Volkswagen Beetle Won’t Live Past Its Current Generation

One of the most famous Volkswagens ever, the Beetle, will be discontinued, as the company hasn’t a direct replacement in the pipeline.

The company’s Research and Development chief Frank Welsch confirmed this at the Geneva Motor Show, according to Autocar: “Two or three generations is enough now. You can’t do it five times and have a new new new Beetle.”

Before taking the decision to axe the Beetle, the vehicle was rumored to live past its current generation with the new car being built on the MEB platform and featuring an electric powertrain.

Volkswagen won’t be left without a ‘heritage’ model in its lineup, as the production version of the ID Buzz concept will take its place. This will become the new retro-inspired car, as a spiritual successor to the original Microbus.

“People asked when production starts on the car, so we decided to go that way. Better that than having five generations of a new Beetle“, added Welsch.

The Beetle can be currently had in two body styles, coupe and convertible, and the latter will be replaced by the T-Roc Cabriolet. Moreover, the open-top crossover will also serve as a replacement for the Golf and Eos convertibles.

Introduced in 1997 as a throwback to the original model, the New Beetle remained in production until 2011, when the it was replaced by the A5 generation. The latest Beetle uses the same underpinnings as the Golf Mk6 and is offered with both petrol and diesel engines.

Pricing in the USA starts at $20,220, or about $600 less than the entry-level Golf.

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  • Carmelo Van Cabboi

    I have not read anywhere in the article that they will stop producing it because of the low sales that has always been performing

  • Howstar

    Nevermind…

  • Dr Strangefinger

    I was on the fence regarding the beetle, until I saw those racing stripes!! Oh YEAH!!!!!!

  • sean tooher

    what a crap company ! the beetle should be going head to head with the likes of the MINI, shit marketing, shit price , shithole internal politics …. SHAME ON VW !!!!

    • But the car itself had become redundant. The Golf was there to replace it almost 40 years ago with a modern architecture. The Beetle was always designed to be a family car, but with the Golf, it reacted to what the market was changing into – small FF hatchbacks. The design of the Beetle, in that respect, doesn’t work anymore. By removing the the engine from the rear to the front, you made the Beetle smaller than a Golf both inside and out, yet wider, longer and taller. Because they were competing on the same platform, there is no logical sense or reason to choose the Beetle over the Golf. All that extra outlay over the Golf sealed the last nail in the coffin for the car.

      • Bo Hanan

        Read sean tooher’s comments again. The Golf was never a Mini rival. The Beetle was introduced to take on the Mini and VW never realized its full potential. It never became the boutique car that the Mini is.

        • khc

          “The Beetle was introduced to take on the Mini…” ?

          VW’s New Beetle was introduced in 1997.
          BMW’s Mini Cooper was introduced in 2000.

        • The Beetle existed 20 years before the Mini. Besides, the Mini was Britain’s post-war family car, in the same way the 500 was Italy’s and the Beetle was Germany’s. The Golf was engineered to bring the brand up-to-date with modern times, and is the official successor to the Beetle.

          With the 90’s Beetle, VW decided to back-step and pass it off as a retro family car, in nod of one of the world’s most iconic cars. The problem is, the Golf is a better car in every way because that’s what it literally was designed to be. Therefore, it’s biggest weakness / competitor was the Golf.

          BMW never had that issue with Mini because it occupied a segment that BMW didn’t have or that Mini didn’t have another product currently in. And as VW found out, retro worked until everyone figured out the weakness of having a much larger Golf which had a cramped interior, small, poorly designed boot and marketed towards women. The Mini was a customisable small car aimed at everyone.

          • OdysseyTag

            Well said Scott. There’s actually a lot different about the Beetle’s current positioning that one must take into account when comparing it against it’s retro contemporaries the Cooper, 500, 911, Mustang etc.

  • ediotsavant

    Stretch the wheelbase to make it four doors. Raise it and put an AWD system to make it a cuv. Then name it moaB, mother of all Beetles.

    • Bo Hanan

      I like!

      • EM1

        ediotsavant does have a good idea by making slightly higher with AWD. My idea would be to build it on the smaller Polo platform, making it smaller and less Golf like which people originally wanted thus paving the way for the future yet smaller MINI Cooper. MINI loves have also complained that the current generation is getting too big and BMW listened. Also, if you really think about it, Honda will also have a new competitor for this segment as they are building a small urban retro car reminiscent of the early Civic hatch of the late 70’s

  • fgclolz

    Translation: we don’t have product development money for a new one because of everything we had to pay out for that darn scandal.

  • YUDHA BAGASKARA

    speechless

  • Przemix

    Isnt it started the retro trend in the car industry? Or was it something else?

  • This is actually a good thing. We didn’t need nearly 8 generations of Golf to put the Beetle in is resting place.

  • Jerry Hightower

    Boooooooooooooo!

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Damn…

  • erly5

    People buy the Beetle over the Golf because of its looks, they are less concerned with practicality. Shame on VW for not allowing the new Beetle to fulfill its potential. The car landscape will be a duller place without it!

  • Six_Tymes

    not surprised really. a lot of reasons for sales to slump over the past 5-7 years. the beetle went out of favor/popularity before, its happening again, it time to say good bye. that said, PLEASE bring that cool concept mini vw van whatever its called to market, THAT will sell like crazy.

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