Chrysler Pins Its Hope on Vannin'

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
chrysler pins its hope on vannin

Canada's Report on Business had a good old chin wag with Steven Landry. Chryslerberus' Canadian-born and educated executive vice-president NAFTA sales, global marketing service and parts is charged with reigniting the market for the automaker's new, Canadian-built minivan. According to Landry, Swivel 'N Go seating is the key. "It becomes a lifestyle type of vehicle versus a people transporter." The new minivans will also sport a dual TV system; second and third row sprogs can watch different satellite TV channels or DVDs– unless you're sitting in the second row facing the third row, in which case you can watch the third row watching the screen. Siriusly. If Chyslerberus was going down this path, why doesn't their van have a bed or move the Caliberesque "chillzone" drinks cooler to the rear? In short, it looks like the van's success will ultimately depend on the aftermarket.

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  • Starlightmica Starlightmica on Jul 30, 2007
    The minivan is going in the same direction as the station wagon, with crossovers emerging as the mainstream minivan replacement. Yes, crossovers are edging out BOF SUV's, but there will always be us diehards wanting the extra cargo space and remote power sliding doors that only a minivan can deliver. Odyssey and Sienna sales have been stable the past couple of years. Is it possible (and legal) to drive with second row facing rearward? Rear facing child seats do it already. I am guessing that additional engineering was required to have a seat capable of crashing both ways.
  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Jul 30, 2007

    Grandkids, friends, overall comfort, and the neverending opportunity to buy and carry 'stuff'.

  • Radimus Radimus on Jul 30, 2007

    The idea of turning the second row around and having a small table between them is brilliant. The kids can play card and board games on long trips. Ford had an option on the Windstars some years back where you could order second and third row seats that folded down to create a bed. I don't think it was very popular though.

  • Slow_Joe_Crow Slow_Joe_Crow on Jul 30, 2007

    I personally don't see any great need for a TV in the back, although I have joked about installing a bookcase for my kids. The idea of having a table is really appealing and we have seriously considered getting a VW Multivan so we can have rear facing seats, a table, and space for a cooler to simplify lunch at the trailhead, or rest area. Our need is more for a "day camper" than in motion play, especially given my wife's loathing for car pools and insistence on walking or biking whenever possible, to the point of wanting to buy a cargo bike for grocery shopping.