End of the Line for VW Beetle
CBJ — After more than eight decades in production Volkswagen is putting an end to its iconic Beetle model.
There were many good times and many tumultuous times during the vehicle’s historical run.
First built in 1938 it was originally designed to be a prestige project backed by Hitler’s Nazi Germany. It then became a symbol of Germany’s postwar economic renaissance and the automobile became extremely popular with people right around the world. Then in the 1960s, the U.S. hippie generation identified with the Beetle and from there it’s been more of a nostalgia item than anything else.
The VW Beetle was originally designed by Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche. It is easy to see the similarities between the vehicles, especially around the front lighting design.
A 1998 redesign was based on a modified VW Golf platform and called the New Beetle was unveiled under CEO Ferdinand Piech, Ferdinand Porsche’s grandson. That model continued to be produced, and in 2012 was once again redesigned to make a bit sleeker version.
However, sales have steadily declined to the point where it is no longer feasible to continue production, especially in light of the fact most automobile companies — VW included — are now focusing the bulk of their resources on electric and autonomous vehicles.