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    William Maley

    Rumorpile: Chrysler Could Be Announcing New Minivans

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    A report from The Windsor Star says Chrysler is planning very soon to announce the next-generation of minivans.

    “We’ve been told (by Chrysler Canada) that Windsor Assembly is in position for new products. We’re waiting for an official announcement that could come any time now,” said Mike Lovric, Unifor Local 444 vice-president.

    Lovric went onto say that he has received a 2014 production schedule that shows layoff weeks slated for November and December, leading to the possibility that the plant could be retooled and production beginning sometime in 2015.

    Trying to figure out what Chrysler has in mind for their next-generation minivans has been difficult. CEO Sergio Marchionne has said that one the minivans will be gone come this next-generation, but didn't elaborate whether that will be the Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Caravan.

    Source: The Windsor Star

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    I do not see why they would not do new models! They could still have two of them with the Dodge Caravan being a more affordable model and the Chrysler Town & Country being a more premium offering. Perhaps bring back the SWB models as the standard Dodge with LWB as a Dodge opt but Standard on the more Luxurious Town & Country! If done correctly there is still a market for both of them!---Are you listening GM for a like treatment for future Lambda based Chevrolet and Buick Minivans?

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    I agree that there is market place for these auto's and that they need to be refreshed. Yet I think they could dump the Dodge version and just have one Chrysler version that starts with a plain Jane model and goes up to an ubber luxury model.

    With Chrysler, Honda, Toyota having the bulk of this market, I do not see any reason for GM to get back into the Mini van market. CUV's are the future and would limit the stretching out of R&D dollars as they are needed to get GM current products back to World Class Quality.

    When GM gets to a high profit stand point like their arch rival Toyota, then they can look as niche auto markets.

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    Diluting a "Chrysler" level vehicle to compete at a "Dodge" level pricing is a mistake. Some overlap is inevitable, but a Chrysler should always stand for something better, if the premium price is going to be justifiable.

    At the other end, Dodge needs a minivan. Pure and simple. You need a people mover that is easy on the wallet, and long on features. Abandoning that market for a de-contented version of the 'upscale' model, is a guaranteed fail. The lower price people will like the move, but they will alienate their upper end buyers, which is where the margin is.

    I think that Chrysler has done a great job of wringing the last dollar out of every buyer, when it comes to the Town and Country. They are loyal as heck, but seriously, they were buying a Caravan with a new grille. This bit of badge engineering should stop. It has been a bit of a snickering shell game to me.

    Going forward, the Town and Country should be as different from the Caravan as the Pacifica was from everything else. It was completely unique in styling, but used the same running gear, and it fit on the same assembly line as other minivans. This is the way they should do it going forward. (Just don't make it look like a Pacifica - PLEASE!)

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    I agree, it is a mistake to kill either of these vans. They need both, with Dodge at the lower and sporty end, and Chrysler at the luxury end. It has worked for 30 years so far, customers don't seem to mind. Shoot, in the beginning, it was Plymouth Voyager, Dodge Caravan, and Chrysler Town & Country, so I am not sure why Fiat thinks they need to drop to one van to see it through. And I also agree that Dodge should go back to two lengths, short and long.

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    From a practical standpoint, the more I think the loyalty of the Town and Country buyer may just 'force' Chrysler to continue with the 'beak, butt and padding' rebadge of the Caravan. The demographic is probably older, richer, and looking for familiarity. This combination of things can be hard to resist.

    That said, I still think that if a 'Pacifica' type people-mover, with outstanding styling is introduced, it could be a good move. That way, if sales of the T&C start to drop in any significant way, then it could get bounced easily.

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    On 12/30/2013 at 11:57 PM, Miradart said:

    From a practical standpoint, the more I think the loyalty of the Town and Country buyer may just 'force' Chrysler to continue with the 'beak, butt and padding' rebadge of the Caravan. The demographic is probably older, richer, and looking for familiarity. This combination of things can be hard to resist.

    That said, I still think that if a 'Pacifica' type people-mover, with outstanding styling is introduced, it could be a good move. That way, if sales of the T&C start to drop in any significant way, then it could get bounced easily.

    Little did you know how right you were!  We did get a Pacifica, and as far as minivans go, it ended up being really handsome!

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