By on September 13, 2014

2014 Chrysler Town & CountryMinivan sales in America have grown 6% this year even as last year’s top seller, the Honda Odyssey, has suffered a 4.5% year-over-year volume decline. A slight uptick in Toyota Sienna volume has helped, but decreased sales from the Nissan Quest and now-cancelled Mazda 5 haven’t helped.

Minivan volume from Chrysler and Dodge, however, has grown by 27,414 units, or 17.1%. Chrysler is on pace for its best Town & Country sales year since 2006; Dodge is on track to post its best Grand Caravan sales year since 2007.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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67 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: U.S. Minivan Market Share In 2014...”


  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    The Nissan Quest is cancelled? I can’t seem to find anything that confirms this (although admittedly, I didn’t do much more than a few minutes of Googling). Or did you mean to put (now cancelled) behind the Mazda5?

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      Despite the slow sales, there is a 2015 Quest: http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/releases/the-2015-nissan-lineup-charting-the-changes

      I suppose Nissan could offer the NV200 as a passenger van, but with a spartan interior and weaker engine than the Mazda5, it wouldn’t sell, either.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      Yes, that was poorly written. The 5 is dead for U.S. purposes and not in Canada. The Quest, on the other hand, is technically special-order-only in Canada but not dead in America… yet. The special-order status in Canada has basically resulted in non-existent sales, as an aside. 3 in May, 3 in June, none in July, just one in August.

  • avatar
    Monty

    Minivans are coming back, baby!

    Just kidding, but the reality is that for a lot of families, the minivan is the ideal vehicle. We had two when the kids were growing up; nothing matched the van for hauling everything about, whether it was a trip to a local soccer field, a run to Home Depot, or a 1200 mile trip to the coast.

    Practical vehicles are practical.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Guess this means I’m trendy, having just bought a Sedona.

      Practicality rules, and I’ve realized that a minivan suits my needs more than my pickup truck. As soon as I’ve worked out how the van will replace the pickup in two areas, motorcycle hauling and trash hauling, the pickup is probably history.

      • 0 avatar
        That guy

        Did you get a tow package? I have one of those hitch mounted racks for my Grand Cherokee, it’s great for hauling bags of trash, gas cans, or other stuff you don’t want in your vehicle. For larger stuff, I have a trailer.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      Syke – a friend of ours has a small trailer that holds his motorcycle, or a snowmobile or an ATV (although the ATV almost doesn’t fit because the trailer’s so narrow, and the snowmobile requires the tailgate be removed) that he used to tow even with his Dodge Stratus. The trailer has indented wells for motorcycle wheels and removable brackets to support the bike.

      I’ll try to find out the brand and how much he paid for it. I do recall him saying it was quite expensive, but back then he could afford expensive toys. Like many, his family has had to retrench. He’s since sold the motorcycle and the snowmobile, and the Stratus is long gone, replaced by a Sonata and F-150 crewcab, but he still uses the trailer for the ATV occasionally, and trips to the dump and such.

      It would be appropriate for the Sedona, I think; I’m sure it’s got a higher tow rating than the Stratus!

  • avatar
    CX1

    Article is incorrect.Mazda Mazda5 is discontinued in the U.S. Nissan Quest is not cancelled in the U.S.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    Don’t forget the new KIA sedona! Although given that its September and there’s still no release date or epa mpg I doubt well see it before Christmas.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    What astonishes me here is that the Chrysler T&C is top dog. I know modest income families have a God’s Gift in the Dodge GC, but I would have thought that Toyota and Honda would vacuum up sales from those who could afford a more upmarket choice.

    Truly surprising. Does the Pentastar engine explain this?

    • 0 avatar
      jim brewer

      I suspect so. It also explains Chrysler’s decision to cancel the Dodge. That’s way too much car to be selling for $19k.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        “That’s way too much car to be selling for $19k.”

        Spot on. And even the T&C seems to be under-priced if Edmund’s average of 29.7K is to be believed. Their GC average is 19.2K.

        The Odyssey averages 41.7K and the Sienna 30.7K.

        What a messed up market! Given that buyers in this segment are essentially captive during their child rearing years, Chrysler and even Toyota appear to be leaving a lot of money in the table.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          I think a lot of TCs come with a decent amount of cash on the hood. For someone with kids, leather seats seem like a must have.

          On a side note, I am drawn to that first picture like a moth to a flame and I can’t figure out why.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            I’ve been out of photography for donkeys but I dimly recall settings that would manipulate exactly when the flash pops a little highlighting to crisply define the subject while letting a panning shot blur the background, especially the near background. Makes a moving subject really jump out at you.

            Or it could be just post-capture photoshoppery that I’m too ancient to be aware of.

        • 0 avatar
          jim brewer

          Well, “captive” is a little strong. I’d say Subaru goes almost head to head. Let’s hope Chrysler uses its market repositioning to “re-content” the Town and country. They seem to be the manufacturer most willing to do that as a marketing strategy.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          petezeiss, there are quite a few older buyers, as in buyers passed the age of 65, who prefer to travel in a minivan. You just can’t beat the room and the ride.

          If for some reason my wife and I could not take our extended trips in her Grand Cherokee, I’d be looking to rent an Odyssey or Sienna to travel in.

          Her parents like to travel in a Suburban but they are the exception. The ride is too truck-like for long distance traveling.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        “Chrysler’s decision to cancel the Dodge.”

        Whoa, now I’m completely confused. I checked that out and found references to Chrysler canceling the *Town & Country*. It outsells the Grand Caravan and at a higher price. Huh?

        Does Sergio want to completely disassociate Chrysler from the water-treading classes?

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The Dodge version is being cancelled. You’re basing your comment on outdated rumor.

          http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/05/06/chrysler_moves_to_kill_dodge_grand_caravan_introduces_new_compact_car.html

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          petezeiss, changes are coming to Fiat’s subdivision Chrysler. I think of it as downsizing, reducing redundancy, or even more like serious weight-loss surgery for a morbidly obese corporation.

          IMO, this is something GM needs to do by ridding itself of Buick and GMC; as in GIVE Buick to GM Shanghai, and fold GMC into Chevrolet, or Cadillac, depending on different trim levels.

          This Dodge thing was news quite some time ago when the Dodge brand was rumored to be scuttled by 2016, you know, like Mercury, Saturn, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, DeSoto et al.

          If it happens, it happens. Sh!t happens. Until then, it’s anyone’s guess, just like with the beloved AND despised Hummer, or Saturn, or GM’s zoom-zoom Pontiac.

          In a way, I’m excited about this beneficial shake-up, but it really won’t affect me because it is unlikely that I will buy any Fiatsler product again after we trade the Grand Cherokee.

          I have a friend in West Virginia who was just heartbroken when Plymouth was scuttled. He bought an Orange Road Runner in the seventies and today it is quite an attraction at car shows.

          So the time to buy a HOT Dodge product is right f’n NOW, and keep the damn thing until the wheels fall off.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            ” keep the damn thing until the wheels fall off.”

            Heh… that’s my plan for whatever I next buy. It’ll almost certainly be my last purchase given how little I drive anymore (done enough windshield time for 8 guys). But I think it’s MY wheels that will fall off first. Or at least my hind wheels :-)

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            petezeiss, I know exactly how you feel. At my age I’m lucky to wake up breathing every morning and able to do a pre-flight on my body.

            One of these days I could wake up dead, and not know it.

            I understand Joan Rivers went to sleep not suspecting anything and is still waiting to wake up.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            I’m a Chevy. My engine is strong, my tranny is good, but everything they’re connected to is rusting away.

            Maybe that analogy ain’t so good… I’m not leaking anything yet.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            petezeiss, you may wish to adopt, “I’m a Chevy. I run badly longer than most brands run at all.”

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            That’s me!

            There have to be t-shirts….

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Go on the internet; there are businesses that will silk screen one or two for you. It’s worth it!

            I use DuckDuckGo as my search engine.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Excellent idea. I want that Chevy saying as well as a few other favorite bon mots. First off, “You Breed ‘Em, You Feed ‘Em”.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    The only Nissan Quests I’ve ever seen have had rental agency bar codes on them.

    Fiastler is on an absolute tear almost across the board.

    I’ve had a minivan in the driveway off and on since 1998 – I like them – cheaper than a SUV/CUV with basically the same utility.

  • avatar
    turboprius

    In personal sales, the Odyssey is clearly the champion. How many Chrysler vans do you see with that “Enhance Your Drive: Scan Now” sticker on the driver’s window? A lot. How many Odysseys? None. The Sienna (in LE trim) also has a fleet presence, but nothing compared to the Town and Country and the Grand Caravan.

    (On a side note, those Allstate ads are still playing. I thought those were going to be removed?)

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      So, for personal, non-fleet sales, the best selling product is also by a significant margin the most expensive one.

      That’s a towering win for Honda.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The retail leader is Chrysler, if the Dodge and Chrysler sales are combined. Individually, the brands both lag Toyota and Honda.

        Chrysler is also the fleet leader. More than four out of five minivans that go to rental come from Chrysler.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      There are currently two minivans in my extended family, both owned and driven primarily by women.

      A daughter-in-law has a Sienna AWD and our daughter traded her old Odyssey for a 2013 left-over Odyssey last August.

      It’s a rarity for my son to drive the Sienna since he clearly prefers his older Nissan Titan to haul the whole family around in, especially on long or extended trips as a family.

      My daughter’s Odyssey is mostly driven by our 17-yo grand daughter who now lives with her mom in El Paso, TX and attends HS there. My daughter gets a staff-car from the University where she works, so all this worked out real good for everyone involved.

      The Fiatsler minivans should continue to be very popular because you just can’t beat the prices on them. A Dodge MVP minivan can be had in MY area for <$19K, plus tt&l.

      Compare that to the $38K Odyssey and $48K Sienna AWD and you have three levels of buyers with disposable income.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> those Allstate ads are still playing

      turbo, I’m running privacy badger and I’m not getting the ads. It could be something else blocking them, but it’s a good thing to have on your browser anyway:

      https://www.eff.org/privacybadger

      Edit: just realized this only works with chrome or firefox

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    pie charts suck. can you please find another way to present the information.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    So Chrysler is willing to give up nearly 25 percent of the market to reduce duplication…This is not going to end well…

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      It doesn’t make much sense unless they’re losing money on Grand Caravans that sell cheaper than most compacts. If that’s the case, why are they selling so many so cheaply? Union contracts? Something doesn’t add up. If they are making money on their strong selling minivans, why mess with it?

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I agree there may be information we don’t know about that would explain their decision. But people have complained about the Domestics having too much duplication and badge engineering. Now some of those same people complain when they try to get rid of some. Time will tell if this is a good decision when their financial results come out. If you are buying a $20k Dodge then you don’t have any other options. I am sure the Chrysler version will be a bit cheaper to help compensate.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          That’s what I’m thinking, something like an American Value Package low-end Town & Country to keep some of those sales.

          Maybe sold from a shed on the back of the lot with a bathroom trailer parked near by?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Dodge is being repositioned as a youthful performance brand. A minivan doesn’t really belong there.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Ford owned the cargo van segment and gave it away, so who knows.
      It’s a bit rediculous to call a 19k minivan underpriced, just because people are willing to pay 20k for a econobox doesn’t mean the entire industry needs to increase prices on everything.

      If it was underpriced it would be the clear sales leader, as it stands now the price seems to be high if it can’t double its sales against vans selling for twice its price.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      The only thing that might mak a shred of sense is Fiastler wants to make Dodge a legit “Pontiac” we build excitement brand. Minivans don’t fit that image, nor do crossover SUVs or CUVs. 707 HP Chargers and Challengers do.

      Don’t say I agree with that, but about the only thing that makes a shred of sense. Also given the pricing of the competition, there is no reason to sell a down market minivan anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        “there is no reason to sell a down market minivan anymore.”

        Not in their current manifestation as giant, feature-laden antipodes of the original concept. As others have suggested, just drop the “mini” and then jack their prices appropriately.

        But at the risk of sounding like agitators for the return of tiny pickups, mightn’t platforms like the Fiat Doblo/Qubo and the Transit Connect allow a real minivan with base models beginning in the high teens?

        Obviously the market is there for such a thing as people are snapping up 20K Grand Caravans and probably costing Chrysler money in the bargain.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          If the market existed for small minivans, Mazda wouldn’t be leaving a segment that only they played in. Really its not even worth suggesting it.

          Minivans and CUVs, as dodge sells no SUVs, can fit the image, if that image is CHEAP performance. The Pentastar Caravan isn’t a slouch(from what I hear), and its priced well. Unless you consider Minivans “anticool” or something similar, a cheap performance marketed brand can sell anything if it meets those two requirements.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            But Mazda is a flaky, barely known entity in flyover country with a sparse, no-profile dealer presence. The Mazda 5 was just too low-riding, delicate looking and expensive to gain any traction with ordinary buyers if they ever did see one.

            They also fail or barely survive outside big cities in every other segment. Does that make those segments worthless?

            And what does “performance” in the car guy sense have to do with the role of family haulers?

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Well, the budget trim type Dodge Grand Caravan bought for $13,500 in 1991—exact same market niche– would sell for maybe $23,500 today, inflation adjusted. There’s not a snowball’s chance that Chrysler could convince people to pay that much now. That $19K Caravan probably competes best against the higher trim Dodges more than any other. So they cannibalize their own sales.

    The pricing on these things must be awfully close to the bone at 19K and they influence the rest of the line downward. So, maybe they aren’t giving up as much as it seems.

    Still, Chrysler invented the segment way back when and it saved the company. How many other segments do they have 50% market share? 20% even? I can see how they backed themselves into a no-profit corner defending that market share.

    • 0 avatar
      turboprius

      The Grand Caravan you speak of is pretty basic (not the Chacos and Vineyard Vines wearing type of basic). It has a rear bench seat, only two power front windows, and no power accessories (backup camera, power sliding doors, etc.). When you look at one of these 19 grand Chrysler vans, you can tell they’re trying to be cheap.

      The 2014 Odyssey, on the other hand, has a feeling of quality. I’ve ridden in two, more than most vehicles. What a roomy and comfortable shuttle. No surprise as to why the retail sales are so high on them.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        That a minivan whose average sale price is over 40K owns 23% of a market that includes millions of sub-70K total income households doesn’t surprise you?

        • 0 avatar
          El duce

          I have a 2011 sienna Le. I paid around 24.5k for it. I couldn’t imagine spending over 40k for the same van with more bells and whistles. Especially, not to haul around my 3 young boys.

      • 0 avatar
        jim brewer

        Odyssey? Certainly i’ts better. it’s also double the price. You might think that it ought to have a better engine, but it doesn’t.

        As the British like to point out, there’s no such thing as traveling first class with children.

        • 0 avatar
          turboprius

          An EX-L Odyssey (by far the most popular trim, in terms of inventory and sales) costs $33,700 according to TrueCar. Some dealers, such as Economy up in Chattanooga and Honda Carland North up in Cartersville (before it became Shottenkirk), sold these EX-L Odysseys for about, even under, that price. In fact, they sold EXs (which is the nicest balance of equipment for most minivan buyers, in my opinion) for under 30.

          Here in the western suburbs of Atlanta, most of the people are sub-70Kers*, like you mentioned. However, some spend their money in different ways. Sure, they may have a 2015 Yukon XL Denali, but do their three children have yearly doctors’ visits? Maybe not. Do their kids wear Under Armour and velcro Nike Free Runs they’ll outgrow in six months? No.

          *Except north Cobb. That area is rich! I have a few friends that live up there, and they have quite a lot of money.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        The LX Honda is more than 7-8 thousand more expensive than the Grand Caravan AVP edition. And no the Odyssey doesn’t come with power doors, at that price range and you’re still stuck with 17″ steel wheels just like the Dodge. You have to move to the $32,000 EX van to get power sliding doors, and even then you can spend $28,000 and get an SXT GC with a power liftgate, as well as power sliding doors.

        Sorry but when it comes to a growing family there are people that go for the best bang for the buck, not listen to some internet fanboi raving on how “smooth” and how many “gadgets you can get for x amount of money”.

        I sure wouldn’t want toddlers destroying the back of a $30K+ vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          turboprius

          A good amount of 2002-2004 Odysseys with over 200K are beginning to appear on the listings around here. Sure, the owners may have spent 40K on them new, but those EX and EX-L Odysseys (no one buys/bought LX models, it seems) ran for twelve years. Yeah, there’s the transmission stuff and the 2011’s ratings in CR, but overall, the Odyssey is a great choice.

          If I was rich, I’d buy a 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite to use for trips and maybe even regular driving.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    My previous experience with the Chrysler minivans has left me thinking they are an uninspiring drive.

    The Kia Carnival is in the same league.

    If I ever grew young again and required a family van I would have to choose the Mercedes Benz Grand Viano V6 diesel. It gets around 30mpg average with six on board.

    This should maybe be the benchmark for family vans.

    http://www.carshowroom.com.au/newcars/reviews/3926/2013_Mercedes_Benz_Viano_Review_and_Road_Test

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Compared to (barely) converted diesel cargovans, the new Chryslers may as well be Rolls Royces.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @stuki
        You are correct. It’s more or less a pimped cargo van, but re-engine with a 420ftlb diesel.

        As for those Chrysler/Dodge vans, no thanks, I had one for a hire vehicle when in the US for a while. The Mercedes work vans actually do drive better.

        It’s pretty bad when a cargo van is better than a purpose built people mover like these Chrysler/Dodge vans.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          My experience with those kinds of vans are probably more limited than yours, but driving a US spec sprinter vans on beat up US highways at 85, made me really pine for the comfort, quietness and ride quality of the Honda Element. And Lotus Elise. And that’s not even considering crosswinds….

          US Minivans are pretty darned impressive vehicles for what they are. The Sienna rides like a mid lux SUV. The Chryslers start out a bit worse, and gets rattier quicker, but they still seem like they have been designed with some though to going faster than 40mph, which I guess is the “target speed” for urban delivery vans in Europe.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @stuki,
            I do think your view of Europe is rather backwards. Their highway system will almost rival that of the US. In some case it will make the US system not look that good at all.

            I would think the EU overall has higher speed limits on these highways as well.

            As for the vans and their performance. The Mercedes Benz Viano we have will easily sit on 85mph day and night up hill, through dale.

            Maybe you should actually go over to the EU and look around. It’s actually quite pleasant.

            Your 85mph comment will surely reduce your FE significantly as well. We had the Plymouth, and Dodge vans for several weeks or so at work.

            Their ability to work and carry 5-6 people really displayed their shortcomings. Once we had 7 in the vans, not only was it uncomfortable, but the vans became near on dangerous through overloading.

            The suspension tuning is not able to manage those loads effectively.

            The vans might do okay with mom, dad and the kids.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            I’ve driven and ridden in almost every country in Europe. Spend quite a bit of time there.

            Speed limits are higher, but few people do the long freeway drives that are common in the Western US. In Germany, some do have fairly longish commutes, and consequently buy cars much closer to what Americans buy, aside from the Diesel engine.

            The stereotypical “euro” car; small, underpowered, as tall as it’s long, and often diesel as well, just isn’t well suited for US driving. Nor for many Germans. Works great in Italy, where people spend more time parking than sitting at 85 in 40mph crosswinds.

            In the US, work crews of 7 burly dudes don’t buy minivans, either. Heck, it seems the most common way to transport 7 workers over here, is 7 separate pickup trucks…. Often the HD variants, to make sure the suspension can handle the consumed donuts….

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    The family that lives across the street from me own a Honda Odyssey approx 6 years old. When they moved in the kids were small and they had an old Honda Accord. Kind of beat up and a lot of rust. Always started and they finally bought the new Honda Odyssey on the record of the old Honda. The Odyssey has been towed from their driveway at least 5 times for a no start over the last few years. A week ago it they had it towed again and Thursday it was back in their driveway. They used the car Friday and today i looked out the window and they made it half way down the block and it died. It was raining and the whole family was pushing the car back to their driveway. I went out to help them and asked what is going on. The owner is ready to set this van on fire. The dealer told them earlier in the week that they finally found the problem but had to get a back ordered part. It came in Thursday and the car started right up. Now it’s back to the dealer. The transmission was also replaced a few years ago but they told me it was on Honda;s dime. I think this family spend their money on the basis of how well the old Honda was. I know a number of people that have brought new Asian cars after having older ones for years and now not being to happy with the new wheels. Just some food for thought.

    • 0 avatar
      Thatkat09

      Out of all the minivans, the only one that ive heard good things about reliability wise is the Sienna. My aunts Mazda 5 isn’t even holding up well.

      I know people don’t like the idea of owning minivans anymore, but some of that may be because of prior history and not style.

  • avatar
    koshchei

    Up here, the Dodge Grand Caravan is thick on the ground. Looking down our street, I can see at least 10 of the 2008+ variety, excluding our 2013 T&C.

  • avatar
    ry6puwh7vybo8ghot8nowo9ly4ne4deth5ca7ghe6bo7he7gyc

    Dodge Grand Caravan AVP can be found on Autotrader for $16,000.
    I think that is one of the best bargains out there. USED Toyota Camrys and Accords with 100,000 miles can be found at that price.

    New, seven passenger V6 auto for that price is amazing, imo.


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