Motilal Oswal
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Motilal Oswal
Sep 14, 2018 03:56 PM IST | Auto

Volkswagen to stop making iconic Beetle next summer

After selling it on and off in the US for nearly seven decades, Volkswagen has decided to squash its iconic Beetle.

The company's American unit announced Thursday 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 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 often used by hippies. 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.

Volkswagen revived it in the US in 1998 as a more modern "New Beetle," but it attracted mainly female buyers. The company revamped it for the 2012 model year in an effort to make it appeal to men, giving it a flatter roof, less bulbous shape, a bigger trunk and a navigation system.

The special editions, which come in coupe and convertible body styles, get unique beige and blue colors in addition to the normal hues. They 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.

Image Source: Reuters/Associated Press (AP)

Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, unveils the new Beetle at the 2015 New York International Auto Show in New York City, US. April 2, 2015. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/Files
Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, unveils the new Beetle at the 2015 New York International Auto Show in New York City, US. April 2, 2015. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/Files
Volkswagen Beetle Dune is displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles. Volkswagen says it will stop making its iconic Beetle in July of next year. Volkswagen of America on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, announced the end of production of the third-generation Beetle by introducing two final special editions. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)
Volkswagen Beetle Dune is displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles. Volkswagen says it will stop making its iconic Beetle in July of next year. Volkswagen of America on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, announced the end of production of the third-generation Beetle by introducing two final special editions. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)
Volkswagen Beetles are displayed during the annual gathering of the
Volkswagen Beetles are displayed during the annual gathering of the "Beetle club" in Yakum, central Israel. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)
A soft-toy hangs from a Volkswagen Beetle displayed during the annual gathering of the
A soft-toy hangs from a Volkswagen Beetle displayed during the annual gathering of the "Beetle club" in Yakum, central Israel. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)
Volkswagen Beetle is displayed at the Auto Expo in Greater Noida, near New Delhi. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal, File)
Volkswagen Beetle is displayed at the Auto Expo in Greater Noida, near New Delhi. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal, File)
A Volkswagen Beetle car is pictured at the Indian Auto Expo in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi. February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/Files
A Volkswagen Beetle car is pictured at the Indian Auto Expo in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi. February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/Files
The logo of a Volkswagen Beetle car is seen at the so called
The logo of a Volkswagen Beetle car is seen at the so called "Sunshinetour 2016" in Travemuende at the Baltic Sea, August 20, 2016. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/Files
The curvy-topped sedans, which shook off Nazi origins to become a global auto phenomenon, are being sidelined as Volkswagen emphasizes electric cars and larger family-oriented vehicles. (Caption credits: Reuters)
The curvy-topped sedans, which shook off Nazi origins to become a global auto phenomenon, are being sidelined as Volkswagen emphasizes electric cars and larger family-oriented vehicles. (Caption credits: Reuters)
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