Many of us had a Beetle feature somewhere in our lives, whether it was the family car, your parents’ friend visiting once a year or your siblings’ entertainment on the long road trips to play Punch Buggy, we’ve seen them and we’ve grown accustomed to them on our roads.
Last week Volkswagen has announced the end of a vehicle range that has been on the roads for over 60 years. Though it was probably time for the old Bug to be laid to rest, nobody was quite ready for the actual announcement.
In a statement, VW Group of America head Hinrich Woebcken reflected on the end of this icon, while providing some hope for the Beetle's possible return as an electric car.
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. As we move to being a full-line, family-focused automaker in the US and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it. But as we have seen with the I.D. Buzz—which is the modern and practical interpretation of the legendary Bus—I would also say, "Never say never."
The iconic Volkswagen Beetle entered the production cycle in the early 1940’s, based on a design by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. Over the years, we have seen many versions of the vehicle but all in all, it still remained the itty bitty Bug. Production numbers smashed a lot of records during the decades, and by 2002 the final sales figures were over 21 million units! Today the Beetle lies at 6th place on the Top Ten Best Selling Cars Of All Time.
Volkswagen is said to have their eyes set on the electronic vehicle market, having their first model rolling out to the US market by 2020. We wonder whether they would resurrect a certain small car for one last time to surprise their fans and followers?
Even though they are finally ending the production, we are sure to still see these little fun cars on our Namibian roads – not too late to get your sibling back shouting ‘Punch Buggy Yellow!’