“Volkswagen said goodbye to the Beetle to make room for a new SUV. The German automaker ended production of the iconic Beetle in Mexico and announced that a compact sport utility vehicle will be taking its place. It’ll be a stronger version of a model sold in China, called Tharu, reaching U.S dealerships in 2021. The name will change once it goes to market.
VW announced the plans about a month after Mexico became the first country to ratify the overhauled North American free-trade deal known as the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA. The accord requires that 75% of vehicle content be sourced from North America to cross borders tariff-free.
The rules represent a “big challenge” for VW, whose regional content is now at 64%. Demand for the Beetle has declined due to years of low gasoline prices and the American consumer’s appetite shifting toward SUVs and pickups. Trucks have been capturing record share of the U.S. market, prompting automakers including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Ford Motor Co. to drop many of the passenger car models from their lineups.
The very last edition of the Beetle will be sold online through Amazon.”
- Bloomberg, 7/10/2019 and photo by Bloomberg and Susana Gonzalez