Mexico and Volkswagen (VW) are strange bedfellows. Whether it’s pushing a VW Bus off an assembly line or building a classic VW Bug Type 1s up until 2003, Mexico and Mexico City love Volkswagen, especially as cabs. While it remains to be seen if 2012 will be the end of humanity, the year 2012 will be the end of the VW Beetle Taxicab of Mexico.
Mexico City’s Director of Taxi Services has declared that the VW Taxi Cab “has concluded its useful life.”
Mexico City is crowded, a population of more that 20 million people. This means a lot of vehicles on the roads and high pollution. With an effort to counter the pollution problem, Mexico City has laws on the books that say that no taxi can be older than eight years. With the latest Beetles being built in Mexico during the tail end of 2002 and production stopping in 2003, that eight year time limit has come and gone for the loved Beetle cabs filling the roads of Mexico. A two year time extension was put into effect in 2010 to give taxi drivers and companies a chance to update their fleets. Now that time extension has come to an end and no new time extension is in sight.
The overall impact of removing the Bugs from the streets of Mexico is not all that dramatic, over the years the number of VW Bug cabs in Mexico has dwindled. Currently there are around 3,500 of VW Bug cabs left in action, while most new public taxis are modern Renault-Based Nissan Platina or the second or third generation Nissan Sentras. We’ve always said that the greenest car is one that is already on the road, but after almost 80 years of production, the VW Beetle is long overdue for replacement.
VW Beetle production started in Mexico in the 1950s with Beetles put into service not only as taxicabs but as police squad cars, military vehicles, and utility vehicles. With the VW cabs Mexican run coming to a close in 2012 it truly is a testament to a classic, rugged, little car that is beloved the world over.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison