Volkswagen Says It's Killing Off the Beetle

Wes Schwengels
September 14, 2018

volkswagen beetle production ending

Summertime road trip games of “Slug Bug” are in trouble — Volkswagen announced Thursday that it would cease production of its iconic Beetle in 2019.

Beetle sales in the U.S. have steadily declined since the car’s reinvention in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Just a little more than 11,000 Beetles have been sold in America so far this year.

The move is meant to help Volkswagen focus on production of better-selling vehicles, including SUVs such as the Tiguan and more popular compact cars, such as the Jetta.

It also comes as the company is planning increased production of electric vehicles. Volkswagen’s environmental reputation took a big hit in 2015 when it was revealed that its “clean” diesel technology actually involved a cheat device that worked only during emissions tests. The carmaker has been attempting to regain consumer confidence since then.

» OWN A BEETLE? Find a certified Volkswagen repair shop near you

Overall, the Beetle has been produced since 1938 and been sold in the U.S. since the 1940s — with a hiatus during the 1980s and early ’90s. It soared in American popularity in the 1960s and, along with the VW microbus, was considered a counterculture symbol at the time. It was also featured on screen as “Herbie” in Disney films such as “The Love Bug.”

Volkswagen said two special Beetle models will be added to next year’s final lineup: the Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL. 

The company did not rule out a return of the Beetle in the future, but for now, consider the iconic Bug squashed.

Wes Schwengels

About the Author

Wesley has been editing a wide range of content for nearly two decades, gaining a depth of knowledge about automotive maintenance and ownership.

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