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Posts Tagged ‘Volkswagen Beetle’

VW Intros Two Special-Edition Beetles

Modern takes on classic Bugs.

by on Nov.17, 2015

The new Volkswagen Beetle Dune shown with a classic VW Baja Bug of the 1960s.

Volkswagen is drawing inspiration from its past for two special-edition models debuting at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The Beetle Dune, says VW, “draws inspiration” from the classic Baja Bugs of the 1960s. The Beetle Denim, meanwhile, is a “contemporary tribute to the 1970s Beetle Jeans model.”

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Of course, the latest version of the VW Beetle is itself more than a bit retro, picking up on the original Bug’s design, or at least as much as possible while still meeting emissions, crash and fuel economy standards.

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VW May Kill Off the Beetle

Cost cutting program threatens maker’s slow-selling product lines.

by on Mar.10, 2015

Despite adding variants like the Convertible, sales of the latest Beetle have been sluggish.

It may serve as the icon of the Volkswagen brand, but barely three years after launching an all-new version of the Beetle, the little car may be an endangered species, one of several VW products in the crosshairs as the German maker races to slash spending by about €5 billion, or $5.4 billion, by 2017.

Another model likely to vanish is the three-door version of the Polo subcompact, according to various reports out of Germany. Other slow-sellers, such as the Scirocco might also be targeted.

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VW isn’t reining things in entirely. The maker is investing heavily in its utility vehicle line-up, with a midsize model set to be built at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and a new version of the Tiguan to go into its Puebla, Mexico factory. Expanding those facilities will cost the German maker nearly $2 billion.

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VW Celebrates 65 Years of Beetle in America

Three generations later, car is integral to maker’s US success.

by on Jan.31, 2014

Volkwagen's history in the United States is captured in this photo of the 2014 Beetle, left, and the 1949 Beetle, right.

One of the key elements of the German post-World War II economic miracle has reached something a milestone this month.

The Volkswagen Beetle, one of the reborn German auto industry’s most enduring and fabled icons, celebrates 65 years since it first arrived in the United States. In January 1949, a Volkswagen “Type 1,” or Beetle, was shipped to New York City. Sent to Ben Pon, Sr., who was a Dutch businessman and the world’s first official Volkswagen importer.

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It was the first time the Beetle, which went on to become something of a counter-culture staple by the 1960s, was sold in the United States. In fact, sales skyrocketed by 100% after the first one was arrived: VW sent a second one that year and it sold too. (more…)

VW’s Dune Concept not the Beach Boys’ Buggy

Beetle can go to the beach or head to the slopes and carry the boards.

by on Jan.13, 2014

The Beetle Dune concept is ready to go to the beach...or the slopes.

Perhaps no other car is as identifiable as the Volkswagen Beetle. Teenage girls squeal with delight at the sight of the convertible and young boys love to see the Super Beetle racing along the sand.

Well, the convertible has been around for a while so VW decided to throw a bone to the other half as it introduced its new Beetle Dune concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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The concept is painted in a yellowish-orange metallic VW calls “Arizona,” while the two-part wheel-arch extensions that are offset in black. The interior is spare with the same color scheme throughout. In short, it looks every bit the part of a dune buggy or sand racer. (more…)

Volkswagen Does It, Again – It Just Took 39 Years

Maker continues gaining momentum after decades of trouble.

by on Dec.04, 2012

No longer running on empty. VW is betting products like the new Beetle Convertible will help it continue gaining momentum.

Considering the strong performance by most automakers in November it might be easy to downplay the numbers from Volkswagen AG.  After all, the maker reported a gain of “only” 29% for the month, less than half the increase of little Subaru.

It was, nonetheless, the best VW has done in nearly four decades – since November 1973, to be more precise – when the original Beetle was still the most successful import product in the U.S. market and names like Toyota, Nissan and Honda were barely on the radar for American car buyers.

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Things would change rapidly in the mid to late-1970s. Buoyed by the sudden surge in demand for high-mileage products in the wake of twin Mideast oil shocks, Japanese makers rapidly gained traction. VW tried to fight back with the little Rabbit but its early success was short-circuited by higher prices and lower quality, twin problems that nearly sank the German maker.

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VW Looks at Low Cost Brand for Emerging Markets

German maker hopes to halve current base price.

by on Oct.15, 2012

A 1946 "people's car." VW is looking at ways to repeat its success by targeting emerging markets with a new bare-bones car line.

It’s first “people’s car,” the Beetle, was originally designed to help get a new generation of German drivers on the road – and during the ‘50s and ‘60s became the car of choice in the U.S. and many other markets for first-time buyers.

But the latest version of the Volkswagen Bug is anything but an economy car.  And with automakers anxiously eying opportunities in today’s emerging markets, that has VW thinking about ways to repeat its past success – possibly by launching an all-new line of economy models that could be sold for as little as $6,500, the maker has confirmed.

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The maker has considered several ways to get there, possibly by partnering with erstwhile competitors such as Malaysia’s Proton or Japan’s Suzuki, but VW officials are now focused on launching a new sub-brand of their own, they’ve confirmed in several interviews.

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VW Beetle: Mini 911 or a Big Mistake?

In an effort to broaden its appeal Beetle is more aggressive, less cute.

by on May.30, 2012

Everything old is new again: the newest Beetle lined up against a silhouette of the original "people's car."

This is a story about the Volkswagen Beetle, not the New Beetle, which is actually the old Beetle. But not the really old Beetle, the one designed by Ferdinand Porsche for Adolf Hitler prior to World War II. That’s because the old Beetle was actually called the New Beetle while this new Beetle is simply called Beetle. Or you can just call it Bug. Whatever is easier.

VW’s goal with the new Bug is to broaden its appeal beyond its mostly female base who loved the old car because of its iconic – and more importantly cute – styling.

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So the new Beetle is less bubble-like. It’s wider and lower with a flatter roof. The front end is more aggressive. There’s a bit of wedge shape rising toward the back end. Inside, it’s not surprising that the flower vase is gone.

It’s a huge gamble. While sales had slowed, there was still a core group of people who were mesmerized by the cute-as-a-bug-in-a-rug styling. There have been plenty of slick wedges, but the New Beetle was different in a world of same. It’s still different, but a little more normal.

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Volkswagen Hints at Production Plans for Beetle R

Updated CC also debuts in LA.

by on Nov.17, 2011

VW is hinting at production plans for the Beetle R concept -- if it gets a good response at the LA show.

You think only the Chinese are good at copying?  Well, take a closer look at what the Germans have in store, notably the folks up at Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg, where they appear to be readying their own version of the vaunted BMW M series, shifting down the alphabet and coming up with the new VW R line.

The new Volkswagen R GmbH subsidiary has already tipped its hands with the Golf R and Scirocco models, the potential next-in-line offering making its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this past September.

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With the Volkswagen Beetle R Concept now crossing the Atlantic for a North American debut at the L.A. Auto Show it appears the prototype is going to make the jump to production, as well.

The concept offers a glimpse of how the Beetle will look when equipped with different bumpers with three contrasting air intakes and a front spoiler/air splitter, 20-inch wheels with five triple spokes and blue R brake calipers.

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VW Will Export Beetles to China

Fiat also planning to export 500 from Mexico to China.

by on Aug.26, 2011

The latest-generation Beetle will soon be going on sale in China.

In an unusual turn, Volkswagen plans to export the new 2012 Beetle from Mexico to China.

Only the third generation of the iconic VW small car, the 2012 Beetle will go on sale in the U.S. in October, then follow in markets around the world. VW officials don’t expect the latest version of the “Bug” to come close to the sales levels of the ‘60s and ‘70s but hope it will serve as a halo vehicle to build demand for the rest of the line-up.

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That could prove especially important in China, where Volkswagen is locked into a fierce battle for market dominance with arch-rival General Motors.  VW has a large production base in China but has decided to rely on Mexico as its central source for the new Beetle rather than duplicate tooling.

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First Drive: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle

Forward into the past.

by on Jul.15, 2011

The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle may be a very modern car but its heritage design is unmistakable.

Less flower, more power.  That’s the message Volkswagen hopes to get out as it prepares for the upcoming launch of the third-generation Volkswagen Beetle.

As unlikely as it might seem, that’s not a typo.  Since the original “people’s car,” or Volkswagen, was introduced in the dark days before the Second World War, it has gone through any number of refinements, but only two complete updates.  And the last time VW revealed a redesign it wound up with the New Beetle, an insufferably sweet “chick car” that largely alienated the male half of the automotive buying public.

Not so this time, as VW emphasized during a global launch, last April, and at this week’s first drive in Berlin.  Along with the flower vase, the maker has abandoned the semi-circular shape of the New Beetle, the “21st Century Beetle” adopting what designers like to call a heritage design.

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Sitting side-by-side in the German capital’s Potsdamer Platz, it’s easy to see the influence of the original Beetle, the longest-lived and best-selling car in global automotive history.  The new model regains the classic silhouette, with its long, rounded snout and a lower, more aggressive roof-line.  Aggressive is the active word, for VW, which believes the new edition can appeal to both men and women with its more sporty look.

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