Mexico City getting rid of VW Beetles

Visit Mexico City and you're bound to see scores of Mexican-assembled VW Beetle taxi cabs roaming the capital city's streets. Built in Mexico up until 2003, these vehicles are direct descendants of the KdF-Wagen envisioned by the Germans in the late 1930s. Unfortunately, they pollute only slightly less than their war-era grandparents, which makes the Mexico City government want them off of the streets soon.

Mexico City's government wants to replace the taxis, about 80,000 of which are VW Beetles, or "el vocho" as they're called in Mexico, with more modern vehicles that don't pollute nearly as much. The city transport and road ministry wants to rid the entire city of all cars older than 10 years by 2012, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The city is offering 15,000 pesos, about $1,500, to taxi drivers in exchange for their old Beetles. Many taxi drivers are apparently happy to trade in their old cars, reports the paper, since they eke out just 19 mpg in the city, compared to the 34 mpg more modern taxis average. Still, many argue that the Beetles are a part of Mexico City's landscape, thanks to their unique green-and-white paint scheme.