Volkswagen to end production of iconic Beetle

Volkswagen to end production of iconic Beetle

September 13th, 2018 by Staff and Wire Reports in Breaking News

This story was updated Sept. 13, 2018, at 5:56 p.m. with more information.

Volkswagen of America will end production of the iconic Beetle in 2019, the company announced Thursday.

Two special models will join the lineup for its last model year—Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL. The Beetle is made at VW's Puebla, Mexico, production plant.

"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," said Hinrich J. Woebcken, president and chief executive officer of Volkswagen Group of America, in a statement. "As we move to being a full-line, family-focused automaker in the U.S. and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it.

But, he said, as seen with the I.D. BUZZ—which is the modern and practical interpretation of the legendary Bus — "I would also say, 'Never say never.'"

Available in coupe and convertible body styles, the Final Edition models include exclusive equipment and unique upscale decor elements designed to send the Beetle off in style. Models also draw inspiration from the first-generation Beetle's final run in Mexico, where the vehicle is assembled.

Pricing for the 2019 Beetle Final Edition coupe starts at $23,045 for SE models and $25,995 for SEL models, according to VW. Beetle Convertible Final Edition pricing starts at $27,295 for SE models and $29,995 for SEL models, the company said.

The Beetle was developed in Nazi Germany in 1938 and came to the U.S. 11 years later. It sold for about 30 years before production ceased.

The company revived it in 1998 and revamped it for the 2012 model year in an effort to help it attract more male buyers. The car got a flatter roof, less bulbous shape, a bigger trunk and a navigation system.