FILE- In this Feb. 3, 2016, photo the Volkswagen Beetle is displayed at the Auto Expo in Greater Noida, near New Delhi, India. Volkswagen says it will stop making its iconic Beetle in July of next year. Volkswagen of America on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, announced the end of production of the third-generation Beetle by introducing two final special editions. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal, File)

VW to stop making iconic Beetle next summer

The Beetle was introduced in Germany in 1938 and came to the U.S. 11 years later

DETROIT — After selling it on and off in the U.S. for nearly seven decades, Volkswagen has decided to squash its iconic Beetle.

The company’s American unit announced Thursday that it would end global production of the third-generation bulbous bug in July of next year after offering two special editions for sale.

The compact Beetle was introduced in Germany in 1938 during the Nazi era and came to the U.S. 11 years later, where it became a symbol of utilitarian transportation often used by hippies. The iconic car sold for about 30 years before U.S. sales stopped in 1979. The last of the original bugs was produced in Puebla, Mexico, in 2003.

Volkswagen revived it in the U.S. in 1998 as a more modern “New Beetle,” but it attracted mainly female buyers. The company revamped it for the 2012 model year in an effort to make it appeal to men, giving it a flatter roof, less bulbous shape, a bigger trunk and a navigation system. U.S. sales rose fivefold to more than 29,000 in the first year, rising to just over 46,000 in 2013 but tailing off after that. Last year VW sold only 15,166, according to Autodata Corp.

The special editions, which come in coupe and convertible body styles, get unique beige and blue colours in addition to the normal hues. They also get standard extra chrome, new wheels and three-colour ambient lighting inside.

Volkswagen has no immediate plans to revive the Beetle again, but the company wouldn’t rule it out.

“I would say ‘never say never,’” VW of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken said in a statement.

The company plans to roll out an electric version of the old Bus in 2022 called the I.D. Buzz.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Peachland’s doctors moving out of the district

All the doctors at Beach Avenue Medical Centre are leaving

Kelowna man catches mysterious chicken killer on camera

Rod Tribiger wanted to find out what was killing his chickens

Rockets forward Erik Gardiner announces retirement

Gardiner has played for the Rockets since 2016

SUV wedged on top of parked car has Kelowna mall customers confused

The accident occurred Tuesday, no injuries were reported

Giant rotating ice disk forms in Maine river

Ice disk that is roughly 100 yards wide has formed in the Presumpscot River

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

First Nation supporters march to Horgan’s MLA office

Dozens marched across the Greater Victoria community of Langford to support the Wet’suwet’en people

Liberal candidate steps aside after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Long-time Okanagan construction business closing

After 65 years, OK Builders announces it’s closing its Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton operations

Osoyoos chief earns induction to Canadian Business Hall of Fame

Osoyoos Indian Band chief recognized as one of the country’s most distinguished business leaders

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Feds poised to bolster RCMP accountability with external committee

Long-anticipated move is the latest attempt at rebuilding the force following years of sagging morale

Most Read