While the future of the Microbus is known, VW remains vague about its plans for its popular Sharan large minivan, which enters its 10th year in production in 2005.
VW has a joint venture with Ford to build the Sharan, the Ford Galaxy, and the Alhambra from VW group subsidiary Seat at VW's plant in Palmella, Portugal.
But Ford will produce the next Galaxy in Genk, Belgium, starting in early 2006.
VW doesn't plan to build only a VW-badged Sharan in Portugal. A VW marketing source says, "We may also make a Seat version of the minivan again and even one for Skoda, to generate enough volume."
Other sources say that the next Sharan is likely to be based on the 2005-2006 VW Passat platform modules. If so, the Sharan will have a transversally-mounted engine.
VW's commercial vehicle division is responsible for development of the Sharan.