Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business

Headlines

Last ever VW Beetle model rolls off Mexican production line

A Volkswagen “Beetle”, the final edition of the iconic car, is pictured inside the factory in Puebla, Puebla State, Mexico, on July 10, 2019 © AFP / JUAN CARLOS SANCHEZ

Puebla, Mexico, Jul 11 – German auto giant Volkswagen launched the final edition of its iconic “Beetle” car from its Mexican factory on Wednesday at a ceremony accompanied by a Mariachi band.

The bug-shaped sedan rolled off the production line to rapturous applause, the last iteration of a model first manufactured in the late 1930s in Germany and 1954 in Puebla, central Mexico.

“The loss of the Beetle after three generations and almost seven decades should provoke a wide variety of emotions,” said Steffen Reiche, the CEO of Volkswagen Mexico.

The limited, 65-unit run of the “Beetle Final Edition” will be sold in Mexico on the internet for a base price of $21,000 per vehicle, and can be reserved with a $1,000 payment.

Each car includes a commemorative plaque on its left side, numbered from one to 65.

It will be available in metallic blue, black, white and beige.

A final edition (right) of the Volkswagen “Beetle” is seen next to a last edition of a previous model of the iconic car, at a factory in Puebla, Puebla State, Mexico, on July 10, 2019 © AFP / JUAN CARLOS SANCHEZ

Dozens of factory workers had turned up from early morning to put the final touches on the car, which was unveiled after seven hours of work.

The employees wore bright yellow tops bearing the words: Thanks Beetle, as the unveiling proceeded in a festive atmosphere tinged with nostalgia for a car that has generated a loyal following like almost no other.

“Who couldn’t want a car like this, made with Mexican hands?” said Roberto Benitez, a 40-year-old production technician.

“It’s always sad, you feel like part of one. That’s the daily work, full shifts to get the best results, it makes me proud,” added Francisco Bueno, a 25-year-old employee.

– Movie stardom –

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The production of the final Beetle model was announced last September by Volkswagen, still trying to turn the page after the costly 2015 “dieselgate” scandal in which it paid out huge government settlements after rigging 11 million cars to cheat regulatory emissions tests.

Graphic on selected Volkswagen “Beetle” models. © AFP / Gal ROMA

The vehicle’s history goes back to the Nazi era, having first been developed by Ferdinand Porsche with support from Adolf Hitler, who in 1937 formed the state-run Volkswagenwerk, or “The People’s Car Company.”

After the war, the Allied countries made Volkswagen a priority in an effort to revive the German auto industry.

The advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach in 1959 rechristened the car the “Beetle,” and began touting its small size as an advantage to consumers, according to the History Channel.

The car attained further popularity with the 1968 Disney movie “The Love Bug,” the story of a racing Volkswagen with a mind of its own.

Andy Warhol did prints featuring the car while a Beetle featured prominently on the cover of “Abbey Road,” the final studio album by the Beatles.

Volkswagen employees pose with a “Beetle”, the final edition of the iconic car, at a factory in Puebla, Puebla State, Mexico, on July 10, 2019 © AFP / JUAN CARLOS SANCHEZ

The current “New Beetle” model, first launched in 1997, is a far cry from the original that ceased production in 2003, but it retains the distinctive bug-shape and large headlights that appear like eyes on a smiling face.

Robust, easy to maintain and high-performance, it reached its apogee in the 1960s and 70s before its popularity waned and Volkswagen ceased European production in 1978.

Eventually its high fuel usage, weak brakes and poor handling led to it being overtaken by the competition, not least VW’s own “Golf” model.

Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...