Volkswagen to stop producing Beetle next summer

A bug's life Beetles have reached the end of the line after a colourful history

In the case of Volkswagen, that's the Atlas and Tiguan, which now rank among its best-selling vehicles in the Canadian and US markets, while the Beetle ranks near the bottom.

15,000: sales progressively slowed and only 15,000 Beetle cars were sold in the USA in 2017, leading the company to announce on Friday that the last Beetle is to be produced in summer 2019.

The vehicle, originally known simply as Volkswagen, was first developed by Ferdinand Porsche.

Porsche's factory at Fallersleben, now known as Wolfsburg, had scarcely turned out 200 before the outbreak of the Second World War. The first convertible Beetle was...

During 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, a Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition was showcased, but it didn't reach production line.

Its fame was solidified with Walt Disney's 1968 film "The Love Bug", which features a anthropomorphic Beetle named Herbie that makes a splash on the California racing circuit.

The last version will be offered in two special models: the Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL.

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Off-ramps into the towns have been closed while on-ramps remain open to allow residents to get out of the affected areas. The three communities house more than 146,000 residents and are located about 42 kilometres north of Boston .

US sales of the Beetle have dropped 2.2 percent this year in a market that is increasingly shifting from cars to light trucks. The rumours of Volkswagen planning to axe Beetle have been around for a very long time, but the company has always clarified that they are yet to take a final decision on it and there were some reports about electric Beetle also.

The end of the Beetle comes at a turning point for Volkswagen; its past three years have been rocked by the fallout from a scandal caused by its admitted cheating on diesel emissions tests. Last year VW sold only 15 166, according to Autodata Corp.

"The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over almost seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle's many devoted fans", said Woebcken.

"I would say "never say never", the CEO of VW of America, Hinrich Woebcken, said in a statement.

Volkswagen brought the Beetle back with new generations in 1998 and 2012.

Production of the Beetle has ceased and restarted several times over the decades, and sales of the original air-cooled version ― battered by compact vehicle competition and environmental laws ― ceased in the U.S.in 1979.

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