The End Of An Era: The Volkswagen Beetle

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Image source: EPE-EFE

Last Wednesday, Volkswagen ended the production of its ubiquitous Volkswagen Beetle. The last Beetle was rolled out of the assembly line at the Volkswagen factory in Puebla, Mexico, and now customers have lost yet another affordable 2-door coupé.  

The iconic Beetle was first produced in 1938 in Germany as a cheap family car. A rebranding by Allies after World War II saw the Volkswagen become a popular car used to bolster the German economy. The rebranding campaigns worked spectacularly, and it soon became a car beloved by all once it hit American markets. 

From hippies to housewives, 5 million were sold in the United States, and 21.5 million worldwide over decades–the longest-running car on a single platform. Having won public affection, the Beetle gave birth to an entire line of rear-engine vehicles from the 1950 “Type 2” bus, the preferred ride synonymous with the Summer of Love, to family cars in the late 1960s.

The model was a hit when it returned to U.S showrooms in 1998, however sales hit an all-time low in 2010 and have since struggled to regain popularity.

“The loss of the Beetle after three generations and almost seven decades should provoke a wide variety of emotions,” said Steffen Reiche, the CEO of Volkswagen Mexico.

The factory in Puebla will now be used to make Volkswagen’s new SUV model. 

Source: Bloomberg/Business Insider Singapore/NPR/CNA/AFP/SCMP

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