Call it the (new) Beetle.The world's first models of the redesigned Volkswagen (VW) car began rolling off production lines at the company's plant in central Mexico on Friday, with a bigger trunk but also a bit of linguistic baggage.
Company spokesman Israel Victoria said the firm prefers to call it simply "The Beetle", because "otherwise, it would be ‘the new, new Beetle' or ‘the newest Beetle'."
It is not to be confused with the New Beetle, a redesign of the original 1930s stalwart launched in 1997. VW's plant in Mexico's Puebla state produced 1.15 million units of the bulbous, rounded New Beetle between 1997 and 2010.
The latest version, the design of which was unveiled in April, has a flatter roof, a less bulbous shape, narrowed windows and a crease along the side and no flower vase near the steering wheel.
The company said on Friday it hopes to be producing 100,000 Beetles annually at the Puebla plant by next year, with about 90 per cent destined for export. The new model is expected to be in showrooms this autumn. President Felipe Calderon beamed as he climbed into the driver's seat of a bright red Beetle the first to come off the line but even he seemed to refer to it by the old name.
"It is a point of pride for Mexico to know that the new Beetle will be fully produced in our country," Calderon said.
He also took the opportunity to praise the car's ancestor, which is now sort of known as the old Beetle, or as Calderon called it, the "much loved Volkswagen ‘Vocho'".
That is a Mexican word roughly equivalent to the American nickname the "Bug" that was applied to the original design, a car known formally in dealerships in Mexico as "The Sedan".
While the new sedan hearkens back a bit more to the original design widely loved in Mexico because of its low cost and ease of repair Andreas Hinrichs, president of the board of VW's Mexico subsidiary, said the latest Beetle isn't an everyman's car.
"Our current Beetle is not a people's car in this sense, but rather an automobile for a style of life," Hinrichs said.
From / Gulf News