Last week, we reported that production of the Chrysler-based Volkswagen Routan minivan had been halted since July, and its future seemed grim. It appears now that the Volkswagen minivan will live on, with production resuming in 2013. According to an Automotive News report, the Routan will be unchanged for the 2013 model year (surprise!) and continue to be produced at the Windsor, Ontario facility, where Chrysler assembles the Town and Country.

Questions over the future of the Routan have stemmed from its poor sales performance. Just 8,882 Routans were built through December 15 of this year – a drop of 38 percent over the same time period last year – and 9,923 Routans were sold in the US through the end of November, which is down 17 percent compared to that same stretch of time in 2011. The contract that VW has with Chrysler is set to end with the conclusion of the 2014 model year. Nether company has announced intentions to extend that contract.

As part of Volkswagen's plan to sell 800,000 vehicles by 2018, the minivan seems less and less a part of that strategy. Far more effective, would be a large, three-row crossover, to compete with the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot, and we'll be seeing such a vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show next mont. So while the Routan may live on in the immediate future, its long-term hopes are certainly in question.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      One of the best concept cars from the past decade was the VW Microbus. They continue to make a huge mistake by not building it.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Put a TDI in it.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Re-badge? Why? Low risk way to provide a van offering without having to do it yourself I guess. Low losses with a subcontract to Chrysler. As someone else noted... who cares?
      • 1 Year Ago
      It should be noted that Routan sales have by far exceeded those of VW's own product, the T4 Eurovan.. The strike in Ontario made it very hard to allow any Routans into the production line. Routan is a Great sporty family van.
      Cool people
      • 2 Years Ago
      Routan is the sportiest Family Minivan in US. Mom's dig the Euro handling. Pentastar V6 is a strong mill. If your not hauling around a family , it's NOT for you. I know there is a romantic attraction to the groovy 60's VW bus but they were known as death traps. People flying through the wind shield and roll over issues. Routan after market products are abundant an reasonably price because of shared T & C platform.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Odd, I thought FIAT built the Routan for VW. When did VW start building them? ;-)
        • 2 Years Ago
        Chrysler has it, Fiat has it.... and VW has it. ;)
      • 2 Years Ago
      wow, the combination of two crappy automakers. The pinnacle of failure.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love mine. Had it for nearly 3 years (lease). It was $4,000 less than the Dodge at the time, and it has faux leather seats which are easier to clean than cloth. It also came with 3 years/36,000 miles of FREE service and oil changes. It was a no-brainer decision for me. Needed a van, and this was the best option and the best price.
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      why dont they simple sell the VW Bus in the USA... ? They sold ~1.5 million of the current generation...
      • 2 Years Ago
      If it's not selling well, why not rebadge it as Audi Q6? Apparently people will buy anything with Audi logo on it.
        • 2 Years Ago
        The Audi corporate grill will fit in nicely too but I'm not sure it would be difficult enough to work on to qualify for the Audi badge.
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should have brought the Volkswagen Sharan here instead of of this thing.
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