Volkswagen of America will discontinue sales of the Routan minivan this year. Some people are wondering why it wasn’t decided earlier as this minivan has had poor sales for some time now and it comes with a high price. This rebadged Chrysler minivan with a Chrysler engine has a base price of $27,840 while the base Dodge Grand Caravan is priced at $20,990.
These prices are inclusive of shipping costs. VW revealed that its dealerships are asking for a seven-passenger vehicle. VW chose not to bring vehicles it sells in Europe (such as the Sharan or the Transporter) to the U.S. VW also chose not to revive the Microbus.
Americans like the handling of German vehicles as they hug the road better, offer more response to the driver, and stop quicker. They offer better handling than models built in the U.S. and Japan.
On the other hand, the Routan is a big and bloated product from Chrysler Group. It’s actually the creation of former VW brand chief Wolfgang Bernhard who was the COO of the Chrysler group when Daimler AG was the owner of the company.
Bernhard also created the Crossfire sports car, which also wasn’t much of a success. The Crossfire, which shares numerous components with the previous-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK roadster, started selling in 2003 and ended its run in 2007.
Chrysler even attempted to drum up sales by entering a deal with discount Internet shopping site overstock.com to sell the car for a price lower than $8,900 its sticker price.
There’s now a plan for a Chrysler minivan to be rebadged for VW. Bernhard pledged that this vehicle will not be similar to the Chrysler group version. He said that the interior’s “touch, feel and functionality” will be Volkswagen.