Volkswagen Routan Given Reprieve, Production To Re-Start Summer 2013

Recent reports of the Volkswagen Routan's demise have turned out to be slightly exaggerated. The VW minivan, which is in fact a re-badging of the Dodge Grand Caravan, hadn't been produced since July due to weak demand for a vehicle that most buyers weren't convinced was truly Volkswagen. However, the Volkswagen Routan will soldier on with a 2013 model, which will apparently feature no major changes to the current formula.

The Volkswagen Routan is built in partnership with Chrysler in an agreement that is scheduled to end in 2013. Routan production will start back up quite close to that drop-dead date, in the summer of next year, at the Windsor, Ontario plant where it is built alongside the American brand's minivan models. Almost 40 percent fewer Routans were built in 2012 versus 2011 according to statistics published by the Automotive News. Sales are also down nearly 20 percent year-to-year.

Although Volkswagen is set to unveil a new mid-size crossover vehicle at the North American International Auto Show next month, the Routan is the only eight-passenger model available in the company's entire fleet.

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