Big things are happening at Volkswagen, led by a headlong dive into the market for electric vehicles, especially in the European Union. To enable that, the German giant’s assortment of models is undergoing a profound revision. Part of that process involves axing at least one of Volkswagen’s recent signature models, the second-generation New Beetle. Basically, anyone who was smitten by the retro specialty subcompact has already gone out and acquired one, so it’s going away. At the just-concluded inaugural Chattanooga MotorCar Festival in Tennessee, a 2019 Beetle Convertible Final Edition SEL was raffled off to attendees to serve a singularly noble cause.
Chattanooga is a growing city in the mountain South, and coincidentally happens to be the site of Volkswagen’s new U.S. assembly plant. The convertible was offered as a fundraiser to benefit the Erlanger Neuroscience Institute, the region’s only medical center dedicated to treating disorders of the central nervous system, including among pediatric patients. Volkswagen was also the major sponsor of the Chattanooga festival, and used the occasion to roll out its new Atlas Cross Sport SUV, which is assembled at the Tennessee factory.