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"Remember Those Great Volkswagen Ads?"
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CLIFF LEPPKE'S CYBER SEAT

Ceremony Marks End of VW's Third-Gen Beetle Production

 

The last of 5,921 Final Edition Beetles rolled off a Puebla, Mexico assembly line this week.  VW marked the occasion with a ceremony on Wednesday, July 10.  This end-of-an-era auto heads to a Mexican VW museum.

When VW launched the New Beetle in 1998, scores of people lined up to get their hands on the bubbly-looking revival of VW’s signature auto.  Its U.S. sales peaked at more than 80,000 units and gradually tapered off.  This isn’t what VW meant when it said, “Think Small.”

For 2012, VW replaced New Bug with a sleeker longer, lower and wider Beetle.  The base five-cylinder model’s mediocre performance didn’t match the looks.  VW later offered a hotter turbocharged mill or the now besmirched diesel.  Either version enjoyed better steering, an independent rear suspension and a six-speed manual transmission.  VW sold more than 500,000 third-gen Beetles since 2012.  It built 1.2 millon New Beetles between 1998 and 2010.

Ultimately, the current Beetle shared the same fate as Fiat’s 500 and the Mini—slow sales.  Ending Beetle production allows VW to shift its resources to produce a smaller-than-Tiguan compact crossover.

Does this mean VW will never build another Beetle?  VW claims you should never say never.   


About the Volkswagen Club of America

The VWCA (Volkswagen Club of America) is a not-for-profit hobby club for owners and enthusiasts of Volkswagen and Audi automobiles. Founded in 1955, the Club has followed the evolution of Volkswagen from the early air-cooled Beetle to the latest models to roll off the assembly line. We are not owned by, affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen AG or Volkswagen of America, the Importer. The Club is operated and managed solely by volunteer members who contribute their time and energy in pursuit of our motto, "to help Volkswagen and Audi owners enjoy their cars to the fullest." Read about the club's history.


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Let us count the ways...

  • Discounts on Parts, Accessories, and Labor at our Friends of the Club dealers and vendors
  • Receive our bi-monthly VW Autoist magazine
  • Discounts on merchandise at the Club Store
  • Post classified ads online and in the VW Autoist - FREE!
  • Participate in family-oriented club events
  • Participate in VW forums - get all your questions answered or talk about your VW with other enthusiasts!
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Latest VW Autoist

Emotional rescue

Who would be crazy enough to drive a 36-year-old VW 3,000 miles over two weeks . . . with no A/C or other contemporary car creature comforts? Our Cliff Leppke, of course. He had a ball.

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