FCA to Dealers: Better Stock Up on Grand Caravans Now
Chrysler’s minivans have been a never-ending beacon of purity and goodness for over thirty years. Less so lately, but the segment remains an important part of the FCA lineup. Intended to replace both the Chrysler and Dodge minivans, the Pacifica did not outsell either at launch. While Pacifica deliveries eventually eclipsed the Town & Country, it was really only due to the venerable model’s extermination. Meanwhile, Dodge’s Grand Caravan continues as the stronger seller and remains a popular option for rental fleets.
This has convinced Fiat Chrysler to extended the Caravan’s death date more than once, but it won’t last forever. In fact, it’s about to suffer a sort of prelude to non-existence as production will go on an extended hiatus in mid-August and won’t resume until December, when the 2018 models appear.
Why FCA is taking this course of action is unknown. The automaker entered June with a scant 22-day supply of Grand Caravans, accounting for a 11,967-unit inventory. That’s by far the lowest surplus of any of FCA’s models and far below the typical industry average. However, dealers reported to Automotive News that the manufacturer recently advised them to order enough minivans this month to last them through December. Orders for 2018 are supposed to begin in October but deliveries won’t resume until January.
Dealers were also informed that only the two lowest Grand Caravan trims will be available through August — the $27,090 SE and the $29,790 SE Plus.
There has been no word of exactly what is taking place at Windsor Assembly from either FCA or labor union Unifor. However, one might hazard a guess that the manufacturer is either facing logistical problems with suppliers due to the uncertain timeline surrounding the older minivan’s demise or — more likely — trying to nudge potential customers over to the Pacifica after deciding to hand over the majority of 2017’s Caravans to rental companies.
You’re welcome to speculate.
Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.
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- Marty S Corey, thanks for your comment. Mercedes has many different models, and will survive. Jaguar is planning on only offering electric models and will be in trouble. They should continue their ICE models as long as possible, but have discontinued the F-Type already and will probably be discontinuing everything else. We purchased the current XF this year, which is a nice car, but would have been splendid if they had just continued the supercharged V-6 in it.By the way, I have really enjoyed your Continental and Eldorado series. Was just showing it to my barber, who owned several 1954-56 Eldorado convertibles.
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