German car company Volkswagen (VW) won’t put out any more Beetles after July 2019, the company announced Friday.
“The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans,” said VW CEO Hinrich Woebcken, BBC News reported Friday.
The announcement comes after Volkswagen was caught in a fraud scandal in 2015 over selling more than 11 million cars worldwide between 2007 and 2015 that had software installed to allow the vehicles to cheat on their emissions tests. VW pleaded guilty and agreed in March 2017 to pay U.S. criminal and civil fines worth $4.3 billion, according to BBC.
The scandal cost VW billions of dollars in buybacks, modifications and contribution to environmental research, according to U.S. News & World Report. Sales dropped following the scandal, but rebounded in November 2017. (RELATED: VW Lost Billions In Fines After it Was Caught Cheating Emissions Tests. States Are Blowing All The Money On Green Projects)
The Beetle was originally designed as the “the people’s car” to meet Adolf Hitler’s request for a cheap car that could be mass-produced. Ferdinand Porsche designed the model in 1931.
While WWII slowed production of the Beetle, production skyrocketed in the late 1940s and more than a million of the cars were on the road by 1955, according to BBC.
The Beetle became especially famous for its role in the “Herbie” movies in the 1960s and 1970s. A modern “Herbie” movie hit theaters in 2005.
VW has stopped and resumed production of the Beetle a number of times, introducing new models to suit the developing tastes of consumers.
The company could resume production, according to its CEO.
“Never say never,” Woebcken said, leaving the Beetle’s future undetermined.
Both coupe and convertible-style Beetle models will be available until the company ceases production, according to BBC.
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