The Volkswagen California is based on the T5 Multivan by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV). It is the first campervan designed and built in-house by VWCV Special Business Unit, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The 'California' is not sold in (California) USA/NA although demand is high. The name 'California' was previously used by Volkswagen for the Westfalia-built campervans since 1988. Westfalia was the Official Manufacturer of motorhomes for VW. When the Westfalia company was bought by DaimlerChrysler in 2001, VW decided to build and design their own campervan range, based on the legendary Transporter range. The California launched in August, 2003. In 2004 two design studies were presented at the Caravan Salon in Dsseldorf: California Beach and California Tramper. VWCV expanded the range in 2005 with the California (Multivan/Kombi) Beach, to bridge the gap between the Multivan/Kombi people carriers and the California.
Contributions by VWphaetonfan, Teutonic Tamer, and Biker Biker.