Is VW Thinking About a New Microbus Again?
By Brendan Moore
There has been a lot of chatter on VW fan-boy sites ( as well as other auto sites) lately about Volkswagen reviving the beloved Microbus again. Volkswagen seems to be complicit in that chatter by stating the following on their company Facebook page: “If you’re interested in seeing the Microbus on this side of the pond, now would be a good time to let your voice be heard!” Not to mention that the company is also soliciting opinions on just what would be a good name for the revived vehicle.
Further fanning the flames, Klaus Bischoff, head of design for every vehicle Volkswagen makes, told British publication Auto Express a few months ago, “I would not be doing my job at Volkswagen properly if I was not thinking of bringing back the Camper.”
The Microbus achieved iconic status in the United States, just like the rest of the world, sometime ago, so bringing the van back would be a pretty high-percentage bet, However, if you recall, VW showed off some sharp-looking concepts starting in 2001, then gave the green light for production of the sharp-looking concept for the 2007 model year, and then decided to pull the plug, citing cost issues and uncertain volume forecasts.
Instead, VW decided to do a deal with Chrysler to re-badge a Chrysler minivan as a Volkswagen Routan, which will never reach iconic status and is not moving a lot of copies every year, either. Volkswagen will be lucky to make 16,000 units of the Routan go across the curb in the 2010 calendar year.
But, those same issues of high development costs, high production costs and iffy sales projections are still present in any calculations VW is doing regarding a new Microbus, so the Microbus rising from the ashes like a Teutonic phoenix is still very much in doubt. And, even if the Microbus is brought back, it is very possible that it may not be sold in the United States, a la the Scirocco.
We’ll let you know as soon as we know something…