Rumored: End of the Road for the Volkswagen Beetle?
This news was first tweeted out by Autoline yesterday morning. The tweet said the Beetle would be canned by the end of 2018 due to slow sales and the German automaker needing to produce more crossovers. This was followed by an Autoline Daily video citing a report from Autoforecast Solutions that asserts the Tiguan would take up space at Volkswagen Peubla, Mexico, factory (we have the video below). At the moment, the plant is home to the Beetle, Golf, and Jetta production. When reached out for comment by Autoblog, Volkswagen spokesman Mark Gillies said, "We don't comment on media speculation."
If true, this would mark the end of one of Volkswagen's most iconic vehicles. The New Beetle was first introduced in the 1998 model year and became very popular as it served as the halo model for the brand. However, Volkswagen didn't replace it with a second-generation model until 2011, meaning it languished in the lineup for a long time. The current Beetle isn't doing so hot a moment with sales dropping 22.3 percent to 22,667 vehicles sold in 2015.
But as Autoblog mentions in their report, this contradicts a statement made by former Volkswagen research and development head Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser. He told the site last year work was progressing on a third-generation Beetle that would be using the modular MQB platform. Considering how much trouble Volkswagen is currently in with the diesel emission scandal and the possibility of hefty fines, we wouldn't be shocked if plans for the third-generation model have been scrapped. But stranger things have happened.