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Long live the Beetle! End of the road for iconic Volkswagen model

Long live the Beetle!
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Long live the Beetle!

Volkswagen is halting production of the last version of its Beetle model this week at its plant in Puebla, Mexico.

It's the end of the road for a vehicle that has symbolized many things over a history spanning the eight decades since 1938.

BCCL
End of an era
2/6

End of an era

For Mexico, the halt to Beetle production marks an end of an era.

The VW factory in Puebla, southeast of the capital, had long been the only plant in the world still manufacturing classic Beetles and more recently became the only one left making modern ones.

AP
Example of globalization
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Example of globalization

An example of globalization, sold and recognized all over the world.

An emblem of the 1960s counterculture in the United States.

Above all, the car remains a landmark in design, as recognizable as the Coca-Cola bottle.

AP
Nazi prestige project
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Nazi prestige project

It has been a part of Germany's darkest hours as a never-realized Nazi prestige project. A symbol of Germany's postwar economic renaissance and rising middle-class prosperity.

The car's original design can be traced back to Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche, who was hired to fulfill German dictator Adolf Hitler's project for a "people's car" that would spread auto ownership the way the Ford Model T had in the U.S.

AP
Think small
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Think small

The United States became Volkswagen's most important single foreign market, peaking at 563,522 cars in 1968, or 40% of production.

Unconventional, sometimes humorous advertising from agency Doyle Dane Bernbach urged car buyers to "Think small."

AP
Poor Beetle
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Poor Beetle

The two-door vehicles, nearly always with the front passenger seat removed, earned notoriety as The two-door vehicles, nearly always with the front passenger seat removed, earned notoriety as robbery traps.

Muggers, sometimes in cahoots with cab drivers, would appear suddenly to demand the belongings of clients trapped in back seats with no way out.

AP
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