Posted: 11/29/07 12:27 PM
We already know that one of Volkswagen's top priorities is to triple sales in the U.S. over the next ten years, and the German automaker's long-rumored plan to build a minivan in cooperation with Chrysler will be one of the vehicles to help them achieve that goal. According to a Detroit News report, VW has confirmed that it will indeed unveil a minivan for the North American market next year based on Chrysler underpinnings, but featuring distinctly VW styling both inside and out. The as-yet-unnamed vehicle will reportedly go on sale next fall, likely as a 2009 model.
Not much had been heard about the Chrysler/VW minivan plan in recent months, which had first been floated before Chrysler was sold. Obviously, Chrysler has had more pressing matters on its hands with the sale of the company and the UAW contract negotiations, but apparently the development plans had continued.
Sources in the report say the VW minivan will be produced by Chrysler's Windsor plant in Canada -- the same factory that produces the Town & Country minivan. Volkswagen's last attempt at a larger people-mover in the U.S. was the Eurovan, last sold in 2003, although that vehicle was on par with a full-size van in size. Volkswagen has previously teamed up with Porsche to develop its Touareg SUV, which shares a platform with the Porsche Cayenne. By using an already developed platform, VW's minivan is able to come to market in less time and with lower production cost than if it was fully developed in-house.