A Volkswagen Beetle is unloaded at Emden harbor, Germany, as the first shipment of 1,600 Beetles made in Mexico arrives.
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Volkswagen is halting production of the last version of its Beetle model this week at its plant in Puebla, Mexico.The car's original design -- a rounded silhouette with seating for four or five, nearly vertical windshield and the air-cooled engine in the rear -- can be traced back to Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche, who was hired to fulfill German dictator Adolf Hitler's project for a "people's car" that would spread auto ownership the way the Ford Model T had in the U.S.The United States became Volkswagen's most important foreign market, peaking at 563,522 cars in 1968, or 40 percent of production.Nicknamed the "vochito," the car made itself at home as a rugged, Mexican-made "carro del pueblo," Spanish for "people's car".
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