Latest Rumors Out Of Windsor Point To Dodge Grand Caravan's Demise

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

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).

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Wheeljack Wheeljack on Jun 19, 2013

    I think this is a serious mistake. I recall reading an article published sometime after the Plymouth Voyager went away and a low-price Chrysler was cooked up to sell to the returning Plymouth customers. According to the article, a significant number of customers did not want the low-price Chrysler (or the Dodge Caravan for that matter) and instead went to Kia and Hyundai. I know people think they can just fold up the Dodge brand and their customers will just buy a Chrysler, but in the irrational world of brand image and customer behavior, that isn't always the case.

  • Johnny ringo Johnny ringo on Jun 19, 2013

    I certainly hope minivans don't go away. I have a couple of Newfies (Newfoundlands for non-dog people) to haul around to shows and various types of working trials; my Ody has plenty of room for both dogs and all my gear. I runs great and gets good gas mileage--in my case a CUV or an SUV would be useless.

    • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Jun 19, 2013

      I had three largish dogs when I had my Caravan back in 1985 and it was a great way to cart them around. I took the back seat out and put it in the basement, it was just a place for the puppy I got the day after I bought the Caravan to hide out and eat the carpet without us noticing. Not chew it, eat it, including the sound deadener stuff. Other than some odd FWD handling issues and a total lack of power, I liked it ok. I replaced it with an '88 S10 Blazer that at least could merge on the freeway without any drama.

  • Jkross22 The contrived, forced, overproduced jokes and antics were fun 15 years ago, but it's been the same thing over and over since. The last few years of Top Gear were heading this direction and the 3 were phoning it in. They should have either done something completely different and tried something new. Instead they played it safe.
  • SCE to AUX "...identified during our rigorous validation process"Not so rigorous, if they ended up on dealer lots. 🙄
  • Ras815 Their naming scheme is almost as idiotic as having a totally separate Polestar brand for EVs that look exactly like...de-badged Volvos. But you can tell it came from the same idiocy.
  • Dukeisduke "The EX naming convention is used for the automaker’s new and upcoming EVs, the EX30 and EX90."Only upcoming when they can figure out the software.
  • SCE to AUX I've always said that consumer/business pressures will reign in government decrees, as they have in the past in places like California. That state has moved the goalposts many times for "ZEV" mandates.But the problem is the depth of politicization of the EPA. Mfrs need continuity and long-term commitment to requirements, not living on a 4-year political cycle of who's in the White House and Congress. Your President - whomever that is - isn't going to be around forever.Ironically, backing off the gas means handing a greater lead to Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid, (and possibly H/K/G). The whiners have begun heavy investments whose ROI will be extended by years, and their EV sales will reduce even further.It's like the coach granting his players less practice time because they're tired, while the other team stays fit - that's how you lose the game.
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