VW to Chrysler Canada: Enough with the Routan!

For the month of February at least. While I cannot speak for the couple pictured to the right of the Routan, Autoblog, by way of the Windsor Star, reports that VW asked asked Chrysler of Canada to stop producing the Routan for the next month. The Windsor Star reports that so far, 29,000 Routans have been built, at a rate of about 300 per day. Checking VW of America’s sales figures ending December, 2008, VW sold a grand total of 3,387 Routans in the US for all of 2008. 

I have never understood the reason for the Routan. VW boasts that its buyer demographic are well-educated, internet-savvy people, so I don’t know who they thought they were fooling with a gussied-up Chrysler Town & Country. Incredibly, there are no winners here, at all. VW has shown that with a tiny investment and little to no effort, they built the best handling Chrysler minivan of all time, with the highest quality interior to boot. 

VW owes its loyal fans an apology for the Routan. Chrysler owes its loyal Town & Country buyers an apology as well for not building a minivan as good as the Routan themselves.

Dodge aims to set new Guiness World Record – For Scrapbooking!

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With the rebirth of The New Chrysler, the marketing gurus at Auburn Hills have their work cut out for them as they try to reinvent the brand. Cutting out in fact is exactly what they have in mind to promote the 2008 Dodge Caravan. Given that families are the most likely to be in the market for a new minivan, what better market to tackle than millions of craft obsessed Moms?

With the help of Better Homes & Gardens scrapbooking experts, Dodge will attempt to break the Guiness World Record for the World’s Largest Photo Album. How do they intend to break this cut and paste record? By inviting consumers to add their memories to Dodge Caravan Page In History album, Dodge hopes to fill a 20 page, 9 x 12 book with Caravan memories. Oh yes, that’s 9 feet by 12 feet! This is going to be one BIG photo album.

To learn how you can join the paper cutting fun, read the full press release after the break
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Are parts for imports really more expensive?

While putting together yesterday’s Carnival of Wheels, I came across a well written post by Wenchypoo with a bunch of used car buying tips. While I agreed with most of her suggestions, one sorta stuck in my craw:

One more thing that might sway a car purchase: parts for imported cars are more expensive than domestic models—the parts as well as the cars have to be imported, and this takes time and money (namely yours).
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2008 Dodge Grand Caravan

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As some other traditional domestics are ditching their minivan products, the originator of the segment has been working away at the newest version of their bread and butter. Daimler Chrysler has a lot at stake with the next generation Caravan and they need to get it right. In a segment where everybody and their brother is offering easy stowing seats, dvd screens and navi, DCX needed to pull out on the stops on the features front if they are planning on wooing soccer moms across North America.
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