Volkswagen ends Camper van production
The iconic Volkswagen Camper van will cease to exist at the end of this year, after Brazil – the only country left currently producing it – announced it is to pull the plug.
The Camper van is the longest running model in automotive history, having first been introduced in 1950.
However, it hasn't been offered in Europe since the late 70s, being replaced with newer models designed to comply with increasingly strict safety legislation.
And it is these safety requirements which finally see the demise of the Camper in Brazil, with the Government now requiring that all new cars are fitted with anti-lock brakes and airbags – items that are simply incompatible with the Camper van's aged design.
While the Camper's global fan base will no doubt be saddened at the news, it is likely to upset Brazilian motorists even more, many of whom rely on the Camper, not as statement hippy chic or for its retro-appeal, but for its value and practicality. Campers are used in the country as mobile kiosks, taxis and even hearses and are offered for a significantly lower price than most rival vans.
To mark the end of this record-breaking production run, which has seen a staggering 3.9 million Camper vans built worldwide, Volkswagen has announced it will sell a final commemorative edition series, featuring a mash-up of design features introduced throughout the car's life.
So expect to see classic colours and the traditional centrally-mounted speedometer juxtaposed with MP3 connectivity and USB ports. Only 600 will be made, with a likely price of around £24,000.