As we stand right on the edge of a brand new decade, it’s the perfect time to spin on our heels and look not just at the past year, but the past seven decades. Specifically, I’m talking about the Volkswagen Beetle, which finally went out of production in 2019 as one of the longest-lived nameplates in automotive history. Rather fittingly, VW published an animated short to a rendition of The Beatles’ “Let It Be”, sang by the Pro Musica Youth Chorus.
Love or hate the Beetle, this one will hit you right in the feels.
The short follows the story of a boy whose life is shaped by the iconic people’s car. Volkswagen produced more than 21 million Beetle’s during the classic car’s original production run, from 1938 to 2003. In 1997, a “New Beetle” came along, which ultimately morphed into the A5 model we know today in 2011.
With how many Volkswagen built, practically everyone has experienced the Beetle in some form. Nevertheless, as we roll on through the 21st century, Volkswagen’s former rockstar model has more or less faded into obscurity. In its final year, Volkswagen sold just under 13,500 examples.
“The Beetle is easily one of the most recognizable cars in the history of automobiles,” said VW’s senior brand marketing vice president Saad Chehab. “We are proud of our past but our eye is on the future.” To that end, the animated short ends with a nod toward Volkswagen’s upcoming electric lineup.
So pour one out for the good old Beetle. Some people still can’t let go, it seems, since most recent calls have been for an electric Beetle. Actually, I’m curious to see what that would look like too.