No more (old) Beetles
Sat, 7 Jun 2003 13:53:13 -0400
It may just be resuscitated again. The Bug story is almost like a B
Japanese movie "The Bug that wouldn't die." It's production was
completely stopped in Brazil about a decade ago, and it was brought back
by Presidential Decree! Seems there was an outcry from Bug lovers
similar to the "New Coke" fiasco here in the US. Production has ceased
for limited periods worldwide many times over the years.
After being brought back into production in Brazil, common sense took
over and nobody except the hard core Bug lovers could justify a car which
was the same money as a it's contemporary VW cousin the "Gol", got worse
mileage, less refined, slower, noisier, etc. etc. Sales died and VW
wanted subsidies upped to keep the line going, govt said no, stampings
were moved to Mexico (again). Bug production has ping ponged between
Mexico and Brazil for many years, they even had a joint venture between
the two subsidiaries to bring the Bug back to the US market, but internal
VW politics killed that idea, as did VW or America. The last thing VW of
America wanted at the time was to be associated with anything that wasn't
cutting edge and high tech, they'd spent alot of money getting that image
out and still had the bitter taste of the American Made from Mexican
parts VW fiasco in it's mouth.
>From what I noticed while in Mexico City a while back, the majority of
the Bugs were serving as Taxi's.
You're right that the car costs VW very little, but then again it's sold
for very little. It was always good enough, and had it's core buyers and
VW knew they weren't going to recruit new buyers no matter what they did.
If you look at the changes over the years, the car is pretty much what
it was when ole Adolf gave it his blessing, and VW has not spent much to
improve or upgrade it over the years. If you look close at the pictures
of the Mexican stamping plant, they're still using a couple of Krupp
machines and stamps from the late 1940's.
I'm a convertible Karmann Ghia man when it comes to the old VW's, no love
loss for the Beetle.
Like an old dog that's had a good run, but has lived too long to have a
decent quality of life, putting the ole Herbie to bed is long overdue.
Brett Dikeman <email@example.com> writes:
> While not Audi related, it's in the family. All these years, VW has
> been still making the "old" Beetle at a Mexican plant which also
> makes the "new" Beetle. VW has announced that sometime this year,
> they will stop making the original Beetle.
> Last year's sales were "less than 30,000 units". VW seems to feel
> that's measly- but AoA just recently matched that # in sales to
> this year; doing half the sales with one antique model compared to
> the company's US luxury branch isn't too shabby.
> I can't believe the operation was a money loser- not like
> they've had to re-tool the place with each new model year, I doubt
> was much if anything in the way of marketing, and so on- talk about
> your low budget operation.
> Kinda sad...
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