Volkswagen stops production of the Routan minivan

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 17, 2012

Production of the Volkswagen Routan, which is based on Chrysler’s two minivans, has been put to a stop temporarily, according to Allpar’s latest report. This suggests that the badge-engineered minivan will be terminated eventually and would later be replaced by a three-row crossover. A Chrysler spokesperson declined to confirm the report.

However, Chrysler’s production data indicate that the company’s factory in Windsor, Ontario plant didn’t produce a single Routan in four months: from August to November. Production will be ended due to two primary reasons. The Volkswagen Routan had poor sales so it won’t exactly be missed if it disappears from VW showrooms. In addition, the Chrysler minivan platform on which it’s based will be discontinued soon.

Already, Volkswagen has a replacement waiting. Since the launch of the rebadged Volkswagen minivan four years ago, it has yet to reap some success. So far in 2012, Volkswagen sold only 9923 Routans, a 16.9% drop compared to the same period last year. This means that it’s one of Volkswagen’s lowest-selling models. It makes up only a small portion of the number of minivans that Chrysler Group sells.

From the start of the year until November, 127,308 units of the Dodge Grand Caravan were sold. Meanwhile, the Chrysler Town & Country posted sales of 102,486 units. Furthermore, it’s also crucial to remember that Chrysler will phase out its present pair of minivans soon and so the Routan will need to be redesigned anyway.

According to previous reports, the Chrysler Town & Country name will be used on a new luxury crossover by 2015. It’s likely to look a lot like the Mercedes-Benz R-Class instead of a traditional minivan. The Dodge Grand Caravan will continue as a minivan, but by 2015, it will be built on an all-new platform with a new design. The change in platforms is the perfect time for Volkswagen to think about a revamp for the minivan.

Topics: vw, minivan

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