The Volkswagen Beetle and Mexico are inexorably linked.

From as far back as 1967 and running until 2003 when production ended for good, Volkswagen's Puebla factory produced the classic Beetle, and between 1998 and 2010 the factory was responsible for New Beetle production.

Now, Volkswagen has officially started production of the new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle at the Puebla plant, marking the continuation of a long and successful history.

The engine might not be in the back any more and nor is it air cooled, but the 2012 Beetle has clear visual links to its predecessor (and more so than the New Beetle ever did) with a distinct profile and neat details. Although the new Beetle will never match the original's 21.5 million unit production run, it's sure to become a familiar sight.

With over 15,000 workers the Puebla factory is one of Mexican industry's largest employers and it's also Mexico's biggest vehicle manufacturing plant, and one of Volkswagen's biggest too.

Volkswagen is proud of its connection with Mexico. Hubert Waltl from Production and Logistics at Volkswagen said “The Beetle is a strong symbol of our brand. It combines the emotional heritage of the original Beetle with the future of Volkswagen... [the new production runs] represent the great confidence we place in Mexico as a manufacturing location."