The Volkswagen Beetles is the new trend for Ethiopian. Although the production of this car came to an end since 2003, the car remains the must-have vintage car but appears to be hard to maintain.
The German car was born in the 1930's during the World War II. Its success is almost immediate with more than 10 millions of them sold all over the world in the 1960's. The car is even named as the Love Bug after the famous Disney movie and is presented as the unmissable family car.
After more than 70 years of production, the famous German brand Volkswagen put it to an end in 2003. However, the popularity of the Love Bug has not come to an end yet. Indeed, the car is still very famous in Ethiopia and even sought after by a part of the population.
It is really nice to see these cute cars still in circulation in the streets of Addis Abbaba but it can be a real nightmare for the owner when it comes to maintaining their beloved car. As the production was ended more than 14 years ago it became really complicated to find car parts suitable for the Volkswagen Beetles. Not only new parts are difficult to be found but they are also really expensive and not everybody can afford these repairs.
Usually, when one Volkswagen Beetles is in a really poor shape and too far broken to be fixed, the mechanics will cannibalise it in order to use all the remaining working parts to repair the other cars. A system that is not feasible on the long-term.
When interrogating the Volkswagen Beetles' owners about their faitfulness to the famous model they usually explain that the Volkswagen Beetles is a servant car that will never let you down and take you anywhere you want to go.
The car also adapts to your envy as it really easy to paint them the way you like. When you have the right parts it is also pretty easy to fix them which makes the Volkswagen Beetle a reliable car.
Overall, the Volkswagen Beetles is an easy-to-drive car which remains the only affordable car for most of the poorest part of the Ethiopian population.
For some of the owners it is a trend but most of them are part of a strong fan base that works on nostalgia. Let's hope that this amazing and colourful trend will remain in the Ethiopian streets for a long time yet.