Vintage Volkswagen Beetle cars are parked in a row. Picture: AFP
Vintage Volkswagen Beetle cars are parked in a row. Picture: AFP

Volkswagen to end iconic modern Beetle in 2019

VOLKSWAGEN announced that it would end production of its iconic Beetle cars in 2019 following a pair of final editions of the insect-inspired vehicles.

The move comes as Volkswagen emphasises electric autos and larger family-oriented vehicles, said Hinrich Woebcken, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America. But Mr Woebcken opened the door to reviving the model at some point, saying "never say never."

Volkswagen plans to offer the two final edition models in both coupe and convertible styles. The cars will include nods to earlier versions and be priced at $US23,045 ($32,000) and up, the company said.

"The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle's many devoted fans," Woebcken said.

The VW was made famous by Herbie the love bug. Picture: Supplied
The VW was made famous by Herbie the love bug. Picture: Supplied

The sedans made their US debut in the 1950s and were popularised with the 1968 Disney movie The Love Bug.

US sales ceased in 1979, but the vehicle continued to be produced in Mexico and Brazil, according to Car and Driver. VW revived the "New Beetle" in the US 1997.

However, the vehicle's history goes back to the Nazi era, having first been developed by Ferdinand Porsche with support from Adolf Hitler.

 

- More to come -



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