Volkswagen stops production of the Routan minivan

Article by Christian A., 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.

The new seven-seater Routan is by far the finest minivan from Volkswagen ever. It highlights European sensibilities in its design, fit and finish as well as its handling characteristics that feature market relevant elements and an outstanding value.

It features a schematic front grille as well as exterior treatments common to the Volkswagen family. Its interior enhancements also provide a visually pleasing environment, which is also meticulously detailed and modern. It also features materials of high quality, beautiful textures as well as rich plush colors furnished with just the right amount of tolerance, superb fit and finishing touches. While keeping a contemporary and pleasing look, its interior upholds the traditional design philosophy of Volkswagen.

The captain's chairs in the second row provide a whole new level of comfort and luxury while continuously providing convenience typical in a classic minivan. Over 32.7 cubic feet is available behind the third row seats along with 83 cubic feet for the second row. It is also set to feature a 3.8L V6 engine which offers 197 hp and a torque of 230 lb. ft. when shared with the six-speed regular automatic transmission. A 4.0L V6 will also be available as it is rated at 253 hp and a torque of 263 lb. ft.

Topics: vw, minivan

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