Hybrids & Electrics

Volkswagen Will NEVER Make The ID. Buzz Retro-Van

On the same day that VW America CEO Scott Keogh told Automotive News, “I think the ID. Buzz is just pure magic Volkswagen, it was announced there would be yet another delay for the retro van. VW now says 2023 is the date. Since 2017, when the ID. Buzz van was announced going into production, the due date has been on a revised/lengthened track. Let’s be honest, Volkswagen will never make the ID. Buzz retro-van.

The ID. Buzz EV van was first seen at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

VW ID. Buzz retro Microbus van | VW

The ID. Buzz EV van was first seen at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Soon after it was announced it would go into production. A normal development time would be three years, which put the first ID. Buzz vans on the road at the beginning of 2020 as a 2021 model. It would ride on VW’s coming MEB electric platform. So far, so good.

Coming off of Dieselgate the ID. Buzz was a breath of fresh air, pun intended. The reaction was immediate and extremely positive. Not Tesla Cybertruck positive, but positive nonetheless. VW isn’t saying how many orders or deposits it received but with all of the waxing on like the above Keogh comments it continues to fan the flames of ID. Buzz hopes.

“I wish it was coming next year”

Volkswagen ID. BUZZ and a first generation VW Microbus | VW

“I wish it was coming next year,” Keogh told Automotive News. “It’s not going to come quite as soon as that; it’s going to be a little bit later than that.” Which would be fine if it were not for the continual delay announcements. If the ID. Buzz was to actually appear in 2023, which means it took six years-twice normal development time, for the retro van to make it to market. 

And don’t forget, it will be riding on VW’s electric platform that already underpins a number of models. So it’s not like VW has to develop an entire vehicle. It will be plopping a van body onto an existing platform. That takes six years of hand wringing? No.

It’s obvious that the idea of putting into production the retro van isn’t happening. For it to be so in demand, exciting, and “pure magic,” either VW has given up plans to produce it or the development team has moved on to other, actual projects.

Developing a new vehicle takes capital, engineering, and generally exceptional manufacturing

VW ID. Buzz retro Microbus van | VW

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Look, developing a new vehicle takes a lot of capital, engineering, and generally exceptional manufacturing. Those are all within VW’s wheelhouse. It has developed some truly great cars and though there were a couple of hiccups with the ID. 3 EV it’s now selling strong in Europe. And that is sort of the rub.

VW knows how to do this and also knows continual delays hurt the product. But as it pushes the ID. Buzz release dates back farther and farther it is never within grasp. It’s the carrot in front of the donkey. Always a tease and never actually fulfilled. If the ID. Buzz was all of the glorious things VW tells us it is it would have been out by now. 

Automakers always need a hit, not only for financial reasons but for an image and optics win. VW is either not being totally honest about how well the ID. Buzz has been received, or it doesn’t plan on ever making it.