Volkswagen Beetle Production Comes To A Grinding Halt

Car and Driver VW pays tribute to the end of the air-cooled run with these Final Edition water-cooled Beetles

At this stage it's not looking likely that Volkswagen will ever produce another vehicle called the Beetle, although there were rumours circulating a few years back, of a possible electric successor.

The company is gearing up for mass production of the battery-driven compact ID.3, a vehicle that the company predicts will have an impact like that of the Beetle and the Golf by bringing electric mobility to a mass market. It's a coupe with those lovely retro wheels and a paint colour known as "Denim Blue".

Since the days of the Beetle Volkswagen has a tough time of it. Powered by an air-cooled engine instead of a water-cooled one, its simple mechanics meant it was a cheap and durable vehicle that can be used by all during the postwar era. That's right, it will be a museum piece in Puebla as a lasting tribute to the automobile's rich and storied heritage. VW ended production of the Beetle in Germany in 1978.

Then in 1997, Volkswagen made a decision to bring back the people's auto with the "New Beetle". The third and final Beetle was introduced in 2011 and more than 500,000 units have been built since then.

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Over the subsequent generations, the Beetle retained its rounded shape.

The end of Beetle production will allow Puebla's resources to shift production to a new compact SUV tailored to the North American market, slotting into the lineup below the Tiguan. In 1998, the New Beetle-an early automotive adopter of "modern retro" design language-re-introduced the familiar silhouette to a new generation of drivers, and sold more than 1.2 million cars between 1998 and 2010.

Re-launched as a civilian carmaker under supervision of the British occupation authorities, the Volkswagen factory was transferred in 1949 to the Germany government and the state of Lower Saxony, which still owns part of the company.

"It's impossible to imagine where Volkswagen would be without the Beetle", said Scott Keogh, President, and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America in a press release announcing the end of the Beetle.

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