Home / Regulation / Murdered at 63: Brazil’s Government Kills the VW Van
Print Friendly and PDF

Murdered at 63: Brazil’s Government Kills the VW Van

Written by Gary North on November 28, 2013

On December 31, the Volkswagen Corporation will cease production of the VW van in Brazil, the last nation where it is still being produced. Why? Because of new regulations imposed by the government.

The driver of a VW Kombi sits in front of the front axle. From now on, that’s not allowed in Brazil. The bureaucrats have decided that such a design is a public menace.

That did not worry me when I owned one in the 1980s, when the hippie generation, of which I was not a member, had passed into their thirties.

By the time the Kombi became the hippie van, it was 18 years old. The first Kombis began production in 1950. For 63 years, the style did not change much. Yet it still found buyers in Brazil.

For 63 years, buyers have not cared that they would sit in front of the front axle. But their lack of concern was not shared by bureaucrats in Brazil, who were not alive in 1950.

Print Friendly and PDF

Posting Policy:
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

11 thoughts on “Murdered at 63: Brazil’s Government Kills the VW Van

  1. Virgil_Hilts says:

    AS an ex-VW mechanic…I want to add a clarification. The Kombi is like the mini-bus, except that it has a passenger compartment, but the REAR portion of the vehicle is set up like a pick-up truck. Open back for cargo. The Microbus has 3 rows of seats to accommodate 8 or so passengers.

  2. 305Katydids says:

    why? do not understand. Is there some kind of danger sitting in front of the axle?

  3. Bill McCroskey says:

    Virgil: Not that it matters, but thank you for that interesting bit of trivia. I never could understand why the 2 different names on what I thought were the same vehicles.

  4. Bill McCroskey says:

    Not much metal or crush zone if you are positioned in front of the front suspension/axle would be my guess for this government policy. That and a lack of campaign donations to the ruling Brazilian party ??

  5. Bill Turner says:

    One of the greatest vehicles ever built!

  6. We all laugh at the Brazilian government's silly intrusion into something which is none of its business. But let us all have caution in what we allow our central government in D.C. to do. We already have hundreds of thousands of unelected bureaucrats making crazy rules and regulations that Congress allows to become enforceable laws without the discourse provided by debating parties in our bicameral legislative system. Think EPA, DOE, HHS, Agriculture, Forestry, Parks, et al.

  7. WhiteFalcon says:

    At least 3/4 of this Governent needs to be gone.

  8. I would expect that the VW Kombi/Minibus had a poor record for accident fatalities…. but it would be nice to actually see the data cited when a regulation is put in place. We have the same problem in America at all levels of government: laws are passed and regulations implemented because someone THINKS it's a good idea, rather than showing it would solve something people agree is a real problem.

  9. Fred Campbell says:

    I purchased a VW van in 1965 which is still in the family, 49 years later.

    Yes, I was uncomfortable regarding the lack of metal in front of me. Ergo, I drove it more conservatively than if I had 1000 lb of engine ahead.

    But, it was my choice. I was a free man. The freedom to make my own decisions was more important than a slight, but acceptable risk, of VW van operation.

    I am not the property of the government. They do not have the right to protect me as their asset

  10. Phillip the Bruce says:

    My Dad bought a 1964 bus in '65. When his friends expressed concern and asked what he would do in case of an accident, he said "I'll pick up my feet and be out of the way."

  11. Ray Cridland says:

    No disrespect to the Government of Brazil but I am confident they have not obtained the true figures of serious incidents involving the VW world wide. The causes of road incidents should be looked into and not the make of the vehicle involved. It is such a shame for Brazil to loose such an iconic vehicle. VW can be built in any country to assist with their economy. There are many countries that would love to be involved with the famous VW.