Are Sliding Doors the Kiss of Death?
What's killing the minivan? The Detroit News thinks it's sliding doors. Citing the sliding rear doors as the primary feature that distinguishes minivans from crossovers, they point out minivan sales are down 22 percent so far this year, while crossover sales are on the rise. Automotive marketer Wes Brown sees the sliding door as epitomizing the "less-exciting realities of minivan ownership" for the poor schlubs who are "stuck in a rut of having a family." Interesting thing, though– the first generation Mazda MPV and Honda Odyssey had regular rear doors instead of sliders. They were less than stellar sellers. The second generation of both models had proper sliding doors, just as God intended. Who knows? If they'd stuck with the regular doors and changed their marketing strategy, they might have been credited with starting the crossover craze. Either that or disappeared.