Tuesday, January 24, 2006

New Volkswagen Minivan to Feature Unique Exterior, Chrysler Interior

Text from AutoWeek.
DETROIT -- Although Volkswagen's new minivan will have unique sheet metal, under the skin it will be essentially a clone of the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan.

Chrysler's next-generation minivans are expected to debut in 2007, followed by the VW version in 2008.

VW's primary contribution for the minivan, will be design and styling, says Frank Klegon, executive vice president of product development for the Chrysler group.

"They have some input to characteristics they are looking for, but they will not provide engineering resources," he said.

"It is very much similar to the relationship we did with Mitsubishi and the Raider," said Klegon, who was interviewed at the Detroit auto show.

In September, Mitsubishi introduced the 2006 Raider pickup. The vehicle was engineered by the Chrysler group and is essentially a Dodge Dakota pickup with different sheet metal. The Raider's instrument panel design and much of the interior is shared with the Dakota. Engines and transmissions come from Dodge.

The Raider and Dakota are assembled in Chrysler's plant in Warren, Mich.

Klegon said VW has not locked in the final styling for its minivan. "We have seen it from a perspective of sketches and stuff, but nothing has been built at this point." he said. "It is all still in the evolution phase."

VW will market only a stretched-wheelbase model.

Creed: Minivan will be 'a Volkswagen'
The minivan that Volkswagen is developing from the Chrysler group's platform will have unique sheet metal, says Trevor Creed, Chrysler group senior vice president of design. This month, the companies said that Chrysler will build a version of its next-generation minivan for VW.

Creed was interviewed by Automotive News staff members.

How will you work with VW on styling of the minivan?

Volkswagen has done all of their own styling on the minivan.

Did you get the right to look at it to see if there is any conflict with Chrysler minivans?

Yes, I did. Wolfgang (Bernhard, chairman of the VW brand) asked them to send me photographs of it. There is no conflict. They are obviously doing a Volkswagen, not a Dodge or Chrysler.

Do they get Stow 'n Go seating?

I don't know any of the business agreements.

How does the VW design differ from the Chrysler group design?

All of their sheet metal is unique. All of their glass is the same. That is the big economy of scale in doing it.

The Chrysler minivan is the iconic creator of the segment. Are you concerned about cannibalization?

I didn't have any concerns. It didn't cross my mind.

It is quite common in the business to share. The companies in Europe do that quite a lot. They manage to create unique brand identities for their products.

It never occurred to me for one minute that that would be an issue.

When I saw the styling of the vehicle it is quite distinctive and Volkswageny. And they have done their own interior as well.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Van Man said...

Thank you, very detailed information about New Volkswagen Minivan. I liked it from discription.

Wed Jun 20, 05:52:00 AM  
Anonymous man with a van said...

I think the minivan that Volkswagen is developing from the Chrysler group's platform will be very popular. It has good features and can be a strong competitor on the market.

Thu Aug 09, 05:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Van Sales said...

Volkswagen's new minivan combines previous models and it took the best parts of them. I think it can be produced in big amounts, as it's economical at production.

Mon Aug 13, 05:01:00 AM  

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