With the push of an assembly line button at Volkswagen’s Puebla manufacturing plant, the final VW Beetle rolled into history, a Stonewashed Blue couple that is now in the automaker’s local museum.
Beetle Era Ends With Special Model
“It’s impossible to imagine where Volkswagen would be without the Beetle,” Scott Keogh, president and chief exec of the VW Group of America, said. “From its first import, in 1949 to today’s retro-inspired design, it has showcased our company’s ability to fit round pegs into [the] square holes of the automotive industry. While its time has come, the role it has played in the evolution of our brand will be forever cherished.”
When it was introduced here in 1949, it was known as the Type 1. The Type 1 went on to sell nearly five million copies in the U.S. Worldwide sales were 21.5 million vehicles. The Type 1 was to set what we came to call the imported car segment. At that time, VW was the leader of the imported car market. The VW Type 1 inspired Renault to sell here, as well as Peugeot, Alfa-Romeo, and others. Sales of Type 1 stopped in the U.S., in the early 1980s. However, the Beetle Type 1 continued to sell in South America, Europe, and Asia.
Beetle Era Renewed With New Model
About 15 years later, in 1998, to be exact, Volkswagen reintroduced the New Beetle. It was a modern interpretation of the “modern retro” design language. A new generation of buyers saw the familiar silhouette, and they bought 1.2 million copies of the New Beetle between 1998 and 2012. It was the second generation
Introduced to America as the Type 1, Volkswagen sold nearly five million Beetles in the United States and a worldwide total of 21.5 million cars. 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. In 2011, the third, and the third and final Beetle generation went on sale in the U.S. as a 2012 model, generating sales of more than 500,000 Beetles.
Beetle Era Production Is Worldwide
Since the day the assembly lines began humming as they turned out second- and third-generation Beetles, the brand has had some interesting results. For instance, VW has:
- Sold coupe and convertible variants
- The Beetle has had 23 different exterior colors
- The brand has had 32 interior trims
- The marque has had 13 engine configurations
- The Beetle has hadn 19 special editions
- Beetles made at the Puebla assembly line have appeared 91 markets worldwide
With the final copies of the Beetle finished, VW now plans to reallocate the resources of the plant to produce a new compact SUV/crossover, tailored to the North American market. It will be slotted just below the Tiguan in the U.S.
Beetle Era Ends With Two Special Models For U.S.
Volkswagen also identified the final cars built for the U.S., a pair of Kings Red vehicles with customer dashes and quilted seats. They will be members of the automaker’s collection of historic vehicles.