Routan Production Halted

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
routan production halted

Gentlemen, start your “German Engineering” jokes! The Windsor Star reports that Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant has received a “no build” order for Routans in the month of February, despite workers returning from a long winter break on February second. According to a union local official, VW requested a month’s furlough of Routan production, “in order to adjust their inventory. Sales are slow across the board and VW is no different.” Local 444 President Rick LaPorte calls the no build order “worrisome in terms of volumes.” Windsor had been assembling 300 Routans per day, but with 30k of the rebadged Caravans sitting in the VW dealer net, slow sales are becoming a major concern. VW sold 8,812 Routans last year, falling well short of the pace needed to meet sales goals of 35k units per year (3k-4k per month). Read TTAC’s review of the Routan here.

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  • Ronin Ronin on Jan 31, 2009

    This is how models get disappeared. No messy announcements to tarnish existing stock. No explanations, defenses, shooting of the guilty. Just quietly suspend further production one month at a time, forever.

  • Mpresley Mpresley on Jan 31, 2009

    Unlike many here, I actually like VW. On the other hand, The Routan, along with it's advertising, were downright bizarre. I was at the dealer yesterday; the lifesize cardboard cutouts of Ms. Sheilds left me feeling cold, and somewhat nervous. Her unusual expression created a peculiar and uncanny sense of unease in my psyche. Not sure the message VW was trying to send. On another note, while getting my car serviced (the sun visor needed replacing which took all day as they had to completely replace the headliner--who designs these things?) I decided to camp out among the 40K CCs and 36K EOS. Other than those seeking service, no one came in to even look at the cars. I almost felt sorry for the salesmen as they tried to talk me out of my low milage, in for service Jetta.

  • FromBrazil FromBrazil on Jan 31, 2009

    @psarhjinian Exactly. For some reason VW believes it is top level. The market has been showing it how strongly they disagree. But I guess Vw's executives' heads are too far up their own asses to notice. Yes, if the Routan competed prce-wise with the Dodge, they'd be getting some sales. But trying to sell this thing off at Sienna and Oddy prices....Well, good luck!

  • John Horner John Horner on Feb 01, 2009

    "..... sales goals of 35k units per year (3k-4k per month)" OK, VW was seriously deluded. The VW brand is in the toilet in the US market thanks to massive quality problems in the not distant past and a generally clueless management. Tossing a barely warmed over Chrysler minivan at this marketplace is likely to fool very few people. The minivan market has shrunk precipitously, and most of those who are still buying minivans are replacement minivan buyers who don't care what fashion dictates. These are NOT the people VW has a shot at enticing into their showrooms in volume. What a stupid idea this van was/is. How much do the people who make these decisions get paid?