The classic Volkswagen Kombi is set to cease production next year, ending some 63 years of continuous production.
The Kombi, or VW T2 as it is known in Brazil, the only country where it is still produced, will be forced out of production due to new safety legislation coming into force in South America’s largest country, reports Autocar.
To comply with the new Brazilian market legislation coming into effect on January 1, 2014, all new vehicles must come with anti-lock brakes and dual front airbags as standard, meaning an end to the production of the more simplistic Volkswagen Kombi.
VW’s product development chief for Brazil, Egon Feichter, told Autocar that to comply with the new legislation, the Kombi would need to become “a new car”.
It is likely the last Kombi models will be built on December 31 2013, a full 63 years after the nine-seater first went on sale in 1950.
Feichter confirmed that it was only the new safety laws that prevented the Kombi from still being built, as it conforms to every emission regulation needed for new car markets in South America where it is still sold.
The new safety legislation is only for Brazil, but its position as the largest new car market in South America by some distance means it’s not financially feasible to continue with Kombi production.
Some 251 Kombis are still produced everyday at VW’s main Anchieta factory for South America in Sao Paulo.
Replacing the Kombi with a like-for-like model would be almost impossible, as “you can get two Kombis for the price of one normal car,” Feichter told Autocar.
Volkswagen will continue to make the VW California, the latest incarnation of this 1960s, Volkswagen camper vans which was launched in 2001.
There are many companies out there that renovate old campers, but the California is the only one built and sold wholly by Volkswagen.
The company also has plans to launch a new compact Caddy van in 2013, reports Caravan Times.
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