The latest announcement from Volkswagen in 2018 has left the automotive world in shock as they have decided to end the production of the beloved VW Beetle in 2019. Originally released in 1938, ‘the Bug’, as it was nicknamed by car enthusiasts all over the world, rose to the automotive hall of fame by providing transportation to the masses at a ridiculously low cost despite being well built and as indestructible as a Nokia 3310.
The Beetle was, in a lot of ways, Germany’s version of the Model T but unlike the T, this little darling also became a design icon that disproved the stereotype that small cars had to be unimaginative and boring to actually be affordable. By the 1960s the Bug achieved classic status in the German car industry and had become a national treasure with its cheeky styling, elegant design lines and a childlike innocence ignited by those beautiful round headlights. With a rapid increase in demand, the folks in Volkswagen decided to split the production of the Beetle between Germany and Mexico without sacrificing its quality or status and this decision was what made them export these cars into the United States where it would achieve rock star levels of fame with appearances in movies like the Herbie series. Other than being one of the cheapest mass-produced cars in the world, the Beetle is also known for serving as the Base for Ferdinand Anton Porsche to build them, you guessed it, the Porsche 356 which would go on to become the Porsche 911, yet another automotive legend.
In its original form and design, this little thing was in production in some countries until the early nineties with minute changes although it was succeeded by the Golf in 1974. It wasn’t just the car that created its aura of fun and carefree demeanour, the advertisements were just as famous as the car itself. If you fancy a good laugh, go ahead and Google classic Beetle ads and along with the humour, you’ll also learn to appreciate advertising freedom at its best. One such tasteful print advertisement was one that read “Lemon.” as the tagline and an explanation of how well built the car was and that there was no chance of finding a “lemon” or a poorly built beetle. All this led to the Beetle to be adored by car lovers everywhere for its rebellious soul.
Seeing a massive demand for fun little cars with a hot hatch like handling, VW’s CEO and grandson of the creator of Volkswagen, Ferdinand Piech decided to resurrect the Beetle and its classic design in a more premium package in the year 1998 and it was an instant hit among young buyers. For years, the New Beetle would go on to become almost as beloved as the original and sold pretty decently as well. However, on the last few years, the sales figures of the Beetle have gone down due to new buyers who prefer the VW Jetta and Tiguan instead of the slightly overpriced Beetle. The lacklustre sales and focus on electric cars are the two main reasons why the company has decided to bid adieu to the Beetle. VW has also released two final special editions as a tribute to this icon of a car in both coupe and convertible body types. But all is not lost because despite having no plans to build a successor to the Beetle, the company has confirmed that the memorable ID bus could make a comeback in electric form. So, we bid farewell to this cheeky little bug in 2019.
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