VW Transporter turns 70: The Microbus becomes longest surviving commercial vehicle

Volkswagen is celebrating the 70th year of continuous production of the Transporter, more commonly known as the “Microbus’.

By:March 27, 2020 1:09 PM

In the automotive world, the longest-running nameplate in continuous production would be the Chevrolet Suburban which started life in 1935 as a station wagon built on a ladder chassis of a small truck. The Suburban is still in production today as a full-sized American SUV which is in its twelfth generation. But is you explore a little further, you’d find that Volkswagen also has some nameplates that have had a long history and are currently still in production. While the Beetle would have been one of them, VW has announced to discontinue it recently after being in production since 1949.

But there is another Volkswagen that has stood the test of time is the VW Transporter. The iconic Transporter is better known to the world as the Kombi, Microbus, or simply the VW Bus. Volkswagen has announced that the Transporter is celebrating its 70th year of production making it the longest-running commercial vehicle nameplate. The very first Transporter rolled off the production line in Wolfsburg on March 8, 1950. Since then, Volkswagen has sold over 13 million units worldwide.

The first-generation T1 was a hand-built panel van that eventually became a rear-engined vehicle that could be used as a van or a passenger vehicle or even and 8-seat bus. The engine and transmissions came directly off the Beetle that allowed for a maximum payload of 750 kilogrammes. By 1967 VW has sold 1.9 million units of the first-generation T1 Transporter.

70 years later, the Transporter is in its sixth generation as the T6.1. The T6.1 was revealed in 2019 and it comes with new engines, intelligent driver assistance systems, new infotainment and a front-end redesign. To celebrate the 70-years of the Transporter, the T6.1 has been given a dual-tone paint combination as a tribute to the original.

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