California Autos Examiner

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Routan BabyMaker3000: Could Brooke Shields Sell You a Minivan?

“Like any style and safety-conscious mom, I appreciate the Routan’s German ride and feel, European styling and fuel-efficient power," says actress, author, model, mother and Routan spokesperson Brooke Shields. “Volkswagen gave me quite a fun character to play, doing the Baby Beat on the streets and encouraging parents to have babies for love, not German engineering.”

I have to admit it was a bit of surprise to see Brooke Shields trying to sell me a VW minivan, but there she was staring back at me in the latest copy of a magazine I picked up. Today in my inbox was the official press release about the campaign. I'm just not sure how many of these vans VW is going to be able to move. To be certain, VW didn't spend buckets of cash to get the job done and it was able to get the van onto dealer's lots relatively quickly. However, I have to wonder if that is a good thing?

Is the Routan unique enough to motivate buyer to sign on the dotted line? I was hoping that this Autoweek review would shed some light on the matter, but sadly I found the article to be empty calories (much like everything I write). If VW could stuff its own engines into the van, especially diesel, then I think the argument for the Routan would be much more compelling. As it stands right now, I'm not so sure.

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