Production of the world’s most recognizable minivan might not end next year after all.
The Star quotes John McCabe, president and CEO of AutoForecast Solutions, who claims Fiat Chrysler Automobiles got cold feet about building a new crossover at its Windsor assembly plant.
“Our latest information points to FCA extending the Caravan for a couple of more years and holding off plans on the crossover right now,” said McCabe. “This speaks to the fluid nature of FCA’s product plans going forward.”
FCA wouldn’t confirm the Grand Caravan’s delayed date with the gallows. The automaker’s Canadian spokesperson, LouAnn Gosselin, told the Star, “We have nothing to announce.”
When FCA axed the Town & Country in favor of the 2017 Pacifica — a tech-laden vehicle designed to lure crossover buyers back to the minivan fold — the entry-level Grand Caravan was kept alive until a new vehicle could be found for Windsor.
Was the answer was right under their noses? The Grand Caravan’s price seems immune to inflation, and sales remain quite healthy. If the report proves true, it’s doubtful there’ll be sleep lost over the decision.
Dino Chiodo, president of the labor union representing Windsor employees, claimed, “There is still a niche market for a low-cost people mover,” adding that a new vehicle posed a risk to workers if it failed to sell.
FCA seems to be on the fence over future applications of the Pacifica platform. When production kicked off in Windsor earlier this month, CEO Sergio Marchionne mentioned the platform was flexible enough for a new generation of the Brampton, Ontario-built Chrysler 300.
The Grand Caravan has been in production since 1987.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]