Beetle: The Birth, Growth, Death and Revival of a Cult Brand

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG071
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1941-2003
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Volkswagen
Industry : Automobiles
Countries : German

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"No other auto in history has changed so little and lasted so long."1

- Thomas Karig, Volkswagen Spokesperson, Puebla (Mexico), in July 2003.

"It is a certain type of person who drives a Beetle. All people who have Beetles are very open to ideas; they love life."2

- George Memetov, Founder of Classic Beetle Club in Minsk (Belarus), in July 2003.

"One thing is sure: the Beetle never will disappear from the roads of our planet and, above all, it never will disappear from the hearts of millions of people all over the world."3

- Mattia Zamana, an Italian Fan of Beetle, in July 2003.

The End of an Era

In July 2003, Germany's automobile major Volkswagen unveiled the final, special version of its car 'Beetle' in Mexico. Volkswagen revealed that the 'retro edition' would be limited (to 3000 cars) and would be offered in two colors, beige and aquatic blue, the only colors in which the car was available in its initial years. The company also announced that it would stop producing the classic old Beetle from July 30th at Puebla (Mexico), the only plant in the world making the original Beetle in the 21st century. Beetle, lovingly referred to as 'Bug,' 'Love Bug' and 'Beetle Bug' by customers, industry watchers and analysts over the decades, was undoubtedly one of the most popular cars ever made in the world.

Beetle: The Birth, Growth, Death and Revival of a Cult Brand - Next Page>>

1] 'Classic Rear-Engine Beetle Will no Longer be Built,', July 09, 2003.

2] 'It's Time to Say Adios to VW Beetle,', July 12, 2003.

3] 'It's Time to Say Adios to VW Beetle,', July 12, 2003.

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