Volkswagen to stop making Beetle as of 2019

A bug's life Beetles have reached the end of the line after a colourful history

With production slated to wind down next year, the German automaker has showcased the "Final Edition" of the compact vehicle in the United States.

The "New Beetle" redesign, which was based on VW's Golf, stormed the USA market in the late 1990s, selling more than 80,000 in 1999. The auto was widely recognized for its role as a racing vehicle named "Herbie" in the 1968 Disney film "The Love Bug". "One of the things, if you think about the silhouette of the Beetle, it's incredibly charming", Lindland said, noting that not many retro cars stick around for two decades. The Fuehrer formed a state owned automobile company in 1937, and among the first objectives of this firm was to produce cars for as low as 1000 Reichsmark (approximately $140 back in 1938).

The Beetle marked a significant trend, led by Volkswagen, Fiat and Renault, in which the rear-engine and the rear-wheel-drive layout increased from 2.6 percent of continental Western Europe's vehicle production in 1946 to 26.6 percent in 1956.

The Beetle, with roots dating back to 1938 in Germany, was revived and updated in 1998 with US sales of the modern Beetle peaking at 83,434 in 1999.

"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", said Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.

Volkswagen sold 11,151 Beetles during the first eight months of 2018, down 2.2% from the same period a year earlier.

While the company has no plans to ever revive the model, Mr Woebcken said: "Never say never". The classic beetle sold more than 21.5 million units in its lifetime. However, over the years the Beetle has moved up price ladder and became a premium lifestyle vehicle.

"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", CEO of the unit, Hinrich Woebcken, said. He noted the company's I.D. Buzz, a prototype for a 21st Century reincarnation of the microbus.

VW revealed a Beetle Final Edition model on Thursday and announced that the 2019 model year will be the last for the nameplate.

Both the Final Edition SE and SEL will be offered in coupe and convertible bodies and will have exclusive equipment and interior bits.

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