The Volkswagen Beetle is being discontinued - take a tour through the car's 80-year history

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volkswagen_beetle_celebrates_65_years_in_the_united_states_3631VW

  • Volkswagen will stop making its iconic Beetle after nearly seven decades on the market, the German automaker announced Thursday.
  • The first Beetles rolled off production lines in 1938. Their increasing popularity in the US in the 1960s prompted Volkswagen to build its first manufacturing plant in North America in order to meet the demand.
  • That plant located in the state of Puebla, Mexico, is expected to make its last Beetle in July 2019.

Volkswagen will stop making its iconic Beetle after nearly seven decades on the market, the German automaker announced Thursday.

The first Beetles rolled off production lines in 1938. Their increasing popularity in the US in the 1960s prompted Volkswagen to build its first manufacturing plant in North America in order to meet the demand.

That plant located in the state of Puebla, Mexico, is expected to make its last Beetle in July 2019.

Though the Beetle model range has been active in some aspect for 78 years, the New Beetle has been around for almost 20 years through two different generations. The current generation originally entered production in 2012.

It hasn't been the most-loved VW model and it's not the most exciting either, but if VW was to completely shut down Beetle production without hopes of return, the automotive world would surely collectively shed a tear.

We've put together a slider so as to not forget how far the Beetle has come.

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View As: One Page Slides

Before WWII became really swung into action, VW was able to crank out just 700 1938 Beetles. However, during the war the new factory built to manufacture Beetles was severely damaged.

Before WWII became really swung into action, VW was able to crank out just 700 1938 Beetles. However, during the war the new factory built to manufacture Beetles was severely damaged.

Post-WWII in 1947, the first civilian models were sold.

Post-WWII in 1947, the first civilian models were sold.

Beetles began reaching American shores for the first time in 1950.

Beetles began reaching American shores for the first time in 1950.

In 1971 we met the Super Beetle. It had more power, some new motor internals, updated suspension in the front, and added storage room.

In 1971 we met the Super Beetle. It had more power, some new motor internals, updated suspension in the front, and added storage room.

VW stopped selling hard-top Beetles in America in 1976. Convertibles were sold up until 1979.

VW stopped selling hard-top Beetles in America in 1976. Convertibles were sold up until 1979.

In 1998 the world met the New Beetle. Unlike classic Beetles, it was water-cooled, front-engined, and front-wheel-drive.

In 1998 the world met the New Beetle. Unlike classic Beetles, it was water-cooled, front-engined, and front-wheel-drive.

In 2001, Europe got the Beetle RSi. A 221 horsepower, all-wheel-drive little beast. Only 250 were made.

In 2001, Europe got the Beetle RSi. A 221 horsepower, all-wheel-drive little beast. Only 250 were made.

After building over 21,000,000 Classic Beetles, production ended in Puebla, Mexico.

After building over 21,000,000 Classic Beetles, production ended in Puebla, Mexico.

In 2010, production ended for the New Beetle.

In 2010, production ended for the New Beetle.

But in 2012, a new New Beetle came.

But in 2012, a new New Beetle came.

Along with an open-top version in 2013.

Along with an open-top version in 2013.

In 2015 we saw the more aggressive looking Beetle Dune.

In 2015 we saw the more aggressive looking Beetle Dune.

By summer 2019, worldwide Beetle production will officially come to an end as Volkswagen looks to produce more crossovers, SUVs, and electric vehicles.

By summer 2019, worldwide Beetle production will officially come to an end as Volkswagen looks to produce more crossovers, SUVs, and electric vehicles.
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