Last of the Beetles

Mexico City - To the accompaniment of a mariachi band and workers' applause, the last Volkswagen-licensed Beetle car to be built in Mexico rolled off the assembly line on Wednesday, marking the end of a 39-year tradition.

Mexico's final Beetle, painted aquarium blue, rolled off the production line at the Puebla Plant, some 110 kilometres east of Mexico City, at 09:06 local time on Wednesday, putting the brakes on a process that first started rolling in 1964.

A traditional Mexican band played several tunes, including a fond farewell song, while Reinhard Jung, president of the Volkswagen Council of Mexico, placed a commemorative plaque on the car.

The Puebla Beetle represents the 21,529,464th such Beetle to be built worldwide. It will be shipped to Wolfsburg, Germany, where it will take pride of place in a car museum housed in Volkswagen's headquarters.

The first Beetles were produced in Germany in 1935, but since 1996, Mexico has been the only country still producing the bug-shaped car which is known affectionately in Mexico, and around the world, by its "Beetle" nickname.

Jung paid tribute to the Mexican workers who "not only participated in the production of the car, but also the creation of a legend, a legend that will remain in the hearts and minds of all those that had the Beetle as a friend."

The final 46-horsepower Puebla Beetle is fitted with a 1.6-litre gasoline engine, chrome bumpers and a "Final Edition" badge on its glove compartment. A Wolfsburg badge has also been placed on the front of the car.

Beetles retail across Mexico for some 84,000 pesos ($8 100).

The car was produced in more than 20 countries around the world.

Production ceased in Germany in 1978, after 16.2 million models had been built. Some 1.7 million Beetles have rolled off Mexican production lines during the 39 years in which the car was constructed in the country.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Children between 12 and 17 can now be vaccinated against Covid-19. As a parent I am:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Relieved, it's been a long wait to this point
50% - 2629 votes
A bit hesitant, and will wait to see how it goes
21% - 1112 votes
Completely against my child getting the shot
28% - 1468 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.85
-1.1%
Rand - Pound
20.49
-0.4%
Rand - Euro
17.30
-0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.09
-0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.1%
Gold
1,793.05
0.0%
Silver
24.33
0.0%
Palladium
2,023.00
0.0%
Platinum
1,043.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
85.53
+1.1%
Top 40
60,525
+1.7%
All Share
67,051
+1.5%
Resource 10
62,969
+2.5%
Industrial 25
86,659
+1.4%
Financial 15
13,849
+0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE