Throughout the automotive industry a few legendary vehicles have been able to surpass the test of time, they can truly be classified as an iconic figure throughout all the world. From conception in 1933 to post World War Two production, the Volkswagen’s Beetle quickly became a popular means of transportation. The Volkswagen Beetle is the most iconic passenger car in history, and rightfully so is the most produced vehicle in the world. Even though the car originated in Germany, it is the longest standing car in production in the United States as mentioned in every Volkswagen Dealer.
In 1949 the first Volkswagen Beetle arrived in America and by 1956 Beetles became so rare owning one had nostalgia about it; Beetle owners acknowledged each other by waving/honking and for others who spotted a Beetle the “Punch Buggy” game. In 1969, twelve years later the Volkswagen Beetle was one of the world’s best-selling vehicles with the help of the Disney’s beloved car character “Herbie”. Shortly after the success of the featured film the iconic vehicle’s production reached over 15 million surpassing the Ford Model T as the most produced single model in history.
The Beetle became a legend in United States; by representing simplicity, efficiency, modesty, seemingly timeless design this was a pioneer of change from the conventional 1950s “bigger-is-better” mindset. Its aerodynamic design, four-wheel suspension, low center of gravity, and use of lightweight metals made the original Beetle more advanced than nearly any car of its time. But there was so much more to the original Beetle that has made it the cultural icon it is today. The original Beetle was an instant success from its iconic look; its ladybug shape, smile-like hood, and bug eyes all made the VW Beetle what we know of it today. Keeping the iconic Beetle shape and features with slight modern modifications, in 1998 and again in 2012 the Volkswagen Bug had successful retro relaunches.
The VW Beetle is customizable, reliable, easy to fix, and an inexpensive alternative for most buyers. Since the Beetle has been there for it all, experiencing and participating in over half a centuries history, pop culture, movements, and memories. Not only has the VW Beetle been a stable in America’s culture, but has also shared memories across Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, and South Africa.
Earlier this March Volkswagen R&D boss Frank Welsch said there will most likely not be another generation for the Beetle. Recent news may clarify why Volkswagen isn’t ready to kill off the existing Beetle, at least in the United States. Their vision is shaping towards a hybrid successor for the Beetle, another design idea includes adding a new powertrain to the model which could spike interest into the aging vehicle. Although unwanted, there certainly will be a time when the Beetle will fade out of favor. However, Volkswagen will most likely push focus towards the T-Roc Convertibles to act as a substitute not just for the Beetle Convertible, but also for the EOS and Golf droptops. All good things come to an end, and unfortunately one the oldest nameplates in the business will phase out of the car industry because the model is gradually pulling in weaker demands. In the mean time we need to give Volkswagen credit where its due!