The Bug, the Punch-Buggy, ‘that Herbie car’, call it what you will - but the Volkswagen Beetle’s days in Australia are numbered.
The German carmaker has confirmed that the current model, the New Beetle, will be phased out during 2016 meaning an icon of the brand will once again be confined to the pages of history in Australia.
Sales-wise, the Beetle tracked on-par with at least two arguably similar Volkswagen products in 2015, achieving 240 sales. In comparison, the Scirroco managed 367 new registrations while the Golf Cabriolet found 288 new homes.
To date, 43 have been sold in 2016. While this figure is up on 2015, Beetle sales are at a fraction of where they once were.
So while there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that some ‘retro’ models are still popular in the Australian market, it seems the Beetle’s time is at an end.
Volkswagen is determined to see the Beetle go out on a high, however, and will farewell the model with a limited edition version before pulling the pin.
“The Beetle is such a significant part of our heritage both locally and around the world, which is why we are planning to bid farewell to the current Beetle in Australia with a limited-run special model that will offer some unique equipment and individualised numbering,” Volkswagen Australia’s Kurt McGuiness said.
“Rest assured, the current Beetle will get the send-off it deserves.”
Ahead of the arrival of the limited edition model, the Beetle is currently available as a single variant only, powered by a 1.4 litre turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 118kW and 240Nm.
Both six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions are available.
The deletion of the Beetle line in Australia almost certainly rules out a local appearance for the Beetle Dune, which was unveiled for the US market at last year’s LA Auto Show.
While the Beetle’s days in Australia may be coming to an end, the model will continue to be sold in overseas markets.
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