Tooning In

Beetle Mania

The beetle is juiced up--and (almost) ready to go. As consumers continue to drive sales of retro products that trigger fond memories of days gone by, it's perhaps something of a masterstroke for Volkswagen to revive one of the most beloved automobiles to ever hit the road. Forget what you may have heard about there being no second acts in America: A new Volkswagen Beetle is on its way.

Although an exact launch date has yet to be confirmed, Volkswagen is planning to introduce its much-anticipated new Beetle before the year 2000. Is it a meet-the-new-Beetle, same-as-the-old-Beetle scenario? Well, yes . . . and no. Volkswagen is sticking with the classic rounded shape, but 1990s touches will include air bags.

There's more to this Beetlemania than meets the road, however. In the wake of the vehicle's comeback, we've noticed other products designed to play on folks' affection for Bugs--including candles in that familiar shape. Can a return to the big screen by Herbie ("The Love Bug") be far behind?

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This article was originally published in the November 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Tooning In.

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