Workers in Volkswagen’s Mexico plant can put the Raid away, because this is one insect invasion to be happy about – the redesigned 2012 Beetle made its way onto the assembly line yesterday in Puebla.
A few of years ago, when VW announced it was investing $1 billion in the Puebla plant and adding an unspecified model to the mix, we couldn’t help but speculate that the new Polo or Up! could soon make it to the American market. Two years later, no other VW is rolling off the Puebla line, which makes us believe the unspecified model we were anticipating all along was the 2012 Beetle.
The new Beetle joins the Jetta on the assembly line today at Mexican plant, which is the largest auto manufacturing plant in the country and one of VW’s biggest manufacturing plants worldwide. It currently supplies the new Jetta to the North and South American markets, as well as Europe, while also manufacturing 5-cylinder engines for U.S. models.
The Volkswagen Group seems to be on-point with its plans to sell one million vehicles annually in the U.S. by 2018, and the Mexico plant plays a large part in it. “The new Beetle and the engine plant we are building in Silao represent the great confidence we place in Mexico as a manufacturing location. As one of the main manufacturers of compact class vehicles, Volkswagen de Mexico is a key building block in our growth strategy for North America,” Herbet Waltl, Board Member for Production and Logistics for the Volkswagen brand, said in a press release.
Although the Beetle has German origins, it has deep Mexican roots. The plant made history in 1981 when it built the 20 millionth (original) Beetle, which was rolled straight into VW’s private historical collection and museum. A total of 1.15 million New Beetles were built in Puebla between 1997 and 2010.