The Truth About Cars » chrysler town & country The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 18 Jul 2014 20:52:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » chrysler town & country Windsor Assembly Re-Tooling For Next Generation Chrysler Minivan Mon, 30 Jun 2014 15:29:18 +0000 IMG_3945-Medium-550x366

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.

According to The Windsor Star, the re-tooling, which will begin in February and last for 13 weeks, will almost certainly transform the plant into one that is capable of building vehicles based on a new, front-drive flexible architecture. The new minivan is expected to ride on this architecture, with a new crossover also sharing the same underpinnings.

That would leave Windsor in a prime position to build the new vehicle, which would go into production in 2017. While Chrysler walked away from a request for a $1 billion subsidy package, the prospect of another vehicle added to Windsor could mean that FCA and various levels of the Canadian government could be back at the bargaining table fairly soon.

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Re-Tooling Could Give Clues To Chrysler Minivan Plant’s Fate Wed, 21 May 2014 10:30:47 +0000 550x366xIMG_3945-Medium-550x366.jpg.pagespeed.ic.r1FQOC1FuH

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.

According to the Windsor Star, Unifor Local 444 President Dino Chiodo said that there could be

“about a two to three-month shutdown to retool the facility…If there is a full investment there could be a downtime associated to it…We don’t know whether it will be two weeks, four weeks, two months potentially. That’s what could be happening if there is a full refresh  of the current vehicle and a full rebuild of the new  vehicle that’s projected for 2016.”

While Chiodo went on to talk about the economic impacts of a long term shutdown (with certain suppliers not getting the same benefits as Unifor), the longer downtime would suggest that FCA is investing serious money in Windsor to allow it to build a new flexible architecture for not just the new minivan, but other crossovers and sedans built on the same platform. That would be a case of exchanging some short-term pain for the long term payoff of a secure future for Windsor.

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Latest Rumors Out Of Windsor Point To Dodge Grand Caravan’s Demise Wed, 19 Jun 2013 16:26:30 +0000 2011_Chrysler_Town_&_Country_--_03-24-2011 (1)

It appears that the Chrysler Town & Country has won the minivan Hunger Games, as the latest report from the Windsor Star claims that the T&C will be the lone minivan offering from Chrysler when the next generation van goes on sale in 2015.

The subject of which van would survive has been a constant source of speculation for industry watchers. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has issued a number of conflicting statements, stating one brand would get a new larger crossover. It turns out that Chrysler will be getting a van, and a crossover, while Windsor’s assembly plant will some new product as well

Chrysler has not said publicly which of the two vans would be discontinued or when a new van would be launched. However, CEO Sergio Marchionne has said that the plant will get a new global platform, capable of producing a variety of vehicles, including a sedan as well as a small van for international export.

The new crossover is said to be reminiscent of the Chrysler Pacifica in that it’s a large crossover ostensibly with three rows. There’s been talk of Dodge axing the Durango, and a Chrysler crossover would give dealers a way to retain Durango customers, while also beefing up the brand’s current 4-vehicle lineup. The loss of the Durango and Caravan would hurt Dodge in the short-term, but the two don’t exactly fit with the brand’s “sporty” image. Then again, neither does the Journey, but that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere either. One market that would feel the sting of the Grand Caravan’s demise is of course, Canada. The Caravan is a perennial best-seller in The Great White North, and the T&C would have to dip a lot lower in its pricing range to fill the void left by budget entries like the $18,995 Caravan Canada Value Package and better equipped mid-level trim ranges (for comparison, the T&C starts at just over $30k in Canada).

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Ford F-Series Outsells Entire Minivan Market Thu, 18 Oct 2012 13:00:41 +0000

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 nearly 196,000 minivans sold through the end of September, the Chrysler twins make up 45 percent of the total minivan market. Broken out individually, the Dodge Grand Caravan has close to a 10,000 unit lead over the second place Honda Odyssey, and almost 20,000 units on the third place Chrysler Town & Country in terms of year-to-date sales.

Of course, this starts to look insignificant when you look at the data laid out by Timothy Cain. Year-to-date truck sales indicate that the Ford F-Seres, America’s Sweetheart on four wheels, has sold 463,733 units. The entire minivan market has racked up roughly 421,000 units so far. The dominance of pickup trucks is nothing new, but this puts in into perspective if nothing else. Not even record gas prices seem to be able to stop the full-size truck’s hegemonic stranglehold on the American auto market.

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With A Strike Looming, Chrysler Vans Enjoy Market Stranglehold Fri, 21 Sep 2012 14:54:22 +0000

As the threat of a strike at Chrysler’s Windsor plant looms, it’s worth examining just how much of an iron grip the Pentastar minivans have on the market.

Tim Cain, TTAC’s favorite third-party sales guru, has the latest numbers for American minivan sales, and the Dodge Grand Caravan is firmly in the lead this year, with 94,639 units sold. While the Honda Odyssey is firmly in second place (86,459), holding a nearly 10,000 unit lead over the fourth place Chrysler Town & Country, the combined sales figures for the two Chrysler vans have them outselling the Odyssey by an almost 2:1 margin. No wonder Sergio Marchionne is so eager to consolidate Chrysler’s minivan offerings under a single umbrella.

According to Cain, 45 percent of minivans sold in America this year have been one of the two Chrysler vans. In Canada, that number is even higher; last year saw the Grand Caravan alone account for 56.5 percent of the minivan market. In 2012, the Grand Caravan is ranked 4th in YTD sales up North. Only the Ford F-Series, Dodge Ram and Honda Civic are outselling it.

Cain cites the Canada Value Package and the American Value Package, which sells for $19,995 in both countries, as a key factor in helping drive sales of the Caravan. The Grand Caravan is an even more attractive proposition in Canada, where higher fuel prices make larger SUVs a less attractive proposition. The Grand Caravan still has plenty of room for kids and their hockey bags (hold your laughter, please, this is a serious issue for a lot of consumers in Canada) without offering the fuel economy penalties that come with a large SUV or crossover.  While the CVP is undoubtedly a loss leader for Chrysler, it helps get customers into the showroom, and as Cain notes

“Family van buyers don’t want to pay $10K more for a similarly equipped Sienna or Odyssey, even if they like it more.”

Now put that in the context of a CAW strike; if the Bramalea plant building the LX cars went down, life would go on. But if Windsor stopped cranking out GCs and T&Cs, there might be a problem. As of September 1st, there was a 27 day supply of Grand Caravans and a 49 day supply of Town & Countrys. They’re not exactly stacking them high and selling them cheap like General Motors is forced to do with their full-size pickups.



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Chrysler Minivans Here To Stay, But Direction Remains Unclear Sun, 06 May 2012 17:14:45 +0000

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.

The Town & Country has a higher average transaction price than the Grand Caravan, and many have suggested that the Chrysler van would be the sole remaining entrant in the lineup. But the Grand Caravan’s runaway success (where it ranks among the best selling vehicles) in Canada has given executives some reservations about keeping one model only.

Either way, Dodge will have a new crossover to replace the Grand Caravan and Avenger, featuring traditional doors. Any future Dodge minivan would have sliding doors, as expected in the segment. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told Automotive News that the Chrysler 700C concept minivan would provide a hint at the direction of future minivans, but that some unpopular styling elements would not make it into production.

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