Volkswagen Beetle goes out of production

Car and Driver 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition rear

Car and Driver 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition rear

Volkswagen launched the final edition of its iconic "Beetle" auto from its Mexican factory in Puebla. All second- and third-generation Beetles have been built by Volkswagen de Mexico, Puebla, and have been sold in 91 markets worldwide. The company is gearing up for mass production of the battery-driven compact ID.3, a vehicle that the company predicts will have an impact like that of the Beetle and the Golf by bringing electric mobility to a mass market.

Re-launched as a civilian carmaker under supervision of the British occupation authorities, the Volkswagen factory was transferred in 1949 to the Germany government and the state of Lower Saxony, which still owns part of the company.

Instead, the massive new plant in what was then countryside east of Hanover turned out military vehicles, using forced laborers from all over Europe under miserable conditions.

This will mark the first time since Beetle production was restarted in 1945 at the end of World War 2 that the nameplate won't be in the company's portfolio, and there are no plans to resurrect it in the foreseeable future.

The "Final Edition" Beetle series is still available for purchase in the USA, reports CNN, with base prices of $23,045 for a coupe and $27,295 for a convertible.

The Beetle had evolved significantly throughout its years of production.

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The VW Beetle had the ugliest birth in automotive history - having been conceived by Adolf Hitler - but the friendly little vehicle went on to have a very successful life.

The auto was very popular in the USA and has an iconic design that is among the most recognizable products of any sort in the entire world. It was powered by an air-cooled engine mounted at the rear and was known for its simple design and reliability.

The final Volkswagen Beetle has rolled off the assembly line in Mexico. At its peak in 1968, U.S. Beetle sales hit 563,522 units, representing 40 percent of global Beetle production.

"It's impossible to imagine where Volkswagen would be without the Beetle", Volkswagen CEO Scott Keogh said in a statement. He added "While its time has come, the role it has played in the evolution of our brand will be forever cherished".

Market trends have shifted drastically since the Beetle's heyday.

"In this environment the business case for cars in general, and small cars in particular, becomes increasingly hard to justify", Bauer said. The German automaker announced in September that the Beetle would go extinct.

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