The bug's been squashed: VW builds its final Beetle

The Volkswagen Beetle has been popular for decades

Volkswagen has since stated that the final Beetle will go on display at its museum in Puebla, while the plant itself will be retooled for a North American version of the Tharu SUV that debuted in China past year.

Introduced for the first time in 1949, Volkswagen went on to sell close to five million Beetles in the U.S alone.

"It's impossible to imagine where Volkswagen would be without the Beetle", Volkswagen CEO Scott Keogh said in a statement.

Not long after its launch, Volkswagen began utilizing the Beetle as a palette for experimentation, creating convertibles and a turbocharged version, numerous special editions including a Barbie Beetle, a Denim Edition, and the Beetle Dune, among many other special editions and one-off concepts. "While its time has come, the role it has played in the evolution of our brand will be forever cherished", he added. Instead, it will be displayed at Volkswagen's local museum in Puebla to celebrate its rich heritage. In comparison, the second-gen model sold just 1.2 million units from 1998 to 2010. Yet, it never caught fire quite like the generations that proceeded it.

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From 1955, the factory has been building first-, second-, and third-generation Beetles without interruption.

Originally introduced in 1938 in Germany, the Beetle became an icon around the world - remaining in production in its original guise right up to 2003 in some markets, with 23 million examples produced. Trucks have been capturing a record share of the USA market, prompting automakers including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Ford Motor Co.to drop numerous passenger auto models from their lineups. "In the months to come more automakers will be announcing more iconic model cancellations". The new SUV is expected to reach US dealerships in 2021. Yet, we shouldn't count the Beetle totally out yet.

- Lance Branquinho, Journalist - Cars.co.zaNow the Beetle competes with a lot of those small cars in the VW portfolio - the Golf, the Polo. Top brass has indicated the company's electric-car platform is the flawless opportunity to showcase emotional vehicles.

Despite the Beetle's end, VW still plans to continue with its retro line, by launching in 2022 an all-electric version of the also iconic Microbus.

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