A look back at the VW Beetle

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Volkswagen launched the Beetle in the late 1940s and sold over 20 million units of the car before phasing it out fifty years later. In 1997, the company redesigned the model, but demand has failed to match that of the original. VW plans to end output of the modern, third-generation Beetle at a plant in Mexico in July 2019.

An original Beetle leaves the factory in the 1940s.

A look back at the VW Beetle

A look back at the VW Beetle

An original Beetle leaves the factory in the 1940s.
An original Beetle leaves the factory in the 1940s.
Assembly of the Beetle in the 1940s.
Assembly of the Beetle in the 1940s.
Early production of the 'Split Window' Beetle in Wolfsburg.
Early production of the 'Split Window' Beetle in Wolfsburg.
Production of the 'Split Window' Beetle model continued until 1953.
Production of the 'Split Window' Beetle model continued until 1953.
A Beetle from the 1970s next to an early 'Split Window' model.
A Beetle from the 1970s next to an early 'Split Window' model.
German production of the Beetle in 1974.
German production of the Beetle in 1974.
The Salzburg Beetle was a regular competitor in rallys during the 1970s.
The Salzburg Beetle was a regular competitor in rallys during the 1970s.
An original Beetle is displayed in a German VW dealership in Germany.
An original Beetle is displayed in a German VW dealership in Germany.
Volkswagen revived the Beetle in 1997 as the New Beetle.
Volkswagen revived the Beetle in 1997 as the New Beetle.
The New Beetle retained the original's distincive curves.
The New Beetle retained the original's distincive curves.
A New Beetle convertible (left) next to an original.
A New Beetle convertible (left) next to an original.
Volkswagen gave the New Beetle a facelift in 2005.
Volkswagen gave the New Beetle a facelift in 2005.
VW released a next-generation Beetle in 2012 with more aggressive looks.
VW released a next-generation Beetle in 2012 with more aggressive looks.
The 2012 model had a more muscular stance than its predecessor.
The 2012 model had a more muscular stance than its predecessor.
Later models spawned performance variants such as the R-Line.
Later models spawned performance variants such as the R-Line.
Volkswagen plans two Special Edition Beetle models to mark the end of production of the venerable car in July 2019 at a plant in Mexico.
Volkswagen plans two Special Edition Beetle models to mark the end of production of the venerable car in July 2019 at a plant in Mexico.
 
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