Another VW Microbus rumor: Is VW really thinking about it?

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Is Volkswagen considering bringing back the Microbus? There has been some noise on the Web fanning the latest rumor flames.

The company isn’t really saying anything official, but it recently asked its Facebook fans: “If you’re interested in seeing the Microbus on this side of the pond, now would be a good time to let your voice be heard!”

VW is polling fans on four names, including the Hippie Bus and the Combie.

To date, 601 people have voiced their opinions. One tells VW that he doesn’t care what they call it but “don’t mess up the name like with the New Beetle,” and “please don’t call it the ‘New Microbus.’”

VW showed a concept Microbus in 2001 but decided not to build it. The plan was to build it primarily for the United States beginning in 2007. But the project was killed because of the weak dollar.

VW instead opted to rebadge the Chrysler minivan as the VW Routan. The Routan has been a slow seller despite VW’s efforts to push it. Through November, VW sold fewer than 15,000 Routans.

Whether VW plans a second-generation Routan isn’t clear. The hefty minivan certainly doesn’t fit its image as a sporty, performance, German volume make.

And the Microbus still has many fans in the United States -- not just former flower children.

Let’s hope VW isn’t just teasing us again.

You can reach Diana T. Kurylko at dkurylko@crain.com. -- Follow Diana on Twitter

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