We hear Volkswagen has plans to phase out the iconic Beetle at the end of 2018 to focus instead on CUVs.

CUVs and SUVs are still all the rage these days and with the Volkswagen Group needing more money than ever to face the Dieselgate, new high-riding models are apparently on the agenda to bring in the cash. That’s why the beloved Beetle is apparently on its way to a second retirement, as VW is channeling its efforts on new models to cater the CUV/SUV market.

That’s not actually very surprising, especially since Maserati just came out with the Levante, and will be followed by Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, and even Rolls-Royce. Moreover, big car manufacturers with plenty of resources are currently filling niches previously unheard-of, with the most representative example being the crossover coupe genre (think BMW X4 & X6, Mercedes GLC & GLE Coupe).

Sales of the Beetle aren't what they used to be nowadays, but VW is trying to spice up the model with special editions like the Dune and the Denim (pictured). However, these are probably not enough to rejuvenate the once beloved bug.

The report published by Autoline goes on to specify the Beetle will be axed towards the end of 2018, but a VW representative contacted by Road & Track refused to “comment on media speculation.” If the modern Beetle will indeed be retired in late 2018, it means it will be discontinued shortly after celebrating its 21th anniversary taking into account the New Beetle went into production in October 1997.

Source: Autoline via Road & Track

Gallery: VW Beetle Convertible Denim special edition priced at $25,995