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When Volkswagen announced a few years ago, that they would give Chrysler the contract to build a minivan based on the Town and Country,it took auto fans by surprise. Afterall, in Europe, VW has its own minivan, a vehicle that was previously sold here in one form or another as the Eurovan.
The Routan was not much different from the Town and Country, even sharing the same mechanicals. It was also more expensive and lacked the ‘Stow and Go’ seating that made the Chrysler vans such a hit.
Last year, VW sold just 15,961 Routan’s and it seems its days are now numbered. Jonathan Browning, the CEO of Volkswagen Group of America has recently said “Volkswagen has not decided on whether to offer a minivan after its contract with the Chrysler Group expires in about two years.”
Browning has also thwarted the idea of entering the U.S.-made 2012 Passat in NASCAR, saying “it’s not something we are looking at.” They do however plan on building 150,000 Passat sedans per year out of the Chattanooga, TN. plant. These American-made Passats will be on sale in Canada, Mexico, Korea and possibly even the Middle East once production starts in August.
Volkswagen is recalling its Routan minivan, but not to worry, they barely sold any of them in the first place. The recall affects 15,902 vans from 2008-09 and follows a recall by Chrysler of the mechanically similar Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan.
Like the Chrysler vans on which the Routan is based, the problem involves an improperly installed wiring harness which could become worn by the sliding rear doors and eventually cause a short circuit or fire.
Owners are asked to contact their dealer for a fix or call Volkswagen at 800-822-8987.