Volkswagen will end production of the classic Kombi next year, putting an end to 63 years of non-stop production. The nine-seater first went on sale in 1950. Brazil is the only country that produces the Kombi, or VW T2 as it is known in the country. It will have to stop production because of new safety legislation that will be implemented in Brazil, the biggest country in South America.
Each new model that will be produced will need to comply with the new Brazilian market legislation that will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014. They will need to have ABS and be equipped with both passenger and driver airbags. In an interview with Autocar, VW’s product development chief for Brazil, Egon Feichter, said that to meet the new rules, it will have to become “a new car.”
It’s probable that Dec. 31, 2013 would be the last day of production of the Kombi models. Feichter said that the new safety laws are the lone reason that has halted the Kombi’s production. The Kombi complies with all emission regulation required for new car markets in South America where it is still available.
The new laws only affect Brazil but since it is the biggest new market in South America, Kombi production can’t be continued since it wouldn’t anymore be financially feasible. VW’s main Anchieta factory for South America in Sao Paulo builds 251 Kombis each day. Feichter said that it is nearly impossible to replace the Kombi with a like for like model because “you can get two Kombis for the price of one normal car.”