A funny thing happened this weekend. A website published photos, info, pricing and a release date for an all-new microbus from Volkswagen. For a fan base still mourning the loss of the classic VW bus/van, the Type 2/Kombi, this was cruel. But it was so well done. The pictures were based on an actual Volkswagen concept vehicle. Photoshop was used. The $25,000 price was appealing. But the date—fall 2014—was too good to be true. You give love a bad name.
Volkswagen destroyed these hopes like Bon Jovi destroyed the 80s (90s?). There might, might, be a possibility of getting a van type thing in 2019 when the Beetle is updated, but it would most likely be a taller version of the Beetle, not an actual bus with benches and beds and roof for surfboards. That era is gone.
However, public reaction about a potential new VW bus was strong. Very strong. So strong, in fact, that it puzzled us. Americans are supposed to be all about SUVs whether mid-size, or this new “crossover” i.e. small size. The age of the van, minivan and full size SUV was the 90s and 2000s. The fuel-conscious world we live in now wants things smaller. Put simply, there shouldn’t have been nearly the enthusiasm for a new VW van, and yet there was. Why is that?
We think it’s because Americans have a love for nostalgia. The same culture that likes looking back on moments from five seconds ago via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram loves looking at past decades even more. Our TV shows and movies are full of period pieces, i.e. microcosms of a certain era.
The Volkswagen van is probably one of the few vehicles that everyone thinks of when trying to recall vehicles from the 1960s and 1970s. Even though it doesn’t logically fit in the world of 2014, nostalgia will always fit in the psyche of the U.S. For this reason, we think Volkswagen would have a hit if they were to make a new micro bus, fuel economy notwithstanding.
Should the execs need any convincing, we would point them to what a little Photoshop, low price point and a weekend on the Internet can do. In the meantime, you can check out current VW Beetles here in our Raleigh showroom. Come see us.