‘Herbie the Love Bug’ no more
Image credit: Pixabay
The automotive company Volkswagen announced yesterday it would stop producing its Beetle compact car in 2019, ending nearly seven decades of production.
Ending an 80-year reign for a car that began life under Hitler’s Third Reich, the German car maker said it would halt output at its factory in Mexico after making two special edition models of the third-generation bug in July 2019.
Chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America, Hinrich Woebcken said: “The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans.”
Its decision to end production will allow it to focus on other models, including Volkswagen’s portfolio of electric cars.
He continued: “As we move to be a full-line, family-focused auto maker in the US and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it.”
However, Woebcken hinted this may not be the end of the Beetle, as it could reappear within the company’s line-up at some point in the future, commenting “never say never” in a statement.
With cinema exploits of ‘Herbie the Love Bug’, the Beetle became a mainstay of popular culture through the 1960s and 1970s before being revived with an updated model in 1997.
However, for the last three years, the German automakers have been criticised following a scandal on the lines of cheating on diesel admissions tests.
Now, Volkswagen is gearing up to launch a wave of electric vehicles to appeal to a new generation of environmentally conscious consumers.
In August, electric vehicles sales in the UK reached a record high, accounting for one in every 12 new car registrations.