Few vehicles are as iconic or as long-lasting as the Volkswagen Beetle. Beetles are easily identifiable and immediately recognized as Volkswagens almost anywhere in the world.
The original Beetle, officially known as the Type 1, began production in 1939 and continued until 2003. Volkswagen built 21,529,464 original Beetles which makes the car the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single platform ever made.
The New Beetle, as it was known, debuted in the United States in 1997 ran until 2011, when it was replaced by the current Beetle that still remains in production today.
Its existence, however, may finally come to an end, and VW’s diesel scandal may be at least partially responsible.
In efforts to recover losses from the emissions scandal, Volkswagen has been working tirelessly to overhaul its lineup and its future vehicle plans.
Dieselgate, as it has become known, completely altered Volkswagen’s course. Rather than focus on “clean” diesels, the scandal has caused VW to announce plans to build more electric vehicles while taking advantage of the unquenchable thirst for SUVs and crossovers.
The potential result of all this could be Volkswagen choosing to squash the Beetle.
Volkswagen board member Arno Antlitz said,
The Beetle and Scirocco are representatives of an emotional and appealing class of vehicles, but it [VW product planning] is not always about continuing cars from one generation to the next.
The Scirocco is not sold in the United States but is also on the chopping block. The two models are expected to go because they’re heavily outsold by the VW Golf, which moved more units in a single month than the Beetle and Scirocco sold, combined, over an entire year.
A Volkswagen dealer without Beetles on the lot would come as a shock to many loyal fans, but Antlitz said the upcoming electric Volkswagen ID would help fill the “emotional gap” left by the departed Beetle.
In fact, some say the upcoming ID, due in 2019, will usher in a new era for Volkswagen just as the Beetle did all those years ago.
Are you ready to see the VW Beetle get discontinued?