"The Beetle and Scirocco are representatives of an emotional and appealing class of vehicles, but it is not always about continuing cars from one generation to the next," board member Arno Antlitz said, according to Autocar.
The British publication reports the Beetle convertible would continue in production. We expect, however, that both body styles would likely die as their natural product cycles are nearing the end. The current Beetle has been on sale since the 2012 model year.
Antlitz's comments, which came at Volkswagen's annual corporate meeting, could be troubling for some enthusiasts, but they're not new. Rumors of the Beetle's demise have swirled for years. The Scirocco, another enthusiast favorite, is not sold in the United States, though hot hatch fans have long clamored for it.
Volkswagen has come under pressure to cut costs in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal and is placing greater emphasis on its electric vehicle programs and sport utility vehicles, like the Atlas, which could make halo products like the Beetle and Scirocco less critical. We expect the Beetle could die around 2019, which is when the Arteon upscale sedan is expected to launch in the US market.
Perhaps the rumors are having some effect: sales of the Beetle are up 20.4 percent through April to 5,405 units in the United States.