Volkswagen to end iconic 'Beetle' cars in 2019

Volkswagen to end iconic 'Beetle' cars in 2019

Production of one of the world's most iconic cars is to end next year. In the case of Volkswagen, that's the Atlas and Tiguan, which now rank among its best-selling vehicles in the Canadian and USA markets, while the Beetle ranks near the bottom.

The vehicle was originally launched in Nazi Germany in the 1930's but managed to shake off its links to Adolf Hitler.

Indeed, despite the Beetle's fame, customers opting to purchase a auto in the price bracket have increasingly moved towards sports utility vehicles.

The end of the Beetle comes at a turning point for Volkswagen. It was Adolf Hitler, at the Berlin auto show in 1938, who introduced a prototype for a small, oddly shaped, low-priced family vehicle that became the Beetle.

Despite the car's cultural credentials, sales have fallen in recent years, particularly in the key United States market, as consumers turn increasingly to larger cars and sports vehicles.

The Beetle, with roots dating back to 1938 in Germany, was revived and updated in 1998 with USA sales of the modern Beetle peaking at 83,434 in 1999.

Volkswagen said it has no immediate plans to revive the Beetle again, but the company would not rule it out.

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Last year, Volkswagen sold roughly 15,000 Beetles in the US.

German automaker Volkswagen has announced that it will no longer produce the classic Volkswagen Beetle.

After selling it on and off in the U.S. for almost seven decades, Volkswagen has made a decision to end global production of its iconic Beetle from July 2019.

"I would say 'never say never,"' VW of America chief executive Hinrich Woebcken said in a statement.

The classic compact vehicle, which was first developed in Nazi Germany in 1938, went on to become a symbol of hippie culture in the 1960s. The company has touted the upcoming I.D. Neo hatchback to be rolled out in 2020 as the new Beetle for the electric vehicle age.

The company said two special models will be part of the final lineup - Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL - in the US and would offer driver-assistance technology. Those models were available in beige and light blue, and for 2019, the Final Edition Beetles will also be available in Safari Uni (beige) and Stonewashed Blue (as seen in the 2016 Beetle Denim).

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