Home WORLD Building Last VW Bug in Mexico 2003

Building Last VW Bug in Mexico 2003

I feel confident predicting that no vehicle will ever match the 65-year production run of the original Volkswagen Beetle, which was launched in 1938 and ended on this date in 2003 at a factory in Mexico, where VW was still building them for taxis.

image credit: King Rose Archives

Workers painstakingly crafted the final car: a baby blue version marked No. 21,529,464 that will go to a museum in Wolfsburg, Germany, home of VW headquarters.Adorned with a Mexican flag made of flowers, the car was serenaded by a mariachi band playing “El Rey,” or “The King.”

image credit: King Rose Archives

The 300 employees working on the bug assembly line will be reassigned to other departments at the factory, which also produces Jettas and the modern version of the Beetle.

image credit: King Rose Archives

Volkswagen produced 3,000 “last edition” bugs to be sold at Mexican dealerships for $8,000 — a few hundred dollars more than the normal price. The design stays faithful to the original model with a few minor changes, including whitewall tires and a CD player.



The end of production sparked a fierce, international battle among collectors who have been flying to Mexico and shipping the cars all over the world.

This is the end of a very long story, and a lot of Beetle people here are going to be very sad,” said Ivan McCutcheon, editor of VolksWorld, a monthly magazine for VW lovers in London.