Posted tagged ‘brasil’

Wheeler Dealers search for a Kombi in Brazil

March 12, 2016

I can’t believe I missed this one. Here’s a promo for the British TV series Wheeler Dealers, this time they’re off to Brazil where the bay window bus was manufactured until the end of 2013, albeit from 2006 with a water-cooled engine. They’re in search of a bus to fix up with around $18,000 in their pocket. Now to find the full program.

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A Year Since the End of Kombi Production

January 10, 2015

It’s been just over a year since Volkswagen Brasil stopped manufacturing the Kombi, but there are still many on the road. In fact, with ever increasing interest in the Type 2 people are going to be taking special care of the ones that remain. Today’s feature video comes from broadcaster Deutsche Welle in Germany. A nicely produced VW bus tribute from February 2014.

Glimmer Of Hope For Kombi

January 11, 2014

After reading through news sites around the world I’m still seeing mention of a possible return for Brazil’s Volkswagen Kombi into production after shutdown in December 2013. Perhaps they are simply aftershocks following Guido Mantega’s hopeful efforts to save the legendary vehicle. One interesting comment I’ve noticed a few times is: “The Kombi’s fate will be decided in the next few weeks” That would be now in the first few weeks of 2014, let’s keep our fingers crossed. Today’s video is from Youtube user rebuli marco and features a 54th anniversary Brazilian Kombi celebration from 2011.

Fate of the Kombi – Update 2014-01-09

January 9, 2014

I’ve been quiet for the past week or so, “Wishin’ And Hopin’”  as Dusty Springfield sang in 1964, waiting for some conclusive news on the fate of the iconic Kombi. Here’s what I’ve found, everything including:

– The final Kombi was produced on December 20th
– The final Kombi was produced on January 3rd
– Finance minister Guido Mantega says he would try to save the Kombi
– Finance minister Guido Mantega makes a case to the save the bus and is denied (Brazilian press)
– Last shipment of 99 Kombis on their way to Danbury Motor Caravans in Britain

There seems to be some variation of the facts, and to be honest the Guido Mantega story appears to be losing steam if it hasn’t fizzled already. In reality we haven’t seen new bay window buses in North America since 1979, I remember my disappointment when I heard the news that the Vanagon would replace the bread loaf. It’s amazing I didn’t realize, until about 10 years ago, that the Type 2 was still being produced in other parts of the world. According to Wikipedia the bay window bus was produced in the following countries between these dates:

Aug 1967–Jul 1979 (Europe and US)
1971–1996 (Mexico)
1976–Dec 2013 (Brazil)[9]
1981–1986 (Argentina)

According to that list some would have been produced in the U.S. though I’m not sure about that. So a holiday through any one of those Latin American countries would certainly be interesting for the VW van enthusiast. Today’s video from a happier day, posted by Youtube user Sidney Gubitoso, is a news story from Brazilian TV celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Kombi in 2007. Some great historical footage.

Brazil Kombi Factory Floor Walk Through

January 3, 2014

VW Kombi The end of a motoring era.jpg

In this piece, which was filed back early December 2013, the BBC’s Wyre Davies laments the end of Kombi production. Some of the best shots I’ve seen of the factory floor where most of the work is done by hand. Since Volkswagen Brazil has nothing to replace it with they should have simply keep making our favourite vehicle. Click the photo to go to the video and article on the BBC site.

Hope For The Kombi – Headline Snapshots

January 3, 2014

kombi-keep-truckin

Here are a few headlines from the English press which provide a glimmer of hope. Most if not all of these lead back to comments made by Brazilian finance minister Guido Mantega who said the iconic VW bus could be made exempt to new auto safety regulations that begin in 2014. I believe there is a slight error in that last headline it should read, “continuous production in Brazil since 1957,” not 1969. The Kombi is a unique vehicle that should be kept in production. In South America it’s a work horse, beloved by the masses. Viva Kombi! Viva Westfalia!

Kombi Factory Floor – Brazil

December 23, 2013

Some years ago I made the incredible discovery that Type 2 Volkswagen vans were still being manufactured in Brazil. After I stopped jumping and cheering I calmed down enough to begin looking for more information. Of course there is the Volkswagen Brasil website, but I wanted a look at the factory assembly line in São Paulo, didn’t find anything, until now. Here’s a short TV news story with a great look at the factory floor where, unlike their more modern siblings, the buses are assembled for the most part by hand. Meanwhile, we wait for tomorrow’s announcement, will the Kombi continue? Stay tuned…


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