Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition Marks The End Of An Iconic Car

A bug's life Beetles have reached the end of the line after a colourful history Image A bug's life Beetles have reached the end of the line after a colourful history
Ginger Lawrence | 16 September, 2018, 10:58

While the Beetle did not originally sell well in the U.S. during the 1950s due to Volkswagen's Nazi origins, its popularity eventually took off in the late 60s and 70s, before American production ceased in 1979.

The compact Beetle was first made in Germany in 1938 during the Nazi era and came to the U.S. only 11 years later.

The German company will introduce two special editions of the vehicle before it stops making the model altogether in July. In that year the first-gen Beetles were offered in beige and light blue. It was first developed by Ferdinand Porsche with support from Adolf Hitler, who in 1937 formed the state-run Volkswagenwerk, or "The People's Car Company".

Volkswagen has no immediate plans to revive the Beetle again, but the company wouldn't rule it out.

The design would find worldwide fame in the 1960s and '70s in films featuring Herbie the Love Bug, a racing auto with a mind of its own.

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

In a statement, Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich J. Woebcken said the Beetle had to make way as the automaker moves to become a "full-line, family-focused automaker" while also focusing on an "electrification strategy".

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They reeled off facts about the "beautiful city" and the friends' recommendations that had inspired them to visit. The two men offered a reason for their visit: "They have a famous cathedral there, Salisbury Cathedral ".

The Beetle, with roots dating back to the 1930s in Germany, was revived and updated in 1998, with US sales of the modern Beetle peaking at 83,434 in 1999.

The company is not leaving behind all of its well-known older models.

15,000: sales progressively slowed and only 15,000 Beetle cars were sold in the U.S. in 2017, leading the company to announce on Friday that the last Beetle is to be produced in summer 2019.

Available in the United States in coupé and convertible body styles, the Final Edition models feature additional standard equipment and what VW describes as "unique upscale décor elements created to send the Beetle off in style".

When asked if the Beetle will ever be resurrected, Woebcken said, "Never say never".

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