Much to the dismay of many, the iconic Beetle of Volkswagen will be pulled off from the productions next year onwards. The last-in-line batch will be produced from the company’s factory in Puebla, Mexico in the month of July, next year.
The reason behind such a drastic move is VW’s intent at prioritizing cost cutting and that of getting leaner with the diesel emissions scandal still afresh. Beetle was already being discontinued from certain markets so as to balance off the inflated production range which includes about 300 different vehicles.
Herbert Diess, the Chief Executive Officer, is said to be the brain behind the trimming of production ever since 2015 when he started his tenure as the CEO. Since customers are now fancying the sport utility vehicles more than the classic Beetles, Golfs and other hatchbacks, the move only makes more sence, he said.
“The market is moving on,” said John Wolkonowicz, an independent auto analyst and industry historian in Boston.
“The people who wanted them, mostly baby boomer women, bought them, enjoyed them and they’re on to something else. Younger people don’t know what the point is.”
In the year 1968, the Beetles’ sales in US rose like a soaring rocket and as many as 423,000 units were sold, thanks to Walt Disney’s movie ‘The Love Bug’ where a Beetle was ‘cast’. The rage only picked up in the 90s when VW, the German giant, made a comeback in US after 20 years. Unfortunately, in 2017, only 15,166 units were retailed.
“The nostalgia for the ’60s is going away as the baby boomer generation is going away,” Wolkonowicz said. “Most baby boomers are getting older and need something easy to get in and out of. Crossovers are easy to get in and out of, cars are not.”
For VW, less of Beetles means more of other models, especially SUVs such as Tiguan and Jetta sedan. But looks like VW are themselves not ready to bid Beetles a final good bye. Diess has hinted perking up the classic into a fully electric one, solely to keep the timeless piece around. According to VW, the upcoming I.D. Neo hatchback which will hit the roads in 2020 will be the new Beetle.
“The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans,” Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen’s US sales unit, said in a statement.
“Never say never,” he said.
Title image: hdcarwallpapers