North Korean Officials Like Their Volkswagen Passats

North Korean Officials Like Their Volkswagen Passats

The cars of North Korea (affectionately known as The Hermit Kingdom) have aroused a lot of interest over the years. Kim Jong-Il, North Korea’s dictator, is apparently a big fan of Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans, and the state owned industry even made some knock-off Mercedes 190Es for a time.

But recent photos have surfaced, showing dignitaries from Myanmar’s government (another brutal, authoritarian regime) paying a visit to North Korea. In the pictures, a fleet of identical white Volkswagen Passats can be seen, bearing North Korean number plates, while an older, 1970’s era Mercedes sedan is visible in the background of one photo.

What relevance does this have on your life? Not too much. But we find dictators to be fascinating, and in a country where having a private car is like having a Gulfstream G550 jet, it’s cool to see just how prestigious a steel-wheel wearing Passat painted white – also known as a ‘base model’ here- is revered by the North Korean┬ápeasantry.

[Source: NK Econ Watch]

  • CJB

    Mercedes-Benz in the background is a mid-80’s S-Class, possibly the SE model rather than the long wheelbase SEL.