starting in late 2020, Volkswagen de Mexico Chief Executive Steffen Reiche said. The bigger vehicles are more popular in the United States, the main export market for the Mexico factory.

The last Beetles will be sold on Amazon.com (AMZN.O) in a move symbolizing the company’s embrace of the future, Reiche said.

“Today is the last day. It has been very emotional,” he said. The current design was the third version of the Beetle after two earlier cancellations and revivals of the marque.

The “bug,” as the Beetle was nicknamed, debuted in 1938 as an affordable vehicle commissioned by Adolf Hitler to promote car ownership among Germans.

With its funky design and inexpensive price, the car became a success story over subsequent decades and was one of the top-selling models of all time as well as the best-selling import in the United States in the 1960s, according to auto publications.

In the 1960s, the Beetle was a small-is-beautiful icon of the postwar Baby Boom generation. The 1968 movie “The Love Bug,” which featured a zany anthropomorphic vehicle, stoked Beetle fever.

Despite its place in popular culture, sales of the Beetle have been lackluster in recent years. The German automaker announced in September that the Beetle would go extinct.

  Comments - 0

  • Leave a comment



Top Stories

Notice of cancellation of failed TFC license

The Central Bank (CB) on Wednesday issued a notice of cancellation of the license of the failed The Finance Company (TFC), in trouble since the ...

23 October 2019 - Views : 0

Unions demand release of arrested Sri Lankan fishermen in India

23 October 2019

US warns SL's recent army chief appointment could "significantly" curtail cooperation

23 October 2019

Arjuna, Dhammika testimony at PCoI re-fixed for tomorrow

23 October 2019

Features & Analysis

Designer Nayana Ascharya Peiris among BBC's 100 inspiring women of 2019

Designer Nayana Ascharya Peiris has been named among the BBC's 100 inspiring and influential women from arou...

Special screening programme for breast cancer at Early Detection Centre in Narahenpita

October is designated as ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’, worldwide. Cancer ranks amongst the leading thr...

The Wolf is back! ‘Big Bad Wolf Book Sale’ to get underway from tomorrow

The wolf is here with books for us to devour! The highly anticipated ‘Big Bad Wolf Sale’ which is open to...

Toyota's latest Rav4, Corolla and HIACE hit the streets

Toyota Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, the sole authorized dealer for Toyota vehicles and spare parts in Sri Lanka recently launched...