Volkswagen Beetle Lets Out A Cry in the Dark, Killed Off in Australia

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
volkswagen beetle lets out i a cry in the dark i killed off in australia

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

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Dann Dann on Mar 06, 2016

    "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.

  • Mjz Mjz on Mar 07, 2016

    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.

  • ToolGuy "Mr. President, no government agency, no think tank, and no polling firm knows more about the automobile customer than us. We talk to customers every day. As retail automotive dealerships, we are agnostic as to what we sell. Our business is to provide customers with vehicles that meet the needs of their budgets and lifestyles.”• How many lies can you fit into one paragraph?
  • Spamvw Three on the tree, even Generation X would have a hard time stealing one of those.
  • ToolGuy This trend of cyan wheels needs to end NOW.
  • Kwik_Shift Interesting nugget(s) of EV follies.
  • SaulTigh I've said it before and I'll say it again...if you really cared about the environment you'd be encouraging everyone to drive a standard hybrid. Mature and reliable technology that uses less resources yet can still be conveniently driven cross country and use existing infrastructure.These young people have no concept of how far we've come. Cars were dirty, stinking things when I was a kid. They've never been cleaner. You hardly ever see a car smoking out the tail pipe or smell it running rich these days, even the most clapped out 20 year old POS. Hybrids are even cleaner.