Over 80 years after it was first introduced, the last Volkswagen Beetle rolled off production lines in Mexico’s Puebla on June 10.
Commissioned in 1938 by Adolf Hitler as an affordable vehicle, the iconic Beetle has served a long and varied path through automobile history.
Despite sleeker models surfacing over time, the funky design of the Bug (upgraded twice) has inspired generations and several movies – including the Herbie series – and remained a success story over decades. Volkswagen’s car was also a best-selling import in the United States in the 1960s.
The Puebla factory, which already produces VW’s Tiguan SUV, will make the Tarek SUV in place of the Beetle starting in late 2020, reported Reuters. In a move symbolic of the company’s embrace of the future, the last Beetles will be sold online.
Designed by Ferdinand Porsche, then the engineering chief at VW, the first-generation Volkswagen Beetle Type 1 survived a 58-year production run, with the final car rolling off the line in 2003.
According to the Auto Express, the brand has seen over 21 million units sold worldwide over its three generations of existence since the 1930s.
In 1998, the German automaker released the second-generation New Beetle in Europe, which continued production till 2010. This was replaced by the third, and final, generation Beetle in 2011.
The little car that came to symbolise the post-war baby boomer generation also made advertising history, with several TV commercials and its legendary print “Think Small.” ad changing the way agencies thought about static advertising.
Twitter users were quick to share their memories of their favourite bug. Auf Wiedersehen.