For Volkswagen to achieve its goal of becoming the world's largest automaker by 2018, it is revamping its US lineup. There are speculations that the Phaeton will make a comeback and that there is a new midsize sedan meant specifically for the US. However, it remains uncertain if the Routan minivan will remain.
In an interview with Dow Jones Newswire, VW spokesperson Jill Bratina said that no decisions have been made related to the Routan.
But she did admit that the minivan segment was significantly impacted by the economic downturn and has yet to fully recover.
Still, before fans of the quasi-German minivans throw up their hands and give up altogether, there is some semblance of hope. Routan's market share has remained a steady 4% during the downturn.
VW sees the potential of Routan's market share widening as model awareness increases. The Routan has a VW badge but it is actually built by Chrysler alongside the Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans.
The Routan was one of the last projects of former CEO Wolfgang Bernhard, who also pulled the plug on North American sales of the VW Phaeton.
CEO Martin Winterkorn wants to bring the luxury car back to life, asserting that the decision to junk the Phaeton from the US lineup was short-winded, and that patience is required to establish a newcomer in the luxury segment.