How about we come up with a new name for the Routan replacement, which I would hope is built on the Passat platform at the new plant in Chattanooga, and available with a diesel. VW sold about 1000 Routans a month in the US, and those numbers are tough to give up, especially considering that VW could probably sell double that with a good competitor to the Chrysler and others vans. Remember that VWs vans worldwide have the "AN" suffix in their name. If we accept that the cycle to design and build a new vehicle is 5 years, then maybe VW has a replacement in the wings already, having had 5years to start the design of the the Routans' replacement, starting in 2008, and the Routan filled that 5 year gap in product availability.
Last edited by VWroutanvanman; 08-29-2012 at 10:53 PM.
If I recall correctly, the SUV is based on VWs pickup truck (called the Amarok?), which has a truck chassis, so it won't be a direct replacement for the van, which is based on a car chassis. We'll see.
The minivan market is considerably smaller than other types of vehicles, so I think whatever they decide on will need to be easily adapted for cargo and conversion models in order to sell the volume they need to make the endeavor worthwhile. And imported cargo vans are subject to a 25% tariff (Chicken Tax). So I think it will need to be built here, and Chattanooga sounds as logical as any place.
I really really hope that they don't feel compelled to offer a V6 TDI thinking the American consumer "demands" it. A 2.0L 4-cylinder TDI is plenty sufficient given the torque and turbo. A V-6 is overkill and also MPG killer.