After being sold in the United States and the rest of the world for almost seven decades, Volkswagen has decided to discard its iconic beetle.
The American unit of the automaker announced on Thursday that it would stop making the third generation of the Beetle globally in July of next year, after introducing two special editions for sale.
The compact beetle was developed during Nazi Germany in 1938 and 11 years later it arrived in the United States, where it became a symbol of utilitarian transport frequently driven by hippies. The iconic vehicle was sold for approximately 30 years until its sale in the United States ceased in 1979. The last of the originals was produced in Puebla, Mexico, in 2003.
Volkswagen revived it in 1998 as the modernized "New Beetle", but attracted mostly women. The company made some changes in 2012 in an attempt to attract more male customers, with a flatter roof, a less rounded shape, a larger boot and navigation system. Sales in the United States quintupled to almost 29,000 units in the first year, but then declined. Last year, VW only sold 8,627 beetles, according to Autodata Corporation.
The special editions, which will come with a coupe and convertible body, will have exclusive beige and blue colors in addition to the regular tones. They will also have an additional chromium plating, new tires and interior lighting with three colors.
Volkswagen has no immediate plans to revive the Beetle, but the company does not rule it out.
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