Last Volkswagen Beetle drives into the sunset, Americas News & Top Stories

The final Beetle edition to be manufactured in central Mexico

In a statement, Volkswagen Group of America CEO Scott Keogh said "It's impossible to imagine where Volkswagen would be without the Beetle".

Over the decades that the Volkswagen Beetle was in production, it has meant different things to different people. But don't expect to see this particular Beetle hitting the streets however as Volkswagen plans to keep it for themselves.

The original version of the Beetle, a rear-engine vehicle that owners often decked out in colorful paints during the flower power era of the 1960s and '70s, ended production in Mexico in 2003. That's right, it will be a museum piece in Puebla as a lasting tribute to the automobile's rich and storied heritage. When it was first launched as a project of Germany's Third Reich, it became a symbol of post-war Germany and the rise of the middle class. While it has more similarities to a modern Golf, the retro-inspired design and the funky-looking interior was able to attract new and existing buyers of the Beetle.

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. Finally, the third-generation Beetle went on sale in the United States in 2011 with over 500,000 examples built since its introduction. Finally, the final generation of the Beetle sold more than 500,000.

Final example of iconic nameplate rolls down the assembly line in Mexico, as VW prepares to shift its resources to produce a new compact SUV for North America. In 1998, the New Beetle-an early automotive adopter of "modern retro" design language-re-introduced the familiar silhouette to a new generation of drivers, and sold more than 1.2 million cars between 1998 and 2010.

Volkswagon will use the freed-up factory space to build a new SUV, the company said.

The production of the final Beetle model was announced last September by Volkswagen, still trying to turn the page after the costly 2015 "dieselgate" scandal in which it paid out huge government settlements after rigging 11 million cars to cheat regulatory emissions tests.

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