Love it or hate it, we can’t deny that the Volkswagen Beetle is an iconic piece of car history.
Sometime in the 1930s, Volks Wagen, which means “people’s car” in German, developed a car most people back in the day can afford and the result, the Beetle. The car was a small, curvy four-seater coupe that easily cruised down the Autobahn at 60 miles per hour.
In the 1960s, the Beetle was virtually everywhere. Even in the United States, this car became popular with everyone from free-wheeling hippies to thrifty entrepreneurs. Moreover, it was humanized in the movie The Love Bug.
In the Philippines, we even play the game pendong peace whenever we see this kotseng kuba. When we see a Beetle on the road, we quickly slap friends on the head who aren’t showing the peace sign.
In the 1970s, the joyride came to a halt. Germany pulled the plug on production late in that decade, and the Beetle became a collector’s item. It inspired nostalgia for the Baby Boomers, who used to treat them like clown cars and entertained their kids on road trips.
With its continued popularity, Volkswagen took notice, and in 1998, the Beetle came back.
It was completely redesigned as a retro-styled throwback with all the amenities and safety features of a modern car.
The sale of the modern Beetle wasn’t stellar but it was steady. Forbes wrote that Volkswagen sold 43,000 Beetles in 2013.
By 2017, however, only 15,000 were driven off dealership lots, and in 2018, the company announced it would once again squash the bug.
Volkswagen said it plans to focus on mass-producing electric cars.
The farewell video, titled The Last Mile, aired as a commercial during the Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. It features a cover of the Beetles’ “Let it be” (of course) and includes cartoon cameos from Kevin Bacon and Andy Warhol.
Watch it below.
Don’t be sad though because as history has proven, the Beetle can never be counted out for good.
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