Volkswagen announced yesterday it would stop producing its Beetle compact car globally in 2019 as the automaker prepares for a leap toward a future of mass-market electric cars. It and the VW minibus, of course, became symbols of the small-is-beautiful aesthetic in the post-war baby boom and the crescent shaped car was revived with the “New Beetle” of the late 1990’s. A hit during its early years, with sales of more than 80,000 cars in the United States in 1999, more recently U.S. sales have suffered along with most other small cars. Selling just over 11,100 Beetles through the first eight months of 2018, down 2.2 per cent from the same period a year earlier, U.S. consumers overwhelmingly seem to prefer the Jetta sedan, or a Tiguan compact sport utility vehicle. With no immediate plans to replace it, the company said two special models will be part of the final lineup – Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL – in the U.S. (not sure about Canada). Certainly the end of an era.
(Source: cbc.ca; Image: dickhannahvolkswagen.com)