Cain's Segments: Minivans In November 2014

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
cain s segments minivans in november 2014

Despite massive year-over-year improvements, the Kia Sedona continues to be a relatively low-volume player in America’s minivan segment. But are the gains made by the Kia significant enough to make life difficult for the top four?

Compared with November 2013, Sedona volume jumped 578% last month as a follow-up to October’s 251% gain. Through the first three-quarters of 2014, Kia USA had been selling fewer than 630 Sedonas per month. 2376 were sold in October; 3538 in November. The van’s market share through nine months was a paltry 1.3% as even the Mazda 5 and Nissan Quest were easily outselling the Kia. But in November 2014, the Kia Sedona grabbed 9.1% of America’s minivan market.

November was also notable for the name of the minivan category’s best seller. Toyota’s revamped-for-2015 Sienna was America’s top-selling minivan last month. November marked just the third time this year that something other than a Chrysler product topped the minivan sales charts: the Honda Odyssey did so in January; the Sienna in July.

MinivanNovember2014November2013% Change11 mos. 201411 mos. 2013% ChangeChrysler Town & Country8,05511,288-28.6%127,331112,55113.1%Dodge Grand Caravan8,8429,614-8.0%122,899112,7939.0%Honda Odyssey8,6399,401-8.1%112,370116,880-3.9%Kia Sedona3,538522578%11,5706,57875.9%Mazda 5407667-39.0%10,85412,717-14.6%Nissan Quest483768-37.1%9,14812,006-23.8%Toyota Sienna8,9468,8201.4%112,814111,7371.0%Volkswagen Routan—258-100%1,1031,825-39.6%—— —————Total38,91041,338 -5.9% 508,089478,0876.3%

Of course, the Sienna only led the way in the strictest sense. Chrysler and Dodge combined for 16,897 Town & Country/Grand Caravan sales, well in excess of the 8946 managed by the Sienna and the 8639 sold by November’s third-ranked Odyssey.

The Odyssey was officially the best-selling minivan in America in calendar year 2013 but currently ranks fourth in the category through eleven months. Minivan sales in the United States are up 6% in 2014. Odyssey volume is down 4%. That just means fewer Odysseys in which to develop AMFS: Automatic Minivan Filth Syndrome.

As for the Chrysler twins, their U.S. volume plummeted in November but grew 11% to 250,230 units so far this year. The Town & Country has already topped 2013’s full-year total and indeed the full-year totals from any of the last six years, in fact. The Grand Caravan won’t match 2012’s 141,468-unit performance, but the year will end with more Grand Caravans sold than in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, or 2013. Together, the Town & Country and Grand Caravan account for 49.2% of the minivans sold in America so far this year, up from 47.1% at this stage one year ago.

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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13 of 69 comments
  • Lie2me Lie2me on Dec 19, 2014

    It must be Titanium Brown, it's also $40 frickin' K... No thanks

    • See 10 previous
    • VW4motion VW4motion on Dec 21, 2014

      @petezeiss pet.. why do you type as a child to mock ones username? And I tell you my 1988 Jetta 16v had 290,000 miles with same clutch, and looked almost new when it was sold. It did burn an extra quart of oil every 5000 miles. But, I am no vw enthusiast, it has been 12 years since a vw graced my driveway. Even though a Touareg would look great.

  • Gearhead77 Gearhead77 on Dec 21, 2014

    From most accounts I've read, the new Sedona follows the usual HyunKia model of "Lots of stuff, little substance". Styling is decent and the interior is praised, as it should be. Most new Kias I've been in could pass for ten year old VW/Audi products. And the level of equipment is high. But the ride,handling and the "minivan-ness" of the Sedona has not been held in such high regard. A lack of storage spaces and some of the tricks to increase versatility you find in the T&C, Honda or Toyota vans have been reported. And the usual lack of refinement in the ride/handling you find in Kia cars. Not that it's bad, but it seems like the steering,ride and handling were figured out by engineers who didn't talk to each other. They'll be fine to people who don't care about those things, which is most minivan buyers. I mean, we aren't tracking our vans, but the Honda had just a bit more refinement all around over the surprisingly good T&C. The refinement and better dealer experience was enough to win out over the Chrysler. I'll be interested to see the new T&C though.

  • Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?
  • Roger hopkins Why do they all have to be 4 door??? Why not a "cab & a half" and a bit longer box. This is just another station wagon of the 21st century. Maybe they should put fake woodgrain on the side lol...
  • Greg Add me to the list: 2017 Sorento EX AWD w/2.0 Turbo GDI 68K miles. Changed oil religiously with only synthetic. Checked oil level before a rare long road trip and Ievel was at least 2 quarts down. That was less than 6 months after the last oil change. I'm now adding a quart of oil every 1000 miles and checking every 500 miles because I read reports that the oil usage gets worse. Too bad, really like the 2023 Tuscon. But I have not seen Hyundai/Kia doing anything new in terms of engine development. Therefore, I have to suspect that I will ony become a victim of a fatally flawed engine development program if I were to a purchase another Kia/Hyundai.
  • Craiger 1970s Battlestar Galactica Cylon face.