Volkswagen Beetle, the iconic car from Volkswagen is one of the most popular cars of all time. It was manufactured by Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003. During that time more than 21 million of them were made. In 1972 the Volkswagen Beetle replaced the Ford Model T as the top selling car in the world.
Ferdinand Porsche, automotive engineer, submitted a design for a people’s car, a ‘Volkswagen’ to the new German Reich government in 1934. He was awarded a contract to produce the car by Adolf Hitler. Production was interrupted by World War II but in 1954 one million Beetles were produced. Apart from the main production plant Wolfsburg the Beetle was also manufactured at Hanover, Emden, Ingolstadt and Osnabrück in Germany and in 14 countries around the world.
The Volkswagen Beetle ceased to be manufactured at its main factory in Wolfsburg, Germany in 1974. However the car continued to be manufactured at smaller plants in Germany and in countries around the world, including Ireland. Large manufacturing plants in Brazil and Mexico continued mainstream production of the Beetle until 2003. The last of the ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetles rolled off the assembly line in Puebla, Mexico on July 30th 2003.
The last Volkswagen Beetle made in Germany was driven out of the Volkswagen plant in Emden, Lower Saxony in northwest Germany in the year 1978 On This Day.