Feature

End of an era

The week's news at a glance.

Puebla, Mexico

Volkswagen is shutting down the last assembly line in the world to produce the original Beetle, the most popular automobile ever made. The factory in Puebla, Mexico, kept churning out Beetles after the car went out of production in Germany (in 1978) and Brazil (in 1996). Twenty-one million Beetles have been sold since the car’s debut in the 1930s, but nowhere has it been more beloved than in Mexico. Seventy percent of that nation’s families have owned one. Recently, though, Mexican drivers began turning to more modern cars, including the flashy New Beetle. Demand fell, and the end was inevitable. “My heart is sick,” said Antonio Cholula Olvera, who assembled Beetles for 40 years.

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