Without question, the most noteworthy bit of news to come out of the automotive industry this week is the official end of the Volkswagen Beetle.
Volkswagen ended the production of the Beetle as the last unit rolled off the production line at the company's plant in Puebla, Mexico.
"It's impossible to imagine where Volkswagen would be without the Beetle", said Scott Keogh, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. The final vehicle produced was a Stonewashed Blue coupe variant that will remain on display at Volkswagen's local museum in Puebla. "We'll adapt the Chinese model for this market", Steffen Reiche, chief executive officer of VW's Mexico business, said during an event at the Puebla plant.
Introduced to America as the Type 1, Volkswagen sold almost five million Beetles in the United States, and a worldwide total of 21.5 million cars. However, 1968 saw the switch to a new body style take place, forcing the use of imported parts again.
According to the Auto Express, the brand has seen over 21 million units sold worldwide over its three generations of existence since the 1930s. The current design was the third version of the Beetle after two earlier cancellations and revivals of the marque. The third generation Beetle has been built over 5 lakh so far.
Perhaps the firm's most iconic nameplate, the Beetle has become a motoring icon around the world, with the original model being produced up to 2003 in certain markets. Both were available in coupe and convertible body styles, with 23 exterior colours, 32 interior trims, 13 engine configurations and 19 special editions available during their combined run. Volkswagen de Mexico will soon shift resources to produce a North American market-focused compact SUV that fits in the manufacturer's lineup below the Tiguan.
Overseas reports suggest that the new model will not be the T-Cross or T-Roc heading to Australia next year.
Tarek, which is an analogue of the Chinese VW Tharu, is based on the platform MQB.