Final Volkswagen 'Beetle' model rolls off Mexican production line

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The end of Beetle production will see the Puebla plant shift resources to production of a new compact SUV tailored for the North American market, which will slot into below the Tiguan.

The employees wore bright yellow tops bearing the words: Thanks Beetle, as the unveiling proceeded in a festive atmosphere tinged with nostalgia for a auto that has generated a loyal following like nearly no other.

The Volkswagen Beetle is now officially extinct, with the last third-generation unit having rolled off the assembly line in Mexico this week.

The last 65 models of the "Beetle Final Edition" will be sold in Mexico on the internet for a base price of $21,000, and can be reserved with a $1,000 payment. The company declined to share further details about the new vehicle.

The original "people's wagon" - designed by Ferdinand Porsche in the 1930s on the orders of Adolf Hitler - survived its associations with the Third Reich in the years after World War II to become a counterculture classic.

After its multi-generational run as a brand mainstay and global automotive phenomenon, the Volkswagen Beetle is ending production. The 1968 movie "The Love Bug,"which featured a zany anthropomorphic vehicle, stoked Beetle fever". Powered by an air-cooled engine instead of a water-cooled one, its simple mechanics meant it was a cheap and durable vehicle that can be used by all during the postwar era.

"While its time has come, the role it has played in the evolution of our brand will be forever cherished", said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. In 1989 Volkswagen reintroduced a new version of the Beetle, selling more than 1.2 million of them between 1998 and 2010.

The Beetle had evolved significantly throughout its years of production. The German automaker announced in September that the Beetle would go extinct. That's right, it will be a museum piece in Puebla as a lasting tribute to the automobile's rich and storied heritage.

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