Chrysler Exporting Canadian Minivans?

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

Have you ever looked at something and just are not able to see the point of it? The Simpsons, Kim Bauer, RC Cola and Michael Bay’s career all spring to mind, but right now I’m more confused than a chameleon standing next to a rainbow. The Wall Street Journal reports that Chrysler are raising production of their minivans at their plant in Windsor, Ontario. More precisely, they are raising production of their right hand drive, diesel minivans for export (naturally). This will be the first time RHD minivans are built at Chrysler’s Canadian plant.

This sounds like good news for the Windsor plant and Canada’s value of exports, but it also raises basic “marketing” and “supply and demand” issues. You see, the areas of the world where they drive on the left side (ergo, they have right hand drive cars) are the United Kingdom, Ireland, Southern Africa, South East Asia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.So exactly who in these countries is going to want these cars? The UK and Ireland are mature markets which are eschewing big cars, while the Australia & New Zealand markets have to be too small to justify shipping minivans across the world. Japan? Ask Ford and GM how well they’re faring there. South East Asia might have some potential, but given the higher cost to build and export from Canada, it doesn’t sound like a viable venture either. A bit like Chrysler in general.
Cammy Corrigan
Cammy Corrigan

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  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Aug 22, 2009
    yes it does make sense but Chrysler have just passed through an event horizon where activities before are disassociated from activities after.... Don't you wish we all got one "mulligan" in life? We should all be so lucky.
  • FromBrazil FromBrazil on Aug 22, 2009

    Down here these things are indecently expensive. They sell 'em for around USD 75 000!!! So it's a very rich person's car. Their depreciation though is astronomical, which make them relatively attractive in the used market. They are well liked and admired but seldom seen, bought or traded. And Kia's Carnival stole all their market as they are sold at around USD 50 000. Anyway, larger families, which need a car that can carry 7 people, usually make do w/ Chevy's Zafira, Fiat's Doblò or just stuff themselves into even smaller cars.

  • Mirko Reinhardt Mirko Reinhardt on Aug 23, 2009

    @th008 As I recall, Magna Steyr has been building these up to now in Graz, Austria, and I would bet Chrysler can build them for less in Windsor. Austrian production ended in 2007. The current generation minivans have never been made in Austria.

  • Autojunkie Autojunkie on Aug 23, 2009

    The current generation of export minivans was being made in St. Louis South until it was closed last year. now Windsor makes all Minivan combinations spread out over three shifts. Contrary to what you may believe, there is quite the market overseas for these minivans. Chrysler sells every one they export. It's so easy to bash Chrysler when you specualte without reading any other facts first.