Squashing the Bug

Volkswagen announces discontinuation of historic car model

By on September 18, 2018

When you think of culture icons of the past decades, some may think of celebrities past, now-disastrous fashion trends and cult movies. But one of the most iconic piece of culture was a bug – well, the Volkswagen Beetle.

There comes a time for things to end, and for the Beetle, it’s going to be swatted for the last time in July 2019.

In an official press release made on Sept. 13, the company announced the end of the Beetle.

Photo Courtesy of @TOM/FLICKER Creative Commons
“Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today that it will end production of the iconic Beetle in 2019,” read the Volkswagen release.

Although Volkswagen did not disclose why the beloved bug has to be discontinued, the release hinted that their focus as a car company was moving in a direction where the Beetle no longer could go.

“As we move to being a full-line, family-focused automaker in the U.S. and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it,” Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. said.

The Beetle was first created in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche and Zundapp. This initial model was transformed during World War II, when Adolf Hitler asked Porsche to make a car for the people, aka a “Volks wagen.”

Despite its connotations with the Nazi party, the Beetle became a staple of hippie culture in the 60’s.

“For the Woodstock generation, driving a Beetle or its larger cousin, the Volkswagen van, was a form of protest against materialism and the gas guzzlers churned out by the big American carmakers,” wrote The New York Times.

The Beetle was incorporated into one of the most important decades that was able to revolutionize society. The 60’s were responsible for massive sexual, worldly and spiritual awakening, and the bug had become a staple in this society.

The bug was shown in movies and TV shows and was even featured on The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album cover. The Transformer “Bumble Bee” was modeled after the car in the original “Transformers” comics and cartoons.

The Beetle is the most commonly made toy car model, according to The Golden Bug website.

Over the years, the popularity of the bug has diminished, and the car model’s sales have declined. However, upon the announce of the discontinuation, Volkswagen revealed that they have made a final version of the Beetle to sell.

“Available in coupe and convertible body styles, the Final Edition models include exclusive equipment and unique upscale décor elements designed to send the Beetle off in style,” the press release stated.

The final models will pay respect to the peak of the vehicle with references to the 60’s.

“Today’s Final Edition models will feature two unique colors: Safari Uni—a reinvention of Harvest Moon Beige, a color from the New Beetle—and Stonewashed Blue, a nod to the 1970 Jeans Bug and most recently seen on the 2016 Beetle Denim,” the release stated.

The price of this model has increased from around twenty thousand to twenty-seven thousand.

“Pricing for the 2019 Beetle Final Edition coupe starts at $23,045 for SE models and $25,995 for SEL models,” the release stated.

Twitter user @kegan_garvey shared her disappointment with the discontinuation on the social media site.

“they’re discontinuing the volkswagen beetle? how dare you, my car is iconic,” @kegan_garvey wrote.

Another user shared their disbelief in the loss of the legendary car.

“THE BEETLE CAR IS A LEGEND AND @VOLKSWAGEN HAS NO RIGHT AND I MEAN NO RIGHT TO DISCONTINUE PRODUCTION ON MY DREAM CAR! LET’S PROTEST RIGHT THIS MINUTE! #WEHAVETHERIGHTTOBEETLE!!!!” @Brickiseed wrote.

Don’t lose hope— after the bug was discontinued in the 70’s, Volkswagen revived the bug and released another version of the model in 1998.

Maybe they will breed the bug once more, maybe this time in a rumored electric, high-tech version.

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About Charlotte Gardner

Arts and Life Editor