Why Americans Can’t Get VW’s Best Van

To a large degree, the #Vanlife movement owes its popularity to the old-school pop-top VW camper van.

They did everything today’s vans do — and in some ways, they perform even better.

So it’s surprising U.S. consumers can’t get the Volkswagen California, a van that is proving quite popular in the UK and Europe. And just why is that?

After all, the VW Eurovans and Vanagons of the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s are still outrageously popular in the U.S. Even late ’90s vans on the market can command prices above $30,000. So it seems like there’s a market, right?

Not so fast, Volkswagen dealers say.

“The market is just not here in the United States,” said Clint Richardson of Campbell Volkswagen in Edmonds, Wash.

There are two main obstacles to bringing the VW California to the U.S., Richardson said.

“It would be very expensive to get it here, and our safety standards are different than in Europe,” he said.

“For us to get it here and sell it — we’d have to charge over $70,000,” Richardson added. And that price is just not going to work for most buyers.

“Everybody wants one until they see the price,” Richardson said.

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The Peace Vans 80s-era Vanagon we used earlier this spring.
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The Road Trip Oregon Eurovan.

 

 

 

 

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