A long ways from the 1.1 million minivans sold in 2005, U.S. sales of sliding-door people carriers are on track to rise to a nine-year high of more than 600,000 units in calendar year 2016.
Through the first eight months of 2016, year-over-year minivan volume is up 19 percent in the United States, though an industry-wide slowdown stalled the minivan sector’s expansion in August.
More than a year after a plant shutdown in Windsor, Ontario, enabled retooling for a new generation of Chrysler MPV product — and severely cut into fleet sales — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles currently owns 45 percent of the American minivan market, up from 33 percent in the first eight months of 2015.
A portion of the credit for FCA’s resurgence belongs to the all-new Chrysler Pacifica, a direct Town & Country replacement that we’re testing this week. After forming only 25 percent of Chrysler brand sales at this stage of 2015, minivans are suddenly responsible for half of all volume at the fading Pentastar brand. (Read More…)
Upgrades are coming to several Fiat Chrysler Automobiles models, with the automaker announcing it will ditch some of the worst headlights in the industry.
No previously unannounced products are mentioned in FCA’s 2017 model year changes, but many models will receive new equipment. In the case of the Dodge Grand Caravan, which soldiers on in the shadow of the new Chrysler Pacifica, the new year comes with a new price. (Read More…)
Grits and poutine aren’t the only divisions betwixt us.
Celine Dion and two-year election campaigns aren’t the only factors that enable Europeans to tell us apart.
Catastrophic illness-induced bankruptcy and wait-time-fostering universal healthcare aren’t the only hallmarks of our unique approaches to public policy.
There are wildly divergent vehicular tastes between the United States and Canada, as well. (Read More…)
Sinkholes, nature’s version of the Morlocks, are fascinating and scary things. They appear out of nowhere, swallowing up homes and vehicles like a muddy repossession agent.
A massive sinkhole currently devouring a major downtown street in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, caused commuter chaos, ruptured a water and gas main, flooded a partly constructed underground LRT station, and took the life of an innocent Dodge Grand Caravan.
The model might have been spared by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, but this vehicle wasn’t. Ottawa was last in the sinkhole news in 2012, when a man (and his Hyundai Accent) was gobbled up by a malevolent freeway.
Let this be a lesson to all drivers: the Earth is hungry.
See video of the meal after the break. (Read More…)
Production of the world’s most recognizable minivan might not end next year after all.
If a report published by the Windsor Star is correct, the Dodge Grand Caravan will see its lifespan extended until 2019, all thanks to delayed plans for a Chrysler Pacifica-based crossover.
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. (Read More…)
So I got up behind a Dodge Grand Caravan the other day and I started thinking about my youth. This is because, in my youth, the Dodge Grand Caravan was an acceptable vehicle to drive, and not something you were stuck with when Enterprise ran out of full-size sedans.
There are two reasons for this: 1. Back in the day, the Dodge Caravan didn’t really have any competitors, so we didn’t really know that there were better options out there. Honda had the hinged-door Odyssey. Toyota had the weird-ass Previa. It was a mess; more importantly, 2. There were so many different versions of the Dodge Caravan that you were pretty much stuck buying a Dodge Caravan even if you actively avoided buying a Dodge Caravan.
Although the Chrysler Town & Country will be FCA’s main minivan nameplate going forward, the Dodge Grand Caravan will stick around longer than many people have expected.
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…)
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.
The last week or two, I’ve been getting the Toronto Sun free of charge. The Sun, as it’s known, could be compared to, say, the New York Post, but it’s really more in the vein of a British tabloid paper. Like the Post, the front page always has some sensationalized headline, and it’s often looked down upon as the newspaper of the uneducated middle class, but if you want to know what’s really going on in Toronto, especially our farcical municipal politics, The Sun cannot be beat.