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.”
Unlike cars, Volkswagen bus promotes a spirit of liberty. It debuts a contagiously plain design back in 1950 with its code name Transporter 1 or T1 for short. This model, which is driven in all continents, is called the Microbus in America while Germans refer to it as the Bulli. Deemed as the first van in the world, this model is a worldwide sensation. Volkswagen is now reviving this automotive legend’s compact original figure and introduces it to the future with its latest concept vehicle. Staying as inspirational as its 1950 model, the new model highlights a spacious feature and a new clean styling.
In this new vehicle, Volkswagen finishes its remarkable Microbus concept in 2001 with a vision to revitalize the classic Bulli. However, some of its visions need time to ripen before yielding into something new. Now is the right time to make this vision a reality as the concept had undergone some sharpening and new technologies necessary for the improvements are now available. The new concept vehicle which is more affordable and compact than the last one is already displayed at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. This six-seat new version is powered by a new electric motor and is equipped with an infotainment control which can operate through an iPad.
This concept can possibly launch an all-new vehicle next to Sharan, Caddy, Touran as well as Caravelle which is its biggest rival. This new Volkswagen Bulli also has the potential to evolve as an icon just like the famous T1 Samba which still trades in very high prices and is also among the very few vehicles which do not simply fade together with time.