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Volkswagen records its 500,000th sale of the New Beetle in the U.S.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2004 New Beetle Convertible Shown

Volkswagen records its 500,000th sale of the New Beetle in the U.S.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 7 -- Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced that U.S. sales of the legendary New Beetle reached the half- million mark. It was exactly nine years ago that the New Beetle made its worldwide debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Excitement for Volkswagen's original Beetle remained strong in the United States during the 1960s through the end of its U.S. run in 1979. Like a true survivor, it only lay dormant until it returned to the scene as an evolution of the original. When the New Beetle was introduced in 1998, it took America by storm, and today passion for the iconic vehicle remains strong. In contrast, it took nearly thirteen years for the original Beetle to accomplish what the New Beetle did in nine -- a half-million units sold!

"The New Beetle is fun, functional and enduring," said Adrian Hallmark, executive vice president, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "It maintains its strength and popularity in the market and its icon status promises that the New Beetle will continue to be a magnet for the brand."

Originally shown as the Concept 1 at the 1994 North American International Auto Show to an enthusiastic audience, the New Beetle's profile and classic elements satisfied America's desire for a design that was fresh and unique. When it entered the market in 1998, sales quickly exceeded the anticipated 50,000 units. It reinvigorated Volkswagen's performance in the U.S. market, and helped rejuvenate sales across Volkswagen's entire range of products.

With New Beetle sales came an insurgence of the Bug in pop culture: From the return of the "punch buggy" game to the 2005 movie Herbie: Fully Loaded, the New Beetle is truly a modern cultural phenomenon. New Beetle owners coordinate "Bug Ins" and attend an annual celebration in Roswell, New Mexico, home of the alleged alien sighting.

Volkswagen continues to modify the New Beetle lineup to meet customer demand, offering a turbo version in 1999 and a convertible model in 2003. In 2005, the New Beetle was refreshed with a more dynamic new shape, giving it a stronger, slightly more aggressive and masculine appearance. Volkswagen also gave the New Beetle an all-new 2.5-liter, in-line cylinder gasoline engine that delivers 150 horsepower.

For 2007, Volkswagen offers something for everyone when it comes to the New Beetle. Paying homage to the historical roots of the Beetle, Volkswagen for 2007 is once again offering a Triple White New Beetle convertible; and since the Beetle was always known for its tremendous value, Volkswagen will offer a limited number of New Beetles staring at $16,490.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Rabbit, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, GTI, Jetta, GLI, Passat, Passat wagon, Eos, and Touareg through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at