Wednesday, October 31, 2012

VW T2 Bus/Kombi Production Ends After 63 Years

Right around this time last year I commented on the burgeoning European market for new, yes, new, Type 2 Volkswagen "Bay Window" Buses fresh off the factory line in Brazil. Brazil was the last place on earth where this endangered Kombi species continued to reproduce, and thanks to an entrepreneurial Dutch VW distributor, it briefly looked as if these majestic beasts would reestablish a healthy population in their natural European habitat. So it was with much sadness that I recently learned of their imminent extinction.
Last week, Motor Trend reported:
New safety regulations in Brazil mandate that cars built after January 1, 2014, must have anti-lock brakes and driver and front-passenger airbags. Redesigning the Kombi to meet the new standards would necessitate an entire ground-up redesign, something unfeasible and unnecessary when VW has numerous more modern replacements in its lineup to take the place of its classic van.

Unfeasible? Perhaps. Unnecessary? That's open to debate. I don't think any modern vehicle will ever replace the classic Kombis that have crisscrossed the Earth for 63 years, carrying generation upon generation of loving VW enthusiasts.

The last of these beautiful buses will be produced in December 2013 at VW’s Anchieta factory in Brazil. Tchau, Kombi. You will be missed.

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