The last Volkswagen Beetle rolls off production line
The final Volkswagen Beetle has rolled off the production line in Puebla, Mexico. This was a third-gen car in a coupe body style, which launched worldwide in 2012, and finished in the Final Edition shade of blue. The firm isn't going to sell this car, instead, it will be put on display at the Volkswagen museum in Puebla. This comes after the company stated, last year, that it was ending production of these cars.
The Beetle has been an icon of the motoring world for more than 70 years. Despite its controversial Nazi origins, the car appealed to masses with its value and simplicity in the war-ravaged Europe of the last 1940s and 50s. But the Beetle will best be remembered for how it kept itself relevant with the times. The car meant different things to different people which made its appeal greater than the sum of its parts. This is best showcased by how it became a symbol of the counterculture movement in the late 60s and 70s. Eventually, though, the Beetle started showing its age and began to be superseded by newer cars like VW's own Golf. Although it can be argued that this car took many of the Beetle qualities and updated it to keep up with the times.
The Beetle was sales success all over the world, right up until the original was killed off in 2003-this car was also offered in a similar blue/beige Final Edition trim in Mexico. As is the case with such icons, replacing the Beetle was an uphill task for VW. The New Beetle of 1998 followed the original's styling but was hardly more than a decked up, less practical Golf. The New Beetle garnered reasonable sales for the company. Enough for it to invest in an all-new car for 2009. But sales had been dropping consistently and the company cannot seem to make a business case for it anymore.
But this isn't the end of the road for retro-themed VWs. The German carmaker has shown the I.D. Buzz minivan concept which draws heavily from the original Beetle-derived Microbus. As the global car industry starts to focus on electric mobility, this car is expected to play a big part in the carmaker's upcoming EV onslaught via its I.D. sub-brand.