Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen of America, told Automotive News this year that the subcompact crossover would have a different name in the U.S. market.
On Wednesday, VW marked the end of Beetle production at the Puebla plant.
The new compact crossover will be a beefed-up version of a model sold in China named Tharu.
Demand for the Beetle and other hatchbacks has been crushed by years of low gasoline prices. Trucks have been capturing record share of the U.S. market, prompting automakers including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Co. to drop many of the passenger car models from their lineups.
VW announced the plans about a month after Mexico became the first country to ratify the overhauled North American free-trade deal known as the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA. The accord requires that 75 percent of vehicle content be sourced from North America to cross borders tariff-free.
The rules represent a “big challenge” for VW, whose regional content is now at 64 percent, Reiche said.
VW’s Puebla plant also builds the Jetta sedan and Tiguan SUV. Reiche said the last Beetle will be sold online through Amazon.