PUEBLA, Mexico (Reuters) – Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) rolled the final Beetle off the meeting line on Wednesday, the top of the street for a automobile that ran from Nazi Germany by means of hippie counterculture however did not navigate a swerve in client tastes towards SUVs.
Serenaded by a mariachi band and surrounded by proud manufacturing unit employees, the ultimate items of the retro, rounded compact have been celebrated at a VW plant in Mexico’s central Puebla state extra than 80 years after the mannequin was launched in Germany.
The Puebla manufacturing unit, which already produces VW’s Tiguan SUV, will make the Tarek SUV instead of the Beetle beginning in late 2020, Volkswagen de Mexico Chief Govt Steffen Reiche mentioned. The larger automobiles are extra fashionable in the USA, the primary export marketplace for the Mexico manufacturing unit.
The final Beetles will probably be bought on Amazon.com (AMZN.O) in a transfer symbolizing the corporate’s embrace of the longer term, Reiche mentioned.
“Right this moment is the final day. It has been very emotional,” he mentioned. The present design was the third model of the Beetle after two earlier cancellations and revivals of the marque.
The “bug,” because the Beetle was nicknamed, debuted in 1938 as an inexpensive car commissioned by Adolf Hitler to advertise automobile possession amongst Germans.
With its funky design and cheap worth, the automobile grew to become successful story over subsequent a long time and was one of many top-selling fashions of all time in addition to the best-selling import in the USA within the 1960s, in keeping with auto publications.
Within the 1960s, the Beetle was a small-is-beautiful icon of the postwar Child Increase technology. The 1968 film “The Love Bug,” which featured a zany anthropomorphic car, stoked Beetle fever.
Regardless of its place in fashionable tradition, gross sales of the Beetle have been lackluster lately. The German automaker introduced in September that the Beetle would go extinct.
Reporting by Sharay Angulo; writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher and Anthony Esposito; Enhancing by Cynthia Osterman