Bye Bye, Beetle: The final edition
It all began 80 years ago: on 22 June 1934, Ferdinand Porsche received a contract from the Reichsverband der Deutschen Automobilindustrie (Reich Association of the German Automobile Industry) to develop a prototype for a fuel-efficient and inexpensive people’s car, as Adolf Hitler had commanded him to do the previous year. At the end of 1938, several pilot models of the “KdF car” were produced. Following World War II, production resumed, and the KdF car became the VW Beetle – a symbol of the German economic miracle and the mobility of the post-war period. With over 21 million cars sold, the Beetle was the 20th century’s top-selling automobile worldwide. In 1998, the retro-designed “New Beetle” was introduced. This was replaced in 2011 by a model referred to simply as the “Beetle”, which drew much more heavily from the design of the original automobile. Now, production is also coming to an end for this most recent and final edition. To mark the end of the Beetle era, and to celebrate and bid farewell to this design icon, Volkswagen released two limited edition models in the United States and held an event entitled Bye Bye, Beetle at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.