End of an era: Volkswagen to quit iconic 'Beetle' cars in 2019

The VW Beetle has been dropped from production before and could yet make a comeback

Rumors of the Volkswagen Beetle's death have been circulating for quite some time, but now, it's officially official. Perhaps it can take another in its stride. VW said that despite the end of the Beetle's production in 2019, the auto could make another comeback someday.

Dubbed the "People's vehicle", the original Beetle was designed by Adolf Hitler and Ferdinand Porsche to be cheap and simple, and continued production right through to 2003.

Porsche's factory at Fallersleben, now known as Wolfsburg, had scarcely turned out 200 before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Hitler's plan for the Beetle had been that it would be affordable to everyone, and he therefore set about to introduce a form of part payment for people who wanted to own a vehicle.

What do you think of VW's decision to end production of the Beetle?

Its fame was solidified with Walt Disney's 1968 film "The Love Bug", which features a anthropomorphic Beetle named Herbie that makes a splash on the California racing circuit.

In a statement announcing the end of the Beetle, Hinrich Woebcken, head of Volkswagen of America, said as the company ramped up its electrification strategy, there were no plans to replace the Beetle.

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

The original version of the Beetle, a rear-engined vehicle that owners often decked out in colorful paints during the flower power era of the 1960s and 70s, ended production in Mexico in 2003.

The Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition from L.A is finished in a new Aquarius Blue colour along with the option of a hard roof in black colour or a soft top in black colour. Last year, VW delivered just 15,166 units - less than one-seventh the sales of the Jetta sedan.

"I would also say, 'Never say never, '" Woebcken noted in the announcement.

The New Beetle was a hit during its early years, with sales of more than 80,000 cars in the United States in 1999.

Volkswagen revived it 1998 as a more modern "New Beetle", but it attracted mainly female buyers.

Volkswagen plans to offer the two final edition models in both coupe and convertible styles before production is stopped.

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