By on March 5, 2016

2015 Volkswagen Beetle Exterior-002

Aussies are clearly not in love with the Volkswagen Beetle. The company will scrap sales of the slow-selling vehicle in Mel Gibson’s homeland later this year.

According to Caradvice, Australian sales of the Beetle fell to just 240 units in 2015, a small fraction of what Volkswagen enjoyed when the first-generation New Beetle arrived on its shores in 2000. In contrast, Volkswagen sold 22,667 Beetles in the United States and 2,347 in Canada during 2015, according to GoodCarBadCar.net.

The launch of the second generation Beetle did nothing to stop Australian sales from drying up like the entire interior portion of the country.

Unlike when the model launched, Australian consumers now have choice when it comes to small, retro-styled vehicles. The Mini Cooper and Fiat 500 now gobble up ten times the sales of the Beetle.

Oddly, a convertible version of the Beetle is not offered in Australia, which seems like an oversight on Volkswagen’s part. If you’re marketing a model in a large, hot country ringed with beaches, why wouldn’t you offer the existing drop-top version?

Volkswagen plans to give the unpopular model one last chance to shine before it’s dragged behind the barn later this year. The stripped-down Beetle Classic will briefly go on sale, giving Australians one last chance to change their minds and fall in love again.

In a move that’s sure to set souls on fire, the Classic will come with no options and will be offered in a single color, News Corp Australia reports.

In a statement that barely registers a blip on the enthusiasm meter, Volkswagen called the Classic “a limited-run special model that will offer some unique equipment and individualized numbering.”

Clear the streets in Melbourne. There’s going to be a mob.

[Image: Beetle © 2015 Alex Dykes/The Truth About Cars]

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21 Comments on “Volkswagen Beetle Lets Out A Cry in the Dark, Killed Off in Australia...”


  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    The stipped car fans will not be pleased unless its brown, stick, and has a chipped Audi TT engine in it puttin out 355hp to the back.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Dingo ate your beetle.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    Mel Gibson will still be able to purchase a New Beetle in his homeland from Mohegan Lake Volkswagen near his birthplace in Peekskill, New York, United States.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “If you’re marketing a model in a large, hot country ringed with beaches, why wouldn’t you offer the existing drop-top version?”

    Australia has among the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.

    About two in three Australians will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer before the age of 70.

    http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/skin-cancer/

    The ozone layer is thin Down Under.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    The Beetle, whatever. Obviously Aussie chicks have better taste.

    Check out volkswagen.com.au

    Nice range of models, eh? That we don’t even get the Amarok is sheer folly on their part.

    Thanks for nothing VW. Your hatred of North America will be your demise.

  • avatar
    derekson

    SO when does the official site rename to The Truth About Volkswagen go through?

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      The minute that Volkswagen agrees to it, they weren’t entirely happy about the youtube situation.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Wow, another VW post since I made this comment 2 hours ago.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Maybe it’s a direct ploy on the part of the UAW to create more demand for VW vehicles. You know, as in if you repeat “VW” enough times it becomes a mantra?

        If you visit other automotive sites you may recognize the names of former ttac B&B lurking there instead of on ttavw.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Yes make VW No.1. Remember any publicity is better than none.

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          I’m about ready to join them. I don’t need 3-5 stories a day about VW and the diesel thing. Especially on a site that only has 6-8 posts per day. Pretty much half the content on this site has been VW news for the last 3 months and it got repetitive and boring long ago.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            Now begs the question on where to go next, my only other site is “Curbside Classics”, which seems to love anything with an H or T badge, and they really hate on GM because of Cimarron.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Other than styling, there’s nothing to recommend it over a Golf, which has far better space utilization.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      And there it is. The reason why the Beetle doesnt sell is the styling. There will be a lot of people who just wont take to it.

      Further to this the packaging doesnt work as well as the Golf.

  • avatar
    ...m...

    …whatever its other compromises, the new beetle was a design triumph, and that was its entire raison d’être…the new new beetle, though, is a design abomination, so other than compensation a fashion statement, it offers the market no compelling justification for its bundle of compromises…

  • avatar

    What? There were no hippies in Australia?

  • avatar
    Dann

    “Oddly, a convertible version of the Beetle is not offered in Australia, which seems like an oversight on Volkswagen’s part.”

    Not entirely true, VW Australia offered a convertible version of the first gen New Beetle, to limited fanfare. Obviously not enough takers to offer it in the second gen.

  • avatar

    This Beetle is too damn big. It should be a size smaller, off the Polo platform, not Golf based. It looks like a big, fat and bloated caricature of itself.


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