1967 Volkswagen Beetle
Image Source: Antti
A 1967 Beetle
Richard Bell

Volkswagen to end Beetle production in 2019

German automaker Volkswagen has confirmed plans to stop making its iconic Beetle cars next year.

The company will mark the end of 80 years of production with two special edition Beetles, before halting production completely in July 2019.

Volkswagen is shelving the model to focus instead on electric vehicles and bigger, family cars.

Volkswagen Group of America chief exec Hinrich Woebcken said: “As we move to being a full-line, family-focused automaker in the US and ramp up our electrification strategy […] there are no immediate plans to replace it.”

The company has not ruled out releasing a new version of the Beetle at some point in the future, with Mr Woebcken adding: “But, I would also say, never say never.

“The loss of the Beetle after three generations […] will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans.”

The car achieved global popularity after shaking off its Nazi roots.

Developed by Ferdinand Porsche, the original was simply known as ‘Volkswagen’.

Adolf Hitler supported its development and in 1937 established Volkswagenwerk, the state-run ‘People’s Car Company’.

After Allied forces made Volkswagen a priority in the wake of World War Two, to revive Germany’s once-booming auto industry, it debuted in America in the 1950s and received the name ‘Beetle’ later that decade.

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