• Jan 30th 2009 at 3:29PM
  • 41
Evidently, early consumer feedback suggests that Fahrvergnügen is not spelled "R-o-u-t-a-n." Volkswagen has reportedly asked Chrysler Canada to temporarily halt production for the month of February on its new ported-over minivan.

Initial Routan sales have been slow, with the Windsor Star reporting that around 29,000 units have been shipped to dealers, but only a few thousand have actually been sold. The production stoppage should help stem the supply overage somewhat, but all signs point to the Routan having a rough road ahead – and not just because of the increasingly dire economic climate. VW's Brooke Shields "Routan Boom" ad campaign appears to have drawn more quizzical looks and outright scorn than potential buyers, and critics are questioning how well the vehicle lines up with VW's brand image.

If nothing else, the Routan clearly has the finest interior of any model in the Chrysler minivan family and a quick spin by this author suggests that it's the best driving, too. Still, those positive aspects don't appear to be enough to guarantee homes for the 300 or so Routans leaving the plant each day.

[Windsor Star via Kicking Tires]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      The previous generation Caravan was nicer than this Diamler mess new one engineered under German supervision.
      Yes it is German engineered. Chrysler got screwed by German engineering.
      My 1999 Voyager and 2005 Caravan both been the best vehicles I`ve owned.
      Perception and elegance is blind just like love.
      Chrysler died in 1998. Anything good with Chrysler now was planed before Diamler or without it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      VW should bring in one of their European vans with a TDI engine option.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The ads are quite annoying, even moreso than most other VW ads. To call it German Engineering is mostly false advertisement too. They should have said 15% German Re-Engineering for the interior and suspension.

      It does look better than the Dodge Caravan though.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mercedes still owned Chrysler when the minivans were being developed... so its kinda German Engineering... :) :) :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        I wouldn't even say that cause isn't the interior exactly the same?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hopefully they don't start again.

        I HATE that van.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Despite that it looks way better than its Chrysler/Dodge hideous brothers, the family line still prominently shows in it. From the start anyone would have said that it wouldn't help sales. And it didn't.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can't say that I am surprised. (While maybe over simplifying the issue). I think VW buyers are generally well educated consumers looking for something different. The is a reason that a person buys a Jetta instead of a Corolla, or a Passat instead of a Camry, and its not price. VW's products are almost always more expensive then their American or Japanese competitors. People are buying them for the "German engineering"

      To take a Chrysler Minivan, do some badge engineering, and voila turn it into a VW was doomed from the start. If VW had put a unique drive train (3.8L VR6) and changed up the interior a little more, maybe.

      VW did this to save time and money, and some times you get what you pay for.

      I guarantee a properly designed MicroBus would have sold much better then the Routan
        • 6 Years Ago
        Seriously. Who the crap thought this was a good idea? Why didn't they go with the microbus? Sure it would have cost more to develop, but at least then they would have gotten a better product and not half-assed it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "I guarantee a properly designed MicroBus would have sold much better then the Routan "

      • 6 Years Ago
      who wants to pay a premium over the Chrysler name badge?

      I really dont think people buy minivans for their fun to drive-ness....
        • 6 Years Ago
        And that's really the issue. There's not much of a price premium. In fact, if you consider the VW comes standard with the more-powerful 3.8 engine you can't even get in the lowest-priced Dodge or Chrysler, it's actually LESS expensive.

        I've owned several Chrysler vans, but if I had the ability to buy another new one, it'd be a VW. It's a much nicer-looking van.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I see what the marketing department was going for, but the ads were more annoying than informative. Anyone who'd seen one could've seen this coming.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree 100%. VW really needs to fire whoever they have doing advertising for them. I pretty much cringe at all of them.
      • 6 Years Ago
      VW should have provided their own powertrain.
      3.2 & 3.6 VR6 & DSG.

      The 62TE is junk, so are Chrysler's engines.

      • 6 Years Ago
      The ads are quite annoying. Who F*&^ care about German Engineering ?>=
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've driven the Caravan (nice drive). I've sat in the Town & Country, and I've seen the Routan. In my opinion, the Town & Country looks WAY better than the Routan, inside and out.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The only people offended by the commercial are the males who got their girl/wife pregnant and gave into buying a mini-van. Having a similar experience at the dealership as those shown in the commercial.

      Brook Shields was hilarious in them.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I was highly irritated by the commercials, and I don't think many people were fooled by this van's origins. I'm not surprised or saddened in the least bit.
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