The Volkswagen Beetle has met the end of the road. This week, the final Beetle model will roll off the assembly plant in Puebla, Mexico.
VW said Wednesday the last 2019 VW Beetle is a coupe finished in Denim Blue and will remain local to Mexico. After celebrations, the car will join the VW Museum in the city of Puebla—a fitting tribute noting the second-generation New Beetle and the final third-generation car were both built in Puebla their entire lives. Two Beetles will also remain in VW's heritage collection in the U.S.
Scott Keogh, president of Volkswagen Group of America, marked the end of an era and said VW is grateful for the good fortunes the Beetle name has brought the brand over decades.
"While its time has come, the role it has played in the evolution of our brand will be forever cherished," he said.
The Beetle was originally introduced in the United States as the Type 1 and sold five million units in the country. Total, the original Beetle found 21.5 million buyers around the world and became a smash-hit for the German brand. In 1998, the New Beetle marked the nameplate's return with a modern-retro interpretation of the original design. Again, VW found success with 1.2 million units sold through 2010. The final generation Beetle dropped the "New" surname and went on sale in 2012. Yet, it never caught fire quite like the generations that proceeded it.
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VW said since 2012, 500,000 third-generation Beetles were built. The second- and third-generation cars were available in 91 markets around the world.
Although the Beetle is extinct in Puebla, VW has other plans for the assembly plant. The factory instead will build a small crossover for the U.S. that is smaller than the Tiguan compact crossover, which should attract more buyers than the Beetle. Yet, we shouldn't count the Beetle totally out yet.
Whispers of the model's return as an electric car have persisted following VW's battery-electric transformation. Top brass has indicated the company's electric-car platform is the perfect opportunity to showcase emotional vehicles. We've already seen what the brand means by this; a new VW Bus is coming and the brand may bring the Buggy back with an electric powertrain.