It’s the end of an automotive era, as Volkswagen announced Thursday that it will squash production of its iconic Beetle next summer.

Time to remember the bug that carried millions of Americans, starred in its own series of movies and photographed like a dream.

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    The Beetle’s dome shape dates back to the Nazi era, but it became iconic in the 1960s.

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    The car has fallen out of favor in recent years. Meanwhile, VW is emphasizing SUVs and an upcoming line of electric cars under the brand name I.D.

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    The company’s U.S. CEO, Hinrich J. Woebcken, admits the end of the road for the Beetle is bittersweet.

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    Woebcken said in a statement: “The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans.” 

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    Woebcken didn’t shut the door on the Beetle making another comeback and noted that the all-electric I.D. Buzz, set to be released in 2022, is a modern interpretation of the company’s legendary van.

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    The car was first imagined in 1933. Adolf Hitler commissioned famed automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche to design a “people’s car” ― or “volks wagen” ― that could hold two adults, two kids and their luggage and reach a top speed of 62 mph, according to VWHeritage.com.

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    Hitler speaks at a ceremony celebrating the laying of the cornerstone for the Fallersleben Volkswagen works near Wolfsburg, Germany, on June 25, 1938.

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    A Nazi Party member rides in the back of a Volkswagen during a parade in Germany circa 1935.

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    The Beetle was introduced to the U.S. in 1949, but didn’t really become mainstream until the early 1960s.

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    An innovative series of ads for the Beetle turned aspects of the vehicle that consumers perceived to be weaknesses ― like its small, weird shape ― into strengths (ease of repair, economical gas mileage), according to Medium.com contributor Mark Hamilton.

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    The Beetle became a hot car with hippies in the late 1960s and 70s, but sales declined in the U.S. by 1979, according to CBS News.

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    The last of the original bugs was produced in Puebla, Mexico, in 2003.

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    A mink fur-covered Volkswagen Beetle on display at the Somerset Mall (now called Somerset Collection) in Troy, Michigan, in April 1976.

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    A revamped version in 2012 attempted to appeal to men with a flatter roof and less bulbous shape.

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    Still, a vintage bug from the 1950s can sell for as much $65,000 while models with a split window on the back can go for $75,000, according to CBS Sunday Morning.

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  • Alamy
    “Herbie the Love Bug” starred in several movies beginning in 1968.

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    Thirteen-year-old Stephanie takes a bath in a converted Volkswagen Beetle at the 6th Beetle meeting in Chateau-d’Oex, Switzerland, on Aug. 31, 1996.

  • Alamy
    Lindsay Lohan and Herbie the Love Bug

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Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/beetle-volkswagen-photos_us_5b9bda36e4b046313fbaa840

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