Germany: Bugging the Beetles

Is it time to exterminate the Volkswagen beetle, which has not changed much since it first began bugging the roads after World War II? West German Finance Minister Franz Josef Strauss thinks so — and in a recent speech he warned that VW had better begin to produce a car more attuned to contemporary demands for "performance, comfort and safety."

Strauss's attack was triggered by VW's request that the government relax tax measures that were instituted to ward off a potential deficit in the national budget. Turning the company's complaint around, Strauss charged that the carmaker has come up with...

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