FCA’s decision to kill off the Dodge Caravan doesn’t just mean the end of a storied nameplate. The auto maker will also retreat from a significant niche micro-segment, the affordable minivan.
Only twice in the last six years have one of the Chrysler Group’s minivans been America’s top-selling minivan. America’s best-selling minivan in 2008 and 2009 was the Honda Odyssey, which also led the segment in 2013. The Toyota Sienna was America’s best-selling minivan in 2011.
Yet through the first nine months of 2014, not only is the Chrysler Town & Country America’s top-selling minivan, but its twin, the Dodge Grand Caravan, ranks second in the class, 8431 sales ahead of the third-ranked Odyssey. The Chrysler and Dodge haven’t finished a calendar year as the two top-ranked minivans since 2005. (Read More…)
In preparation for a “stunning” new minivan, Chrysler will shut their Windsor, Ontario assembly plant for three months to re-tool for the all new vehicle, expected to be sold exclusively as a Chrysler Town & Country.
Chrysler will hire 60 workers at its Windsor, Ontario minivan plant, but only candidates referred by current union workers will be considered for the jobs.
Chrysler will re-tool their Windsor Assembly Plant to build the next-generation Chrysler Town & Country, effectively securing the plant’s future for years to come.
While the exact location of the next Chrysler minivan is still up in the air, some clues as to whether it will stay in Windsor, Ontario could be found in the plant’s re-tooling time.
The Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country accounted for 49 percent of all minivans sold in America last month – and their year to date sales total isn’t that far off either.
With a lock on at least 40 percent of the minivan market, Chrysler isn’t going to be exiting the minivan market anytime soon – but they do have to decide on what direction they’ll take the next-generation minivan. The company still hasn’t decided on whether to kill off the Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Grand Caravan – or if they should keep both.