The iconic bug-inspired car that made the Volkswagen car so endearing in India will no more be produced by its manufacturer.
Volkswagen, the company behind the peppy brand in an announcement made on Thursday confirmed that it will end the production of Beetles from 2019 onwards.
A pair of final editions, including a few commercial and collectors editions, are expected.
The car with a charming retro appeal with rounded bi-xenon headlamps starred in a popular Disney cartoon feature film called 'The Love Bug' in 1969.
In fact the Beetle also featured in the Bollywood film- Akayla alongside Amitabh Bachhan. Sudesh Bhosle crooned 'Chal Chal Re Chal Meri Rampyari', for a modified Yellow Beetle car.
Among proud owners of Beetles in India are Bollywood Actor Imran Khan who had shipped a Beetle from Europe as a gift to his wife. Actor Arshad Warsi also owns a Beetle. Actress Bipasha Basu who has been reported of owning expensive cars, has a red Beetle. Apparently she named her car 'Brad'.
Expensive landing costs, thanks to higher custom duties has dented sales for Volkswagen, the German company known to have been formed by Adolf Hitler's policies. The Fuehrer formed a state owned automobile company in 1937, and among the first objectives of this firm was to produce cars for as low as 1000 Reichsmark (approximately $140 back in 1938).
Surrounded by fuel-emission scandals since 2006, Volkswagen persisted with models such as Jetta, Tiguan and Bettle and shipping cars from its Mexican factory, but dipping worldwide sales and consumer preferance for electric-cars have forced the German brand to brain-storm on a newer strategy.
Although officially out of production from next year, Hinrich Woebcken, VW's CEO in a statement said, "I would say, never say never," hinting that a futuristic model could be made available.
An electric version of the Beetle has been speculated, but a detailed response from Volkswagen is yet awaited.
According to the company's statement, two special Beetle models will join the final lineup – Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL with driver-assistance technology, but released for US markets.
The electric Beetle should be peppy, but till then RIP.