2009 Volkswagen New Beetle – Click above for high-res image gallery

The " New Beetle" was a smash hit when it debuted in 1998, and the cutesy little Bug immediately jumped to sales of 83,434 the next year. Over the next 10 years, however, Volkswagen left the spiritual successor to the original Beetle out to dry, and sales have steadily dropped down to near nothingness. AutoWeek is reporting that Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of VW of America, confirmed at a press event in Germany that a long overdue redesign of the New Beetle is coming in 2012, and packaging will be vastly improved.

The current back seat of the New Beetle is a real problem being far too small and uncomfortable for a vehicle in the small car segment. Jacoby says the next Beetle will have a larger rear quarters and better packaging, without growing much beyond its current dimensions. Jacoby says the Beetle will also be used by VW as a kind of low-cost halo car, showing that the German automaker has returned to its roots of building cars for the people.

It's great that VW is finally getting around to making the next New Beetle, but with 14 years between redesigns, we're thinking VW needs to knock the next little Bug out of the park if it once again wants to catch the eye of the car-buying public.

[Source: AutoWeek]

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