Volkswagen to stop making its classic Beetle next year

The 1968 Disney film

Volkswagen discontinues production of the Beetle model in July 2019.

Volkswagen has announced it will be ceasing production of its famous Beetle in July next year, marking the end of the road for an iconic auto design.

Announcing the end of production, Volkswagen, which was hit by the diesel emissions scandal, said it was ramping up its development of electric vehicles.

The name of this new product is same what was in the special version 2010 created in connection with the termination of serial production of the first generation New Beetle.

In the mid-1990s, at a time when Volkswagen was struggling to rekindle sales in the United States, then-chief Ferdinand Piech pushed to revive and modernise the distinctive Beetle design pioneered by his grandfather, Ferdinand Porsche. The Beetles have been made in Puebla, Mexico, since 1997 - but only about 15,000 were sold in the United States a year ago as many customers switched preferences to sport-utility vehicles and other models. The car's popularity, already quite high, skyrockets and 423,000 units are sold that year in the U.S. alone.

Okay, enough eulogizing. Here's the bad news: Volkswagen has announced that it is going to stop the production of Beetle from next year. In Canada, VW sold 2,849 Beetles in 2017.

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Its fame was solidified with Walt Disney's 1968 film "The Love Bug", which features a anthropomorphic Beetle named Herbie that makes a splash on the California racing circuit. Demand for the Beetle and other hatchbacks like the Golf has come under pressure as customer appetite has shifted toward sport utility vehicles.

The decision stems from Volkswagen's emphasis on electric cars and larger family-oriented vehicles.

The special editions, which come in coupe and convertible body styles, get unique beige and blue colors in addition to the normal hues.

"The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over almost seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle's many devoted fans", VW U.S. CEO Hinrich J. Woebcken said in a statement.

"I would say, "never say never", Mr Woebcken said.

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