Events gradually overtook the 1970-1997 Volkswagen Beetle. The beloved Bug would be regulated out of existence in some countries, and outsold in others by more modern small cars -- including some Volkswagens. But if the Beetle couldn't compete against newer designs, it would come to play an important transportation role in emerging economies, just as the original Beetle had.
By the mid 1970s, the Beetle had lost its way in America, gaining upscale features that were at odds with its honest and humble persona. VW stopped selling Beetle sedans in the U.S. after 1977, and halted convertible sales during 1980. The last Beetle built in Germany rolled off the line in early 1978.
But, pared to its essentials, the Beetle's appeal as a "people's car" remained strong in developing nations, and production chugged along in places like Brazil and Mexico to reach a grand total of more than 21 million.
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