Volkswagen has waved goodbye to one of its most iconic nameplates, with the final example of the Beetle rolling off the production line.
Built in Mexico at the Volkswagen de Mexico plant, the final example — finished in Denim Blue — will be displayed at the firm’s Puebla Museum. This news comes as no surprise. Volkswagen announced plans to axe the model in September 2018, with just 1,598 sold in the UK the previous year.
Originally introduced in 1938 in Germany, the Beetle became an icon around the world — remaining in production in its original guise right up to 2003 in some markets, with 23 million examples produced.
In 1998, the firm gave the nameplate a modern interpretation with the New Beetle — a retro-styled hatchback. It was revamped in 2012, remaining the same until the final example was built this week.
The firm has no immediate plans to revive the Beetle badge again but hasn’t explicitly ruled out the possibility in future. Speaking following the 2018 announcement that Beetle production would end, Hinrich Woebcken, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America, said: “I would say ‘never say never’. 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.”
Volkswagen’s Mexico plant will be retooled to accommodate production of a new North American market SUV that sits underneath the Tiguan in its range. Its equivalent in the UK would be the T-Roc, though there’s no confirmation if that car will be finding its way across the Atlantic.