VW said that production of the Routan minivan is expected to resume by summer 2013.
VW and Chrysler executives offered information about the Routan, which is a redesigned version of the Chrysler Town & Country that the US automaker manufactures in Windsor, Ontario. The contract for the model run through model year 2014, but speculation about its future has been fueled by the recent production stoppage and by the drop in demand.
Volkswagen spokesman Scott Vazin said today, December 18th, that the Routan will continue to be manufactured in Windsor and that production will be restarted by the summer. From January to December 15th, Chrysler has manufactured 8,882 Routans, a decrease of 38% compared with the same period last year. But the plant in Windsor has not assembled any Routan vehicles since July.
During the first eleven months of the year, VW has sold 9,923 Routans in the US, a drop of 17% compared with the same period in 2011. The contract with Chrysler ends in model year 2014, so the automaker is expected to announce its further plans for the Routan. As VW plans to boost sales in the US to 800,000 vehicles by 2018, the company is open about wanting to sell a three-row crossover or SUV, a rival for Ford Explorer or Honda Pilot.