“It’s impossible to imagine where Volkswagen would be without the Beetle… While its time has come, the role it has played in the evolution of our brand will be forever cherished.” — Scott Keogh, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America —
German automaker Volkswagen officially retired the Beetle this week — a devastating story for car enthusiasts and punch-buggy players worldwide. Despite the Beetle’s prominent place in popular culture, lackluster sales in recent years prompted Volkswagen to discontinue the vehicle. A five-piece mariachi band paid tribute as the last Beetle rolled off the assembly line at the VW factory in Puebla, Mexico — a ceremony Volkswagen Chief Executive Steffen Reiche described as “very emotional”. While it may be hard to say goodbye to the classic buggy design, the small-is-beautiful spirit of the Beetle lives on in other Volkswagen models like the compact Golf and Tiguan SUV.