Just last Wednesday, Volkswagen has rolled out the last and final unit of its “Beetle” car from a manufacturing facility located in Puebla Mexico. The ceremony for some was the culmination of a decade’s long journey of the said car model which can be traced back to the original beetle that was initially made in the 1930s.
In a statement during the ceremony, Steffen Reiche, the CEO of Volkswagen Mexico said that the discontinuation of the Beetle after it went through almost seven decades of production should cause a lot of emotion.
And yes, this has proven to hold true as a lot of people have indeed expressed their opinions on numerous car forums and on social media regarding the end of the said model. Most are sad and remember the Beetle as a large part of their youth. Others are still mad about the discontinuation of Type 1 though.
And yes, this is indeed reminiscent of the time when the original Beetle, Type 1 was ended way back in 2002. Like the Type 1, the “new Beetle’s” departure was marked by a Mariachi band.
Bye-bye, VW Beetle
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The “Beetle Final Edition”
Despite being ended, the Volkswagen Beetle will still have a very limited, 65 unit “Final Edition” run. These units will only be sold in Mexico through the Internet and will be priced at around $21,000 per vehicle including a reservation fee of $1,000.
The limited-edition Beetle will be equipped with a special plaque and it will come available in four colors; metallic blue, beige, white, and black.
For the Mexican workers, these final 65 units are symbolic of their association with VW and thus a labor of love. Some even said that each one they have produced throughout all those years feels like a part of them and that makes them proud.
The Final Edition Beetles lined up at the VW Puebla grounds
And yes indeed, that was a shared sentiment among the workers as dozens of them attended the event whilst wearing t-shirts that said: “Thank you Beetle.”
Scoot Keogh, the CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America also added that it would be unthinkable where Volkswagen as a company would be right now if the Beetle didn’t exist.
He then further adds that the Beetle both the old and the retro-inspired one has displayed their company’s ability to “fit round pegs into square holes of the automotive industry.”
Why did they cancel the VW Beetle?
Back in 2018, Volkswagen announced that they weren’t going to build the next generation of the Volkswagen Beetle. But as Jeanine Ginivan, a Volkswagen spokesperson said, we’re still going to sell the existing generation.
Sales of the Beetle however dropped and it sold only 15,166 units in 2017. That’s a 3.2 percent drop from the previous year. This comes to no surprise to us at the present though as it is evident now that people the world overturned their attention to crossovers and SUVs instead.
In 2018, Volkswagen sold just 14,411 Beetles in the US and that quite a drop. While Volkswagen didn’t say it outright, it would not be so far a stretch to say that they canceled the Beetle due to the continuing loss of interest.
The Final Edition marks the departure of one of the most iconic vehicles ever made
The future of the VW Puebla plant
While the Beetle will no longer be produced, the Puebla plant and its workers will instead re-tool and re-focus their energy into making a new SUV meant for the North American auto market which will be slated on a lower market segment than the Tiguan.
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Cesar G.B. Miguel