VW Ending Production of ‘Kombi’: VW’s Iconic Van Production no More in Brazil in a Few Weeks

December 11, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

VW is ending production of the well-known “hippie” vans in Brazil later this month. VW made the decision to end production of the Volkswagen Kombi, or “The Bus,” as there is a more functional vehicle produced by the German automaker amid stricter regulations for production in Brazil.

The last of the 1,200 Kombi, also known Type 2 vans, will be available later in December and will feature light blue paint, reported Fox News. They cost around $43,000.

Brazil is the last country in the world to produce the van, doing so by hand since 1957, reported the BBC. Germany stopped production in 1979.

Franck Sowade, production manager at the Sao Bernardo VW factory, told the broadcaster that “it was one of the very first cars to be developed by the company.”

“But to add the airbags, ABS braking system and emissions modification that legislation now require would be too expensive and time consuming,” he added.

German auto industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer told AFP that in Germany, “workmen needed a low-cost utility vehicle.” It was originally produced to transport goods and was later modified into a van to transport people in 1951.

But later, in the 1960s and 1970s, it became a cultural icon associated with the hippie movement–featured on Bob Dylan and Grateful Dead albums and memorabilia.

Paulo Enrique Veras, a Brazilian local, uses his van for work loading beach equipment.

“Without my Kombi, I’d be lost,” he told the BBC. “I’ve been using it for years and there’s nothing else that can really do the same job.”