Believe it or not, Volkswagen’s T2 Microbus is still on sale in mildly updated form in Brazil, where it is called the Kombi. However, it appears that the end is finally approaching for the iconic but ancient people hauler.
Production of the Kombi will cease at the end of 2013, Volkswagen of Brazil CEO Thomas Schmall revealed to Car and Driver at the International Suppliers Fair in Wolfsburg. Not surprisingly, stricter upcoming safety laws have spelled its demise.
The Kombi first appeared in Brazilian dealerships in 1957, seven years after its birth as the Type 2 in Germany. It has been a strong seller in Brazil over the years, hitting the 1.5-million mark last November.
The current Kombi, an evolution of the second-generation Microbus that launched in 1967, has changed relatively little during the course of its lifespan. In 2005, Volkswagen swapped out the ancient, air-cooled flat-four for an 80-horsepower 1.4 water-cooled straight-four, which necessitated a somewhat unsightly front grille.
While Volkswagen has stated that it intends to eventually field a new entry in the Brazilian commercial vehicle segment, the automaker has officially canceled plans to build a production version of the Microbus-inspired Bulli concept.