Automaker Volkswagen announced that it will stop producing the Beetle in 2019 with the last version to be offered in two special models: the Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL.
A huge symbol of the 1960’s is on its way out and production on the vehicle will be ending next July. Volkswagen Group of America Chief Executive Officer Hinrich Woebcken said in a statement, “There are no immediate plans to replace it.”
“As we move to being a full-line, family-focused automaker in the U.S. and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it,” he also said.
“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,” Woebcken remarked.
Though the CEO said there are no immediate plans to replace, he did also said, “But as we have seen with the I.D. Buzz—which is the modern and practical interpretation of the legendary Bus—I would also say, ‘Never say never.’
Sales of the model have been declining sharply in recent years. The company had sold 15,166 Beetle models in the U.S. in 2017, a decrease of 3.2%. The current generation model has been in production in Puebla, Mexico, since 1997, VW said.
The original Beetle was designed for Hitler back in the 1930s and only wealthy Germans could afford to buy cars.
All 2019 Beetle models, both the convertible and coupe, are powered by a 2.0 liter TSI® engine that has 174 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. They come with a six-speed automatic transmission and the EPA-estimated fuel economy rating is 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined.
The 2019 Beetle Final Edition coupe starts at $23,045 for SE models and $25,995 for SEL models. The Beetle Convertible Final Edition starts at $27,295 for SE models and $29,995 for SEL models. The destination charge for all Beetle models is an added $895.
“In this environment the business case for cars in general, and small cars in particular, becomes increasingly difficult to justify,” said Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.
“Anyone surprised or disappointed by this announcement better prepare themselves. In the months to come more automakers will be announcing more iconic model cancellations.”