No more VW Bugs

… as its assembly line in Mexico has been shut down.

How will we play punch bug in the car on trips ?

I will kind of miss the old air cools. Noisy, low on power, and not much on climate control other than a window down in summer or carbon monoxide due to a leaky junction box in the winter.

I’ve owned 3 Type 1s and 2 Type 2s. Always a blast to have fun with in spite of a few shortcomings.

On a TV auction last year a small window 50s VW Bug went for something like 140 grand. Who on Earth would have ever dreamed something like that would have happened.

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It’s been reported that the plant will switch to making another SUV for north america. The Beetle in it’s modern form has been a niche model for some time.

Isn’t that the new Beetle plant that shut down?

The last “real” Beetle is in Germany… from the shutdown. (2003, as I recall.)

So in essence vw’s may still have bugs, but not beetles?


I remember well the late 1950s when the Beetle became popular. There was a. waiting period of 6 months from the time one placed an order until the new Beetle was delivered to the customer.
When I went away to college in 1959, the wealthy students had VW Beetles and many of the faculty had VWs.
The replacement for the Beetle as the “in car” on college campuses was the topic of discussion. No car today is as popular on campuses as the Beetle was back in the 1960s. I thought the Prius might take the place of the Beetle, but maybe the Prius is a little too expensive. Chrysler corporation may have had a shot with the Neon, but somehow it missed the boat.

In the mid 1970s, Chevy Novas seemed plentiful on campus along with VW Beetles. My favorite, though, was a friend’s huge Chrysler New Yorker hand me down. We could fairly easily get a dozen of us in that land yacht although on at least one occasion a Tulsa police officer took a dim view of us having that many happily seated double decked to all fit. :grin:

@Marnet. You are a generation younger than I am. By the early 1970s, I had completed my graduate degrees, been married for 7 years and was a parent. By the late 1970s, on the campus where I taught, the Honda Civics had begun to replace the VW Beetle, but were never as popular. In the past decade, I thought the Fiat might become the “in car”, but it never made the grade.

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I think you are correct. The last air cooled Beetle was manufactured in 2003. This end-of-production announcement is for the water cooled Beetle, sometimes called the New Beetle. There my still be some water & air cooled Beetles made from a mixture of old parts and new pressings, somewhere, for air cooled engine aficionados, but not by VW. New air cooled replacement engines and pretty much all the parts a classic-Beetle owner may need are still being made.

What surprised me that the “New Beetle”-the front engine water cooled model had over a 20 year run.

The folks I knew who owned the new water-cooled Beetles, especially the early ones, seemed to have weird reliability problems, electrical and fuel system mostly. They liked the car but had to get rid of it b/c it was conking out on them too frequently. Presumably those problems got resolved in later models, but apparently the car got off to a questionable start and never quite regained its footing in the market. 20 years is longer than Seinfeld’s run though, so not all bad … :wink:

Yeah, the Neon was popular with kids (cheap to buy, easy to fix, deadly to wreck) but there were too many alternatives and early engine probs. VW simply had an open field, zero competition. And that amazing 25 MPG!!! (17 for the bus.) Problems? Drop the engine (15 minutes at home w/ 4 tools) and tinker away. Needed a part? If there was a parts house open, they probably carried it.

The best model was probably the '65, with the engine bumped to 1776 (as big as you could get w/o splitting the case).

The big thing the early VW Beetles had going for sales was that they had at least the perception of quality. Everything fit well.

That’s kind of a silly cartoon

For a very simple reason . . .

The beetle that just ended production didn’t look ANYTHING like the one in the cartoon

Not only didn’t it look anything like the one in the cartoon, it had almost nothing in common with it from a mechanical standpoint

The Corvette of today has just about nothing in common with the original model from the 1950s, to cite another example. They share the name, but that’s about it

The only thing that has sort of existed since 1938 is the very vague concept of the Beetle, although as far as I know it wasn’t referred to as “Beetle” until much later

Eh, so what? New Beetles are just retro cars on a Golf platform.

Apparently not enough people cared. No different than a PT Cruiser, Chevy HHR, Toyota FJ, or even a 2005 Mustang GT. All designed for a retro-craze that mostly came and went. Mustang got modernized styling, all the rest got cancelled.

But then we have the New Bronco… In white, for slow highway cruising maybe? :wink:


At least all Corvettes have the engine in the front…OOPS

Well, at least all Porsche 911’s have the engine in the rear!

Wait, What? :upside_down_face:

#Why the Porsche 911 RSR Had to Go Mid-Engine

What is this world coming to??

Yes, plus they had a very good parts network. Compared to the torture to which Renault and Fiat subjected their hapless owners, VW owners had it really easy when replacement parts were needed. Virtually any part that might be needed was carried in stock by the dealerships–even fenders and bumpers. Compare that to the wait of perhaps a few MONTHS to get parts for Renaults and Fiats.