Buggin’ out: Last ever Volkswagen Beetle rolls off Mexican production line
Volkswagen’s iconic Beetle car rolled off the production line in Mexico for the final time this week. The sendoff ceremony was accompanied by a Mariachi band.
The Volkswagen factory in Puebla was the only one left in the world making the original Beetle cars and more recently the only one making the modern version.
The limited, 65-unit run of the ‘Beetle Final Edition’ will be sold in Mexico on the internet for a base price of $21,000 per vehicle. It can be reserved with a $1,000 payment.
Each car includes a commemorative plaque on its left side, numbered from one to 65. The bug-shaped sedan cars are available in metallic blue, black, white, and beige.
“The loss of the Beetle after three generations and almost seven decades should provoke a wide variety of emotions,” Volkswagen Mexico CEO Steffen Reiche said.
The factory employees who turned up in the early morning to put the final touches on the car wore bright yellow tops bearing the words: “Thanks Beetle.” The unveiling of the car proceeded in a festive atmosphere.
“Who couldn’t want a car like this, made with Mexican hands?” 40-year-old production technician Roberto Benitez told AP.
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“It’s always sad, you feel like part of one. That’s the daily work, full shifts to get the best results, it makes me proud,” Francisco Bueno, a 25-year-old employee, added.
Last year, the German automaker announced it will stop making its iconic Beetle car, which first rolled off the production lines in 1938. The carmaker said it will focus on more popular areas such as SUVs and electric vehicles.
In 1979, the company stopped selling the car in the US but continued production in Mexico and Brazil. Volkswagen revived the model in 1998, introducing a redesigned modern ‘New Beetle’, which mainly attracted female buyers.
Sales of Beetles dramatically fell from more than 420,000 units sold at the peak of their popularity in the late 1960s. In 2017, Volkswagen sold roughly 15,000 Beetles in the US.
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