Volkswagen announced Thursday that the Beetle will be retired in 2019.
"The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle's many devoted fans," Hinrich Woebcken, Volkswagen's president, said in a statement. The Beetle debuted in 1938 in Germany, but it didn't go into mass production until after World War II, making its North American debut in 1949.
Volkswagen, which introduced new generations of the Beetle in 1998 and 2012, ended production of the original version in 2003. The retirement is coming at a time when consumers are more interested in larger cars like SUVs, but Woebcken said it's possible the Beetle could come back in the future. Volkswagen will produce a "Final Edition" series, CNN Money reports, with hardtops running $23,045 and up and convertibles starting at $27,045. Those vehicles will end production in Mexico in July 2019. Catherine Garcia