Discussion:
Volkswagen Beetle, 1938-2019, last one rolled off assembly line yesterday
(too old to reply)
Jason
2019-07-11 11:47:42 UTC
Permalink
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vw-beetle-production-halted-vw-beetle-goes-extinct-as-last-one-rolls-off-assembly-line-in-mexico/

Originally a project under Hitler to project Nazi prestige, the Beetle really came alive after World War II.

By 1955, the 1 millionth Beetle had rolled off the assembly line in what's now the town of Wolfsburg.

The U.S. became Volkswagen's most important foreign market, peaking at 563,522 cars in 1968, or 40% of production.

Frankfurt, Germany — Volkswagen is halting production of the last version of its Beetle model this week at its plant in Puebla, Mexico. It's the end of the road for a vehicle that has symbolized many things over a history spanning the eight decades since 1938.

It has been: a part of Germany's darkest hours as a never-realized Nazi prestige project. A symbol of Germany's postwar economic renaissance and rising middle-class prosperity. An example of globalization, sold and recognized all over the world. An emblem of the 1960s counterculture in the U.S. Above all, the car remains a landmark in design, as recognizable as the Coca-Cola bottle.

The car's original design -- a rounded silhouette with seating for four or five, nearly vertical windshield and the air-cooled engine in the rear -- can be traced back to Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche, who was hired to fulfill German dictator Adolf Hitler's project for a "people's car" that would spread auto ownership the way the Ford Model T had in the U.S.

VW_Beetle_1938.jpg

Aspects of the car bore similarities to the Tatra T97, made in Czechoslovakia in 1937, and to sketches by Hungarian engineer Bela Barenyi published in 1934. Mass production of what was called the KdF-Wagen, based on the acronym of the Nazi labor organization under whose auspices it was to be sold, was canceled due to World War II. Instead, the massive new plant in what was then countryside east of Hanover turned out military vehicles, using forced laborers from all over Europe under miserable conditions.

Relaunched as a civilian carmaker under supervision of the British occupation authorities, the Volkswagen factory was transferred in 1949 to the Germany government and the state of Lower Saxony, which still owns part of the company. By 1955, the 1 millionth Beetle -- officially called the Type 1 -- had rolled off the assembly line in what's now the town of Wolfsburg.

"Think small"
The U.S. became Volkswagen's most important foreign market, peaking at 563,522 cars in 1968, or 40% of production. Unconventional, sometimes humorous advertising from agency Doyle Dane Bernbach urged car buyers to "Think small."

"Unlike in West Germany, where its low price, quality and durability stood for a new postwar normality, in the United States the Beetle's characteristics lent it a profoundly unconventional air in a car culture dominated by size and showmanship," wrote Bernhard Rieger in his 2013 history, "The People's Car."

rts7uof.jpg
The Volkswagen Beetle Dune was introduced in November 2015.

Production at Wolfsburg ended in 1978 as newer front-drive models like the Golf took over. But the Beetle wasn't dead yet. Production went on in Mexico from 1967 until 2003 — longer than the car had been made in Germany. Nicknamed the "vochito," the car made itself at home as a rugged, Mexican-made "carro del pueblo."

The New Beetle — a completely remodeled retro version build on a modified Golf platform — resurrected some of the old Beetle's cute, unconventional aura in 1998 under CEO Ferdinand Piech, Ferdinand Porsche's grandson. In 2012, the Beetle's design was made a bit sleeker. The last of 5,961 Final Edition versions is headed for a museum after ceremonies in Puebla on July 10 to mark the end of production.

First published on July 9, 2019 / 8:58 AM

© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Larc
2019-07-11 14:35:16 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 11 Jul 2019 04:47:42 -0700 (PDT), Jason <***@gmail.com> wrote:

| https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vw-beetle-production-halted-vw-beetle-goes-extinct-as-last-one-rolls-off-assembly-line-in-mexico/

RIP!

I don't know many people in my generation who didn't own at least one beetle over the
years. A tan 1964 model was my first new car.

Larc
Kenny McCormack
2019-07-11 16:54:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vw-beetle-production-halted-vw-beetle-goes-extinct-as-last-one-rolls-off-assembly-line-in-mexico/
Originally a project under Hitler to project Nazi prestige, the Beetle really
came alive after World War II.
By 1955, the 1 millionth Beetle had rolled off the assembly line in what's now
the town of Wolfsburg.
Are you sure about this? I ask, because...

I think this was a news item a few years (maybe as much as 10 or 20) ago,
including the detail of the last one being made in Mexico.

I also remember there being some kind of resurgence of the Beetle a few
years ago - where they decided to start making them again. Of course, the
new ones weren't anywhere as neato/coolo as the originals and, basically,
nobody liked them. So, maybe this news item is about the new ones?

And note that there seems to be a lot of this lately - in various news
sources - where old stories get recycled. They never really tell you that
the events in question actually happened years ago, but, of course, they
never actually claim that they happened recently, so you are left guessing
as to when they actually happened.
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Louis Epstein
2019-07-15 03:16:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kenny McCormack
Post by Jason
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vw-beetle-production-halted-vw-beetle-goes-extinct-as-last-one-rolls-off-assembly-line-in-mexico/
Originally a project under Hitler to project Nazi prestige, the Beetle really
came alive after World War II.
By 1955, the 1 millionth Beetle had rolled off the assembly line in what's now
the town of Wolfsburg.
Are you sure about this? I ask, because...
I think this was a news item a few years (maybe as much as 10 or 20) ago,
including the detail of the last one being made in Mexico.
The last original Beetle...
Post by Kenny McCormack
I also remember there being some kind of resurgence of the Beetle a few
years ago - where they decided to start making them again. Of course, the
new ones weren't anywhere as neato/coolo as the originals and, basically,
nobody liked them. So, maybe this news item is about the new ones?
...this was the last New Beetle,
which I don't think really counts as part of
the original series.


-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
danny burstein
2019-07-15 03:20:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Louis Epstein
...this was the last New Beetle,
which I don't think really counts as part of
the original series.
Once they transitioned to water cooled...
--
_____________________________________________________
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
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[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
l***@fl.it
2019-07-11 19:37:01 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 11 Jul 2019 04:47:42 -0700 (PDT), Jason
Post by Jason
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vw-beetle-production-halted-vw-beetle-goes-extinct-as-last-one-rolls-off-assembly-line-in-mexico/
Originally a project under Hitler to project Nazi prestige, the Beetle really came alive after World War II.
By 1955, the 1 millionth Beetle had rolled off the assembly line in what's now the town of Wolfsburg.
The U.S. became Volkswagen's most important foreign market, peaking at 563,522 cars in 1968, or 40% of production.
Frankfurt, Germany — Volkswagen is halting production of the last version of its Beetle model this week at its plant in Puebla, Mexico. It's the end of the road for a vehicle that has symbolized many things over a history spanning the eight decades since 1938.
It has been: a part of Germany's darkest hours as a never-realized Nazi prestige project. A symbol of Germany's postwar economic renaissance and rising middle-class prosperity. An example of globalization, sold and recognized all over the world. An emblem of the 1960s counterculture in the U.S. Above all, the car remains a landmark in design, as recognizable as the Coca-Cola bottle.
The car's original design -- a rounded silhouette with seating for four or five, nearly vertical windshield and the air-cooled engine in the rear -- can be traced back to Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche, who was hired to fulfill German dictator Adolf Hitler's project for a "people's car" that would spread auto ownership the way the Ford Model T had in the U.S.
VW_Beetle_1938.jpg
Aspects of the car bore similarities to the Tatra T97, made in Czechoslovakia in 1937, and to sketches by Hungarian engineer Bela Barenyi published in 1934. Mass production of what was called the KdF-Wagen, based on the acronym of the Nazi labor organization under whose auspices it was to be sold, was canceled due to World War II. Instead, the massive new plant in what was then countryside east of Hanover turned out military vehicles, using forced laborers from all over Europe under miserable conditions.
Relaunched as a civilian carmaker under supervision of the British occupation authorities, the Volkswagen factory was transferred in 1949 to the Germany government and the state of Lower Saxony, which still owns part of the company. By 1955, the 1 millionth Beetle -- officially called the Type 1 -- had rolled off the assembly line in what's now the town of Wolfsburg.
"Think small"
The U.S. became Volkswagen's most important foreign market, peaking at 563,522 cars in 1968, or 40% of production. Unconventional, sometimes humorous advertising from agency Doyle Dane Bernbach urged car buyers to "Think small."
"Unlike in West Germany, where its low price, quality and durability stood for a new postwar normality, in the United States the Beetle's characteristics lent it a profoundly unconventional air in a car culture dominated by size and showmanship," wrote Bernhard Rieger in his 2013 history, "The People's Car."
rts7uof.jpg
The Volkswagen Beetle Dune was introduced in November 2015.
Production at Wolfsburg ended in 1978 as newer front-drive models like the Golf took over. But the Beetle wasn't dead yet. Production went on in Mexico from 1967 until 2003 — longer than the car had been made in Germany. Nicknamed the "vochito," the car made itself at home as a rugged, Mexican-made "carro del pueblo."
The New Beetle — a completely remodeled retro version build on a modified Golf platform — resurrected some of the old Beetle's cute, unconventional aura in 1998 under CEO Ferdinand Piech, Ferdinand Porsche's grandson. In 2012, the Beetle's design was made a bit sleeker. The last of 5,961 Final Edition versions is headed for a museum after ceremonies in Puebla on July 10 to mark the end of production.
First published on July 9, 2019 / 8:58 AM
© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Good riddance, these latter day VW's were not a patch on the old VW's
with their gas heaters etc.
That Derek
2019-07-15 03:26:42 UTC
Permalink
Arbitrary paraphrasing:

"If only Teddy Kennedy had been driving a VW, he'd be president today."

-- National Lampoon (attributed to writer Anne beatts_
Bermuda999
2019-07-15 13:52:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by That Derek
"If only Teddy Kennedy had been driving a VW, he'd be president today."
-- National Lampoon (attributed to writer Anne beatts_
"If Ted Kennedy Drove A Volkswagen, He'd Be President Today.

It floats.

The way our body is built, we'd be surprised if it didn't.

The sheet of flat steel that goes underneath every Volkswagen keeps out water, as well as dirt and salt and other nasty things that eat away at the underside of a car. So it's watertight at the bottom.

And everybody knows it's easier to shut the door on a Volkswagen after you've rolled down the window a little. That proves it's practically airtight on top.

If it was a boat, we could call it the Water Bug. But it's not a boat, it's a car.

And, like Mary Jo Kopechne, it's only 99 and 44/100 percent pure.

So it won't stay afloat forever. Just long enough.

Poor Teddy.

If he'd been smart enough to buy a Volkswagen, he'd never would have gotten into hot water. "


http://www.yourememberthat.com/media/7863/National_Lampoon_Ted_Kennedy_VW_Ad/#.XSyCxuhKjIV
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