German Quality

Art Directors, Lifestyle, Madrid photographers, magazine, Media, photography, picture editors, Strobist

In 12 years, VW has built 1.2 million units of the New Beetle, with the U.S. being the single largest—and therefore most important—market. Not bad for a compact car that started out as a designer’s crazy dream. Conceived in 1994 as the Concept 1 by J Mays and his team in VW’s California design studio, it drew such enthusiasm that Ferdinand Piëch decided to push for a production version. In 1998, the New Beetle was launched at the Detroit auto show. Its boxy, yellow press kit contained a flower vase, which was to become the trademark of the Beetle’s interior. The car was as cheerful as VW’s dealers, who finally had a car delivered to their lots that they could sell for way over sticker.

VW has decided to jump-start the faithful and do a second edition. Lovers of the cutesy compact can expect the entirely new, redesigned New Beetle to be launched next spring and appear at dealers in the summer of 2011 as a 2012 model—the U.S. market will be served first. Beetle production will continue to take place at VW’s Puebla, Mexico, plant, alongside the


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