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The Reason Why The Volkswagen Discontinued The Beetle
From its first test run in 1938 Nazi Germany, the Volkswagen Beetle rose to become a worldwide pop culture icon. Adolf Hitler conceived it as a "people's car," which could be mass-produced and have the same appeal as the Ford Model T in the United States (via AP), but with the onset of World War II, the manufacturing facility had to focus on making military vehicles.
After the war ended, Volkwagen began making civilian vehicles again, rebranded the car as the Beetle, and by 1955, had produced 1 million first models. The Beetle generated so much buzz because it had a distinct round shape and a clever marketing strategy that employed catchy slogans like "Live below your means" and "It's ugly, but it gets you there" to position it as a different kind of car.
The Volkswagen Beetle became one of the best-selling cars ever; it was a famous symbol of the 1960s hippie era, and by 1972, sales surpassed the renowned Ford Model T. However, consumers began to prefer front-wheel drive models and more interior and trunk space, while at the same time, the revaluation of the German currency caused the Beetle to be more expensive for Americans to buy.
Volkswagen brought the Beetle back in 1998 and again in 2012, but sales were sluggish, as it was competing with America's obsession with SUVs. When the last Beetle was produced in 2019, Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said, "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."