Optimum Customers: Your Newsday access has been extended until Oct 1st. Enroll now to continue your access.

LEARN MORE
TODAY'S PAPER
60° Good Evening
60° Good Evening
ClassifiedsCars

Volkswagen to stop making iconic Beetle next summer

Volkswagen has no immediate plans to revive the Beetle again, but the company wouldn't rule it out.

The 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune: Volkswagen's American unit

The 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune: Volkswagen's American unit said Thursday that it would end global production of the Beetle in July 2019. Photo Credit: Volkswagen of America, Inc/James Halfacre

DETROIT — After selling it on and off in the U.S. for nearly seven decades, Volkswagen has decided to squash its iconic Beetle.

The company's American unit announced Thursday that it would end global production of the third-generation bulbous bug in July after offering two special editions for sale.

The compact Beetle was introduced in Germany in 1938 during the Nazi era and came to the U.S. 11 years later, where it became a symbol of utilitarian transportation often used by hippies. The iconic car sold for about 30 years before U.S. sales stopped in 1979. The last of the original bugs was produced in Puebla, Mexico, in 2003.

Volkswagen revived it in the U.S. in 1998 as a more modern "New Beetle," and it attracted mainly female buyers. The company revamped it for the 2012 model year in an effort to make it appeal to men, giving it a flatter roof, a less bulbous shape, a bigger trunk and a navigation system. U.S. sales rose fivefold to nearly 29,000 in the first year, but tailed off after that. Last year, VW sold only 8,627, according to Autodata Corp.

The special editions, which come in coupe and convertible body styles, get unique beige and blue colors in addition to the normal hues. They also get standard extra chrome, new wheels and three-color ambient lighting inside.

Volkswagen has no immediate plans to revive the Beetle again, but the company wouldn't rule it out.

"I would say 'never say never,' " VW of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken said in a statement.

The company plans to roll out an electric version of its old Bus in 2022 called the I.D. Buzz.

More news

Important message for Optimum customers

Your Newsday digital access is changing as of 10/1

You recently received an email from Optimum’s parent company, Altice USA, informing you that Altice will no longer offer free Newsday digital access with Optimum's online service. Through an exclusive trial offer for Optimum customers, Newsday is pleased to extend your digital access at no cost until the end of the year.

I understand, no thanks