Westfalia, the company that brought Americans a series of Volkswagen campers equipped with a pop-up roof, will return to the American market in 2024 after a nearly two-decade hiatus. However, its upcoming line of recreational vehicles will not be based on a Volkswagen model.
The iconic brand, owned by French company Groupe Rapido, announced its return by publishing a brief statement accompanied by a preview image on its newly launched US website. It stopped short of revealing the line(s) of motorhomes it will sell here, but the photo at the top of the page shows a Ram ProMaster truck parked on the beach and partially hidden by two people carrying surfboards. This is a big sign: Westfalia is offering a range of Columbus-branded wagons in Europe, built on the Fiat Ducato, the truck that spawned the ProMaster. It’s too early to know how many variants of Columbus (there are four in Europe) will end up in North America.
What you see on Westfalia’s European website is not necessarily what you will get when sales start in 2024. Trade Journal
Recreational vehicle business
I learned that the motorhomes intended for the North American market will be manufactured in Ontario, Canada, so there may be some country-specific differences in terms of equipment (and, of course, the powertrain; most motorhomes sold in Europe are diesel-powered). Westfalia will sell its line of campers through a dealer network it has not yet established, and will preview its campers at a trade show in Indiana in September.
Len McDougall, Head of Sales, Westphalia North America, said: Recreational vehicle business The key feature that older campers love will be available again. He explained that its recreational vehicles “will feature the availability of sleeping in the front, rear and upper area of the truck.”
More details about Westfalia’s return to the North American market will emerge in the coming months.
How about another VW-based Westfalia wagon?
Although the last Westfalia-branded wagon sold in the United States had a Mercedes-Benz star on its nose, most enthusiasts associate the name with a long line of Volkswagen-based models. Westfalia had converted vans with split windows and bay windows into tiny homes on wheels long before that #vanlife It took the Internet by storm, and later gave Vanagon and EuroVan the same treatment. Volkswagen and Westphalia did not separate. Fly across the Atlantic and you can choose from five evolutions of the current carrier…and that’s the problem.
VW doesn’t sell the wagon in the US, so Westfalia will first need to match the standard version of the truck in the US market before bringing the wagon (with or without a pop-up roof, both are available) here. In contrast, Fiat doesn’t offer the Ducato on our shores but the ProMaster is pretty much the same except for its own drivetrain and some country-specific features. Most of what fits the Ducato fits the ProMaster, whether we’re talking about a wheel or a complete interior with beds, tub and shower.