Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Phase-out of the original Beetle

By 2003 Beetle annual production had fallen to 30,000 from a peak of 1.3 million in 1971. On July 30, 2003, the final original VW Beetle (No. 21,529,464) was produced at Puebla, Mexico, some 65 years after its original launch, and an unprecedented 58-year production run since 1945 (the year VW recognizes as the first year of non-Nazi funded production.) VW announced this step in June, citing decreasing demand. The last car was immediately shipped off to the company's museum in Wolfsburg, Germany. In true Mexican fashion, a mariachi band serenaded the last car. There was also in Mexico an advertising campaign as a goodbye for the Beetle. For example, in one of the ads was a very small parking space on the street, and many big cars tried to park in it, but couldn't. After a while, a Beetle parks in the spot without a problem. Then a sign appears that says: "Es increíble que un auto tan pequeño deje un vacío tan grande" (It's incredible that a car this small leaves such a large void). There were other ads with the same nostalgic tone.
  • Brakes: front disc, back drum
  • Passengers: Five
  • Tank: 40 L (10.57 gallons)
  • Colors: Aquarius blue, Harvestmoon beige.

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