On This Day

Volkswagen Beetle

The last edition of an 'old style' VW Beetle
The last edition of an 'old style' VW Beetle

Historical Context

Commissioned by Adolf Hitler as a "People's Car" in the 1930s the Volkswagen Beetle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche and his design team at Porsche. Significantly the car had a rear engine, unusual for the time. Only small numbers were made before WWII halted production.

After the war, production soared aided by an iconic advertising campaign "Think small". Nicknamed "the Beetle" it overtook the Model T Ford as the best-selling car in the world in 1972, selling over 15 million. It was only after 80 years that Volkswagen announced in 2018 that it would finally cease production in 2019.

Photo Info

Location taken: Puebla, Mexico

Related Events

  • 1936-02-15 Adolf Hitler announces construction of the Volkswagen Beetle (the People's Car, aka the K√§fer/Beetle)
  • 1972-02-17 Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle model exceed those of Ford Model T
  • 1978-01-19 The last Volkswagen Beetle made in Germany leaves VW's plant in Emden. Beetle production in Latin America would continue until 2003.
  • 2003-07-30 The last 'old style' Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line in Mexico

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Historical Photos