German automaker Volkswagen officially retired the Beetle two years ago today — 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.
“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.” —