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Finally, Volkswagen brings back the Microbus, with a battery | Technology news

DETROIT (Reuters) – Volkswagen will present a production version of its long-awaited ID Buzz, an electric reincarnation of its beloved Microbus or Kombi on March 9, and plans to launch in the United States in late 2023, the company said on Friday.

The ID.Buzz is one of the “most anticipated and high profile” models expected from the Volkswagen brand since the company launched its new Beetle in the late 1990s, said Scott Keogh, North Chief Operating Officer. -American Volkswagen during a media call.

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess tweeted Thursday “The legend returns 03/09/22!” The tweet contained a sketch of the ID.Buzz van’s profile.

Volkswagen has presented a series of prototypes for a new Microbus over the past decade. But those previous show vans – the Budd.E and the Bulli – never made it into production, to the frustration of fans of the vehicle.

Keogh said that a three-row version of the ID.Buzz will launch in the United States, where the original microbus has become a counter-culture icon, in late 2023 or early 2024. Volkswagen will release a version at two rows in Europe.

Volkswagen does not plan to build the ID.Buzz at its US plant in Chattanooga.

“You want to hit 100,000 units before you locate,” Keogh said.

Volkswagen will increase production of its ID.4 electric SUV in Chattanooga this year.

Earlier on Friday, Volkswagen said US sales of its VW-branded vehicles increased 15% in 2021, largely thanks to strong sales of gasoline-powered SUVs such as the Atlas and Tiguan.

Vehicle shortages caused by chip supply chain issues will continue to constrain U.S. vehicle production and sales through 2022, Keogh said.

He said he believed as many as two million potential car buyers did not purchase a vehicle in 2021 due to lack of supply, creating pent-up demand for this year and beyond.

(Reporting by Joseph White; Editing by David Clarke)

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