Volkswagen to end sales of slow-selling Routan minivan

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Whether you think the Volkswagen Routan is the best-looking Chrysler minivan available or a black mark on the German brand's image is a moot point now. According to Automotive News the slow selling van is getting cut from Volkswagen's lineup.

Many considered the Routan an ill-conceived idea from the start. The van was the brainchild of ex-Chrysler COO Wolfgang Bernhard (the black-leather-clad exec who might be best remembered for riding the Viper V10-powered Dodge Tomahawk motorcycle on stage at the Detroit auto show in 2003) who moved from Chrysler to Volkswagen. It made sense for VW to have a family van as some would argue its microbus was the original minivan anyway, but the mildly worked over Chrysler Town and Country/Dodge Grand Caravan didn't quite measure up to the German brand's overall performance, perceived quality or image. Now it will merely be a very forgettable footnote in automotive history, sliding in beside the Hyundai Entourage (the rebadged Kia Sedona) as an exercise in redundancy.

Glaringly missing from the Routan's options list has been the second-row Stow 'n Go seating system, which folds completely into the floor. This key feature continues to help Chrysler/Dodge vans remain popular.

At the Routan's low volumes Chrysler won't miss the van at its Windsor, Ontario production facility, as they haven't been building it since late last year in order to sell off the remaining stock. Fortunately for Volkswagen they don't have many left, the final tally expected to be pulled back into VW corporate for "internal purposes," said Jonathan Browning, CEO of VW America, who broke the news to Automotive News.

So is VW giving up on big families? Hardly. Next on the Volkswagen's people hauling agenda will be a three-row crossover SUV, similar to the Crossblue Concept shown earlier this year in Detroit.


©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Minivan, Volkswagen, VW, 2013, Routan, $30,000 - $39,999,

Organizations: Volkswagen

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