The classic Volkswagen Kombi is set to finally end 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.
To comply with the new Brazilian market legislation coming into effect on January 1 2014, each new model built must have ABS and come with both passenger and driver airbags.
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.
Feichter said that to replace 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”.