The Wall Street Journal reports VW will enter the shrinking U.S. minivan market with the Routan and with a $1,500 deposit into a uPromise account for new owners. UPromise is a college-savings Web site that allows users to deposit money, which can then be moved into a tax-advantaged 529 college savings account.
VW says more than 6,000 customers have signed up for the spiff. The German automaker hasn't sold a minivan in the States since it orphaned the Eurovan here back in 2004.
The Routan is built by Chrysler for VW, and has a choice of 3.8-liter and 4.0-liter V-6 engines, along with a specific VW exterior appearance and a VW-designed interior. It's taking on the titans of the class--the Chrysler minivans, the Honda Odyssey, and the Toyota Sienna--and VW hopes to sell more than 20,000 of them each year.
Stay tuned--we'll have our full review of the 2009 Routan soon.