Volkswagen: The Beetle Will Die and Won’t Come Back - T-Roc and I.D. Buzz Will Take its Place
It’s had a good run, but all good runs also have finish linesby Kirby Garlitos, on
One of the world’s most iconic cars is nearing the end of its production for the second time, and once the current-generation wraps up, there are no plans to bring it back. Prepare your eulogies for the Volkswagen Beetle, because we may never see it again. Word of the Beetle’s impending demise comes straight from the mouth of Volkswagen R&D chief Frank Welsch, as good a source as anybody from within the German auto giant.
the Beetle will no longer be a part of Volkswagen’s portfolio once the current A5 generation retires in a few years.
All good things must come to an end, and so it is with the Volkswagen Beetle. After a production run that stretched from 1938 to 2003 — and from 1997 to the present day for the New Beetle — the Beetle will no longer be a part of Volkswagen’s portfolio once the current A5 generation retires in a few years. Volkswagen R&D chief Frank Welsch made that proclamation to Autocar at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. According to Welsch, “two or three generations is enough” for Volkswagen’s legacy model, adding that the company made the current version of the Beetle “with history in mind.” That said, Welsch also said that the company can’t “do it five times and have a new new new Beetle.”
The company makes a good point. The Beetle’s appeal only lasts for as long as there are people who still think of it in reverential terms. It had that mystique going for it for a long time, but with the industry itself being on the precipice of a revolutionary tipping point, the Beetle became expendable as new models like the T-Roc Convertible gain favor in the eyes of company execs. It didn’t help the Beetle’s cause that sales numbers have started decline as consumers have begun to gravitate more towards crossovers and SUVs.
The T-Roc Convertible is also being pegged as a possible replacement for the Beetle Cabriolet
Even if the Beetle is missed from a nostalgic point of view, Volkswagen has enough models to replace it without losing too much of its core values. The compact I.D. family is expected to take the reins of VW’s small electric car business. That’s one of the reasons why VW nixed the idea of an electric Beetle. The aforementioned T-Roc Convertible is also being pegged as a possible replacement for the Beetle Cabriolet. That’s not even counting spots for the Golf and Eos convertibles, two models that could also fill the space that the Beetle will be leaving behind. Heck, Volkswagen even has a successor in place to take the reins from the Beetle as the brand’s legacy model. It’s not coming for a few years, but the Microbus-inspired I.D. Buzz is going to fill that role once it arrives.
The Beetle does have a few more years in its life before it’s finally put to pasture.
As sad as it is to live in a world where the Volkswagen Beetle doesn’t exist anymore, it’s time that Volkswagen give the bug the rest it deserves. Fortunately for those who suffer from separation anxiety, the Beetle does have a few more years in its life before it’s finally put to pasture. Volkswagen hasn’t given a specific timetable yet, but it would be surprising to see it survive into the next decade. Give it two or three years? Seems like a reasonable estimate considering that most of the models that will fill up its spot are still a few years away from arriving.
And so it is, the Volkswagen Beetle is on its last legs. Here’s a toast to the incredible bug; it’s had an incredible run.
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