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  •  2013 VW Routan canceled
  •  The 2013 model year is the van's last
  •  No replacement has been announced

The Volkswagen Routan will soon be no more. Volkswagen recently announced it's canceling the slow-selling minivan, which is based on the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan.

While the official decision to cancel the Routan is recent, the minivan's production actually stopped last year. In December, VW announced it hadn't built any Routan units since August 2012 due to high inventory levels. VW later said the van's 2013 model year would be reserved for rental car companies and other fleets. But while VW previously announced it was "keeping its options open" for a 2014 Routan, that no longer appears true.

Industry observers won't be surprised by VW's decision to drop the Routan. The minivan had little success, as it was very similar to mechanical twins from Chrysler and Dodge. Indeed, most shoppers found no reason to choose the Routan over the Grand Caravan or Town & Country. Styling inside and out was very much alike, and the Routan's base price of nearly $28,000 was far more than the Grand Caravan's price of $21,000. Plus, the Routan's list of equipment didn't match the upscale Town & Country. The minivans were built in the same factory in Ontario, Canada.

Sales numbers also show the Routan's difficult time finding buyers. Last year, VW sold fewer than 10,500 Routan units nationwide. The popular Honda Odyssey found 126,000 buyers, while Toyota sold nearly 115,000 Sienna minivans. And the Town & Country combined with the Grand Caravan for more than 250,000 units sold. Even in the Routan's best year, 2010, the van didn't sell more than 16,000 units.

It's uncertain whether VW will replace the Routan. The brand is widely rumored to be developing a midsize crossover similar to the CrossBlue Concept it showed earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show. Still, it's possible another minivan could be in the cards as well. The VW lineup also includes the compact Tiguan SUV and the larger Touareg. The Touareg targets a high-end audience with premium features and upscale pricing.

What it means to you: The 2013 VW Routan won't be missed by most car shoppers. But we're eager to see if VW follows up the van with a new model.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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