Dodge Grand Caravan Dies In 2019: Report
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Windsor, Ontario, minivan factory will reportedly suspend Dodge Grand Caravan production in mid 2019.
Seats delivered from Magna International’s Integram Seating facility to the minivan assembly plant will no longer be delivered as of July 2019, according to a letter sent from Magna to Unifor. Automotive News Canada suggests that the Grand Caravan will be replaced by a crossover.
Budget priced, the Dodge Grand Caravan is currently America’s best-selling minivan. Together, the Grand Caravan and its Chrysler siblings own 45 percent of the U.S. minivan market. On its own, the Grand Caravan generates 56 percent of all Canadian minivan sales.
FCA’s strategy to date suggests the company does not want to offer competing products at different FCA brands. This strategy led to the demise of the Dodge Avenger, which wasn’t replaced when FCA redeveloped the Chrysler 200. How’d that work out? The 200, barely more than two years into its run, dies soon.
Similarly, FCA hatched a plan that resulted in the release of the Chrysler Pacifica, a replacement for the Chrysler Town & Country minivan, earlier this year. But the Pacifica’s launch did not coincide with the launch of a Dodge twin — the Grand Caravan persists in fifth-generation form. 47 percent of the minivans sold by FCA in the U.S. so far this year have been Chryslers; 53 percent have been Dodges. The Grand Caravan is on track for its best U.S. sales year since 2012.
As for the Grand Caravan’s position in the Dodge family, it’s the brand’s best seller. Only four FCA products sell more often in the United States — Ram P/U, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler.
The Grand Caravan’s demise at Dodge would leave Dodge with two utility vehicles (assuming a replacement would be steered to the two-vehicle Chrysler brand), one full-size sedan, and one muscle coupe.
Yet Unifor Local 444 President Dino Chiodo pointed out to ANC that FCA’s Grand Caravan phase-out plans have never been set in stone before and may not. “In 2019 there’s a plan to phase it out, but as you recall, they were supposed to phase it out in 2016, 2017,” Chiodo said. “As long as it’s selling, I don’t know if they’re going to make that decision.”
We asked FCA Canada for comment on the report of a mid-2019 production end for the Grand Caravan. FCA Canada’s head of communications, LouAnn Gosselin told TTAC, “We have not announced an end of production date at this time.”
Two months ago, FCA spokesperson Angela Bianchi confirmed the production of a 2017 model year Grand Caravan and the fact that the Grand Caravan would be discontinued, but said, “We don’t comment on future product plans beyond the current model year.”
Is there anyone outside of FCA that thinks digging a grave for the segment leader is a wise idea?
========Read all comments======== on Nov 25, 2016
This is the perfect opportunity for Hyundai to update the Kia Sedona, rename it the Genesis Whatever, price it competitively and take all those sales that FCA is apparently willing to abandon. "Pacifica" still makes me think of Celine Dion, who I can not stand, so for me and millions of others, is a poisonous name for a minivan. or the flattened minivan that the first Pacifica was.
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