We have the perfect name.
It was last September at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show when Volkswagen unveiled its first-ever all-electric vehicle designed and engineered from the ground-up. The VW ID.3 hatchback represents a new beginning for the German automaker and though it won't come to the US, we'll be getting our own unique body style, the VW ID.4 that will reportedly debut this April at the 2020 New York Auto Show. And yet there's another electrified VW we're really excited about, the production version of the ID Buzz concept. Yes, VW will build it but according to Motor Trend it won't have the ID Buzz nameplate.
In fact, VW North America's newly appointed chief operating officer, Johan de Nysschen, admitted its official name has not been chosen. "There is no formal name yet," he said. The automaker still has time to decide until the planned 2022 launch. But there is one specific name we think would work perfectly: Microbus.
After all, the ID Buzz is a modern-day reincarnation of the iconic hippie mobile and if VW used the Beetle nameplate for decades up until last year, then there's no reason why Microbus can't work as well. De Nysschen also admitted the ID.4 nameplate is still not official but that will have to be decided very soon. What is official is that it'll be built in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The production-spec ID Buzz, however, will be built in Germany and imported to the US. The reason why is because the ID Buzz/Microbus is being considered as a low-volume niche vehicle, whereas the ID.4 is high-volume; only a single production facility will be required for global production.
Chattanooga, home to the VW Passat and VW Atlas, is the very definition of a high-volume plant. Eventually, it will also build the ID.4 but not for the initial launch. So why is VW preparing to build yet another retro niche vehicle following disappointing Beetle sales? Because it wants to show its fun side. A reborn VW Microbus will undoubtedly receive plenty of stares and thumb ups wherever owners go.
The aim of an image vehicle like this is to attract customers even if they're more likely to purchase an Atlas or ID.4.