Volkswagen’s final Beetle is leaving the factory today

Volkswagen’s iconic Beetle is officially going to be considered “vintage” after 2019.

In September 2018, the company announced it would retire its Beetle model, releasing a “Final Edition” series before completely ending production in 2019, according to CNN Business. Its last line of bugs will leave the factory in Puebla, Mexico, on Wednesday.

The Beetle, which has existed for about eight decades and survived three redesigns, is known to be one of the most recognizable cars ever made. From being the go-to vehicle for Nazis to an emblem of the hippie flower power culture, the car remains a lodestar in its design.

Its first model dates back to the 1930s, when Ferdinand Porsche (the engineer behind the luxury car brand named after him) opted to create a “People’s Car,” also known as “Volkswagen” in German, at the request of Adolf Hitler, though the car itself didn’t start full production until after the second World War.

The Beetle skyrocketed to fame in 1968 due to Walt Disney Productions’ film “The Love Bug,” which presented the bug as an anthropomorphic race car named Herbie, who partakes in the California racing circuits. 

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The iconic and original version of the Beetle — the design most notable in the ’60s and ’70s — stopped production in Mexico in 2003. Over 21 million cars were produced in its 65-year run.

Volkswagen introduced new generations of the Beetle in 1998 and 2012

“It’s impossible to imagine where Volkswagen would be without the Beetle,” Volkswagen of America president and CEO Scott Keogh said in a statement. “From its first import in 1949 to today’s retro-inspired design, it has showcased our company’s ability to fit round pegs into square holes of the automotive industry. While its time has come, the role it has played in the evolution of our brand will be forever cherished.”

The Mexico factory space will be used to create a new compact SUV for the North American market, the Volkswagen said in a news release, though they declined to disclose further details, according to CNN.

The 5,961 cars in the “Final Edition” series will be available in a convertible or hardtop, with starting prices of $23,045 for a coupe and $27,295 for a convertible. The last Beetle to come off the factory assembly line will be displayed at a Volkswagen museum in Puebla.

The company will commemorate the Beetle’s legacy with a ceremony at the factory in Mexico.

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