America's minivan wolfpack has just gotten smaller by one. According to Automotive News, Volkswagen officials have confirmed what we've suspected for some time – the Routan is dead. Essentially a lightly reworked version of the Dodge Grand Caravan, the Routan actually hasn't been rolling off of Chrysler's Windsor, Ontario production line at all this year, but VW had yet to confirm its discontinuation. However, Jonathan Browning, CEO of VW America, has reportedly admitted that the Routan is being axed, with remaining units expected to be funneled into corporate functions for "internal purposes."

The move isn't unexpected – the Routan has never been a big seller, with just 57,650 examples moved since sales began in 2008 – peak yearly sales totaled under 16,000 units, and that was back in 2010. And while many have talked of the minivan segment shrinking, Automotive News points out that the segment actually grew 14 percent last year to 597,118 units, though it should be noted that most segments have been on sales upticks as the US economy chugs out of its recession.

So, is volume-crazy Volkswagen prepared to pass on large family vehicle sales? Probably not – the German automaker has signaled that it plans to build a three-row crossover in North America soon, and we wouldn't be surprised if it looks an awful lot like the Crossblue Concept from January's Detroit Auto Show – minus the fancy plug-in diesel powertrain.


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  • 38 Comments
      rjwatsonmotors
      • 1 Year Ago
      Had they simply offered a Bosch vacuum cleaner this would never have happened.
      diffrunt
      • 1 Year Ago
      Rebadging en extremis
      desinerd1
      • 1 Year Ago
      "That's the power of German engineering"
      jasondonogh
      • 1 Year Ago
      I found the title of this article to be one of the most hilarious phrases I have read in a great while. Truly funny.
      Edsel
      • 1 Year Ago
      I own a Routan. Will the rapid demise of this historic vehicle and its uber-low volume mean that future car collectors will clamor for low mileage examples of the Routan? Just look at how vintage Shelby's and Ferrari California's have earned millions of dollars at auctions. We Routan owners could be laughing all of the way to the bank, or the banks could be laughing at us.... Anyone want to buy my Routan for $100,000.00?
        Bobby_Sards
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Edsel
        I will trade you for my Chevy Beretta!!
          Edsel
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bobby_Sards
          Only if you include a real Italian Beretta so that I can put the poor Chevy version out of its misery. ;-)
      Fixitfixitstop
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder if Chrysler can nab it's interior. The dash on the Routan was the nicest of the three.
        gtv4rudy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Fixitfixitstop
        Chyrsler Caravan with a VW badge. I drive both Dodge and VWs vans on a regular basis and the diffrence in quality is zero.
        RocketRed
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Fixitfixitstop
        Yes but if you walk across the showroom to an actual VW, the Routan interior looked disgusting by comparison. You can see the diffrence in finish and fit between the VW prodcuts and the Chrysler products immediately. I can see why it was hard to push a 30K Chrysler at VW. It was a good thought for VW to try to keep people trading in their Passats and Sportwagens from going elsewhere, but the Routan was weak sauce.
        DK
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Fixitfixitstop
        If they take the interior they may as well take the exterior, it looks better than either Chrysler version.
      Cool people
      • 1 Year Ago
      Routan has excellent sporty handling. Great reliability, design and excellent features moms love in a mini van. The 5 year cycle for this product in normal for the industry. The quarrel between VW and Marchionne shortened this marriage.
        ehisforadam
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cool people
        The quarrel really doesn't have as much to do with it as the thing didn't sell. They didn't even 60k sold in 4 years. They were having quality issues with them because they were just sitting around, unsold, for such a long time.
          Highland Vlg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ehisforadam
          Routan is a solid minivan. The Routan sold way more units than the previous gen. VW van which had reliability quality issues not found in the Routan
      11fiveoh
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lol, the title.
      Joe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Theres one of these across the street from me. Ugly as sin.
      desinerd1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like clever advertising cannot always cover up poor quality.
      jaysonkitchen
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Routan was the biggest misake VW has come out with in recent memory. A stop gap measure cooked up between Ex Daimler buddies Bernd Piestreider and Wolfgang Bernard. They should have just bit the bullet and imported the T5 Multivan, but the US chicken tax would have caused havoc with pricing. VWOA was hopeless with the Eurovan the way they spec\'d and priced it.. No wonder it did not sell I drive a 2000 Eurovan and far as size and practicality there is nothing to compare it to. If only VW could pull head from ass and look at expanding in Chatanooga to build commercial vehicles here in N.A. If you look at all the recent activity in the commervial van segment with the large size, Sprinters, Transits, Nissan NV\'s and now Promaster. Also active on the small end with Transit Connect and the upcoming rebaded Fiat. There is a middle ground for a \'right size\" van like the T5 Transporter/ Multivan. 2.0 TDi power, still garagable and get 40+ MPG. If they buildi it somewhere in NA to get around the Chicken tax it will be price competitive. VW commercial vehicles in Hannover is running flat out to keep up with demand. VW could make more money on T5\'s built in NA for export as well. I can\'t believe they could not make a bussiness case for a VW T series Van built here. I have a buddy who has a grey imported euro market 2003 T4 Multivan 2.5 TDI with a 5 speed that gets 7.0L/100km all day long. If VW would only just design the upcoming T6 van with NA market design specs in mind I would buy buy one in a heartbeat...
        wsbfan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jaysonkitchen
        I agree, the Transporter would be the perfect van. I had high hopes for the Transit, but they're not offering the short wheelbase over here.
      wsbfan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just give us the damn Transporter!
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