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End of the road for VW Beetle car

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Volkswagen is ending production of its Beetle in 2019.

The move, announced yesterday, closes the door on one of the world’s most iconic car designs.

The German company said output would end at its plant in Mexico next July after production of celebration models.

The Beetle has its roots in Nazi Germany with the creation of a “people’s car”, but went on to star in a series of successful Disney films as a vehicle called Herbie.

But sales, particularly in the key US market, have fallen in recent years.

Consumers in the US have increasingly turned to larger cars such as crossovers and sports utility vehicles.

THE VW BEETLE
The Beetle was originally designed in the 1930s by legendary engineer Ferdinand Porsche – a name now synonymous with fast cars – at the behest of Adolf Hitler, who wanted to see a cheap and practical mass-produced car made available to the German people.

But the outbreak of war stalled its production.

The VW plant was severely damaged and then fell into the hands of Allied forces.

Following the war Production began to take off in the late 1940s, and by 1955 a million of the cars were driving on German roads.

The design found international fame in the 1960s and ’70s in films featuring Herbie the Love Bug, a racing car with a mind of its own.

The “New Beetle” re-design of the 1990s stormed the US market – selling more than 80,000 in 1999.

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