Friday, 22 July 2011 1:23 PM
Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay - the new Volkswagen Beetle, that is. While the purists argue that it’s just not the same as the original Beetle, the lovers of power and performance scoff at the engine and gearbox, there are still plenty of people who love its cute curves and retro-inspired styling (and, as a bonus, they’ll probably never get a speeding ticket.)
Now Volkswagen has announced that the latest line of Beetles is full steam ahead and production has started in their factory in Puebla, Mexico.
The new Beetle has been a sales success story for Vee-Dub with 1.15 million units sold between 1997, when the new generation of Beetles was launched and 2010. The original Beetle sold around five million units between 1949 and 1981.
Volkswagen has proven a boon to the Mexican economy with more than 15,000 jobs created at their Puebla plant, the largest in Mexico and one of the biggest plants for the entire VW Group. In 2010, 435,000 vehicles rolled off the production line.
As well as supplying Europe and North and South America with Beetles, the plant also makes the new Jetta volume model (which is also doing well regardless of Jeremy Clarkson’s scathing column in The Times last weekend).
“The Beetle is a strong symbol of our brand. It combines the emotional heritage of the original Beetle with the future of Volkswagen,” Hubert Waltl, a board member for VW’s production and logistics, said in Puebla. “At the same time, the new Beetle and the engine plant we are building in Silao represent the great confidence we place in Mexico as a manufacturing location.
By Georgia Lewis
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