Volkswagen Pondering the Microbus' Return to the U.S.
You can't drive around for more than five minutes in Southern California without seeing a 1950's-1960's era Volkswagen Microbus. Soon that may also be the case in every state, as the German auto maker is thinking about bringing back the Microbus, albeit a much more updated version, back to the states. Volkswagen is currently Europe's biggest auto maker, and it plans to continue on with that growth to be number one worldwide. With the addition of the Microbus, Volkswagen's sales would be boosted as it attempts to reach 1 million units sold in the U.S. by 2018. Volkswagen is currently mum on the possibility of the Microbus coming to the U.S. but didn't rule it out altogether. "If that could come into the market at some point in the future, that would be great," Jonathan Browning, VW's U.S. chief executive officer, told The Detroit News. Currently, Volkswagen has no plans to bring the iconic van back stateside but rumors have quietly arisen saying the Microbus could return to the U.S. as early as 2014 as a 2015 model. Volkswagen has already taken small steps to introduce the Microbus, as it showed off the Bulli electric concept van last year at the Geneva Auto Show. "Our first focus is very much making sure we expand the footprint of the existing products," said Browning. "We're growing the business with Passat right now." Volkswagen's U.S. CEO believes the auto maker has a real shot at hitting its 500,000 vehicle sales target in the U.S. for 2012. Last year Volkswagen sold 444,178 vehicles stateside, up 23 percent from 2010. Browning believes the Passat and Jetta are "pillars" of Volkswagen's sales growth but with the possible addition of the Microbus the cream of the German auto maker's crop may have to make room for another pillar. Source: The Detroit News
Earlier this month, the California Air Resource Board met to vote on the state's latest auto emissions laws.