ShareThis Page
Business Headlines

VW to stop making iconic Beetle next summer

| Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, 6:48 a.m.
FILE- In this April 21, 2017, file photo Volkswagen Beetles displayed during the annual gathering of the 'Beetle club' in Yakum, central Israel. 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/Oded Balilty, File)
FILE- In this April 21, 2017, file photo Volkswagen Beetles displayed during the annual gathering of the 'Beetle club' in Yakum, central Israel. 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/Oded Balilty, File)
FILE- In this April 21, 2017, file photo Volkswagen Beetles are displayed during the annual gathering of the 'Beetle club' in Yakum, central Israel. 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/Oded Balilty, File)
FILE- In this April 21, 2017, file photo Volkswagen Beetles are displayed during the annual gathering of the 'Beetle club' in Yakum, central Israel. 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/Oded Balilty, File)
FILE- In this Nov. 18, 2015, file photo the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Dune is displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles. 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/Chris Carlson, File)
FILE- In this Nov. 18, 2015, file photo the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Dune is displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles. 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/Chris Carlson, File)
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)
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)

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 colors in addition to the normal hues. They also get standard extra chrome, new wheels and three-color 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.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me