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Volkswagen to end production of iconic Beetle in 2019

16 September 2018

The carmaker has released its last Final Edition to honor the vehicle after 70 years of its manufacture. As the World War II began, Volkswagen had to halt its production. Porsche designed the vehicle at the behest of Adolf Hitler but the Volkswagen auto didn't enter full production until after World War II.

Over the years, the Beetle became something of a cultural icon.

While the Beetle did not originally sell well in the United States during the 1950s due to Volkswagen's Nazi origins, its popularity eventually took off in the late 60s and 70s, before American production ceased in 1979. They will also have Bluetooth technology, SiriusXM radio, voice control, and the exclusive Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect smartphone integration system. From the second film, Volkswagen name and brand returned and continued till the last film of the franchise "Herbie: Fully Loaded".

The New Beetle was also made into a Barbie toy, which no doubt had an impact on impressionable, young minds somewhere.

Last March, Volkswagen R&D Chief Frank Welsch confirmed at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show that the company has no plans of building another Beetle after the third-generation model.

Beetle buying in the USA peaked the same year of the original Disney movie at about 423,000 units sold.

Beetle sales accounted for only 5 percent of Volkswagen's 340,000 US auto sales in 2017.

The German company said output would end at its plant in Mexico next July after production of celebration models.

Although officially out of production from next year, Hinrich Woebcken, VW's CEO in a statement said, "I would say, never say never", hinting that a futuristic model could be made available.

The company revamped it for the 2012 model year in an effort to make it appeal to men.

Dubbed the "Final Edition SE" and "Final Edition SEL", it will be available in either coupe or convertible body styles and will come with exclusive equipment and unique décor styling elements.

The CEO acknowledged that shelving the vehicle would be a turning point for many.

Volkswagen is sidelining the Beetle, renowned for its distinctive curved shape and round lights, to focus on producing electric cars and larger family vehicles.

Volkswagen to end production of iconic Beetle in 2019