Business Briefcase: New Volkswagen SUV to replace Routan, report says

Business Briefcase: New Volkswagen SUV to replace Routan, report says

March 31st, 2013 by Staff Reports in Business Diary

New Volkswagen SUV to replace Routan, report says

New Volkswagen Passats are seen behind the Chattanooga assembly plant's building.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Production of the Volkswagen Routan minivan will end later this year with the 2014 model, the automaker told Edmunds at the 2013 New York Auto Show last week.

The Routan is expected to be replaced with a seven-passenger crossover based on the Volkswagen CrossBlue concept shown at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Edmunds said. VW cited the shrinking minivan market to end its contract with Chrysler, which was producing the Routan.

Chattanooga's VW plant is vying with Mexico to produce that possible new SUV.

Volkswagen, Greenpeace talk emissions

The chief executives of Volkswagen and Greenpeace met recently to underscore support for the automaker's efforts to hit emissions targets.

VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn said it would reach the emission target set by European Union legislation of an average of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer by 2020.

"I guarantee that we will do everything in our power to reach carbon dioxide emissions of 95 grams without any reservations. However, this will only be possible if customers accept our advanced alternative powertrains," he said.

Greenpeace chief Brigitte Behrens said the decision is "in favor of climate protection and a key signal for committing to the protection of the environment and society and the series production of climate-friendly technical solutions."

The declaration of Volks-wagen is also a signal for stricter exhaust emission regulations in the growth markets of the USA and China.