VW Vans Coming Back to the United States?
Do you think the return of the VW Microbus (Hippie Van) is long overdue? Would you be interested in a new VW Pickup Truck? Both might be in our future.
VW cruised onto the scene here in America with its one-of-a-kind Microbus. And now Volkswagen is thinking about introducing a line of vans and pickups here in the United States. Eckhard Scholz, head of the light commercial vehicles unit for Volkswagen, expressed interest in the U.S. market just last week. Are VW Vans Coming Back to the United States?
“Pickup trucks are a dominating segment,” while there’s also a trend in the U.S. toward compact European vans, Scholz said. “We’re looking at both options intensively.”
Truthfully, VW has been toying with introducing a pickup to the U.S. market for a few years now. The Volkswagen Amarok is the midsize pickup that is seeing unbelievable success in South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia, and much of Europe. As of now, Canadian and U.S. dealerships do not have access to the popular pickup, but all of that might change in the near future.
If vans and pickups from Volkswagen are going to be successful here, Volkswagen will have to continue to pull American consumers into the current century by educating the market about the endless list of benefits to diesel.
As we showed you right here on the blog, diesel engines are still in the midst of a long-running public relations campaign. And if a diesel pickup or van are going to take hold in this market, there’s still some work to be done in educating the public. For some reason, only the United States market still sees diesel engines as the old technology that existed in the 1980s. It goes without saying that diesel engines have come a long way in the last 30 years, yet Americans struggle with abandoning misconceptions when compared to other nations.
The Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus/camper van, pictured above, was still in production in some markets right up until December of 2013. Around the world it is still called the ‘microbus’ and here in the United States the older models still represent the counterculture movement of the 1960s. The microbus is affectionately known as the “Hippie Van” by a lot of people throughout the country. The cult following of the VW Microbus has never diminished over the years. Subsequently, a fairly large cross section of the U.S. market still believes that a more efficient, up-to-date model that maintains the overall appearance of the original generation would do well in the United States.
In many ways, bringing back the VW Van/Microbus wouldn’t be that unlike the resurgence of the new VW Beetle. The Beetle still enjoys unbelievable popularity as one of the most recognizable vehicles in history. It’s more efficient, more safe, and modern, but it still looks like a Beetle. The same could hold true for the microbus. In fact, when VW launched the New Beetle the company also began planning for a similar release of the Hippie Van, but plans were scrapped in favor of more cost-effective designs that have yet to make their American debuts.
What do you think? Would you be interested in a new and improved VW Microbus or an updated, modern, efficient but durable VW Pickup Truck? Volkswagen currently plans to invest $7 Billion into North American operations, so it’s a fairly safe bet that if they started to produce a new consumer-focused microbus, or a commercial pickup or transport van, they would all be built right here in the U.S.