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HarleyEarl

The Ford Motor Company

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Rumor has it, Ford may exit the minivan market. Sales of the Freestar and Monterey are way down. So thankful someone is seeing the light on these awful vehicles. Now, GM, do the same.

Edited by HarleyEarl

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I believe it was said that GM is going to try and run out a line of truly world-class minivans, something long and coming from them.

If you ask me, the single worst decision made by GM regarding this segment was sharing the U-body with Opel, restricting its size and instantly rendering it less competitive. GM with Toyota was among the first (after Chrysler) with modern FWD car-like vans in the very early 1990s at a time when other entrants weren't vans at all (Expo/Summit, Nissan Sentra van) or were just so pathetic (EuroVan) no one cared. Mock them all you want, the Dustbusters were innovative and with the Silhouette, offered one of the first luxury minivans.

Ford never really made a consorted effort in this segment. The Aerostar was a minivan, but like the Astro, was more of a manageable fullsize van than a real minivan. The original 1995 Windstar was a good effort, but suffered for lack of upkeep.

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its inexcusable for Ford and GM to not be supremely competitive in this segment. and pathetic. regardless of their crossover plans.

Edited by regfootball

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I guess when your minivans suck as much as the Windstar, Aerostar, Freestar & what ever other freekin ______ Star there is then it is a good idea to quit while you're behind.

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Ford dropped the ball on this one: the Windstar was a better vehicle than the original Venture, but they just let it rot. The same thing GM did with the Cavalier while Toyota improved theCorolla year after year.

While AMericans may turn their noses up at the minivan, in the Rest of the World, it is an important vehicle - particularly in Canada where for years the Caravan/Voyager clones have repeatedly been the #1 selling trucks in this country. Insulated by subsidized gasoline prices, Americans prefer gas guzzling SUVs and pick ups, but this could easily change the next time Bin Laden picks an oil refinery here or an oil field there to blow up.

GM cannot afford to lose this market, nor can Ford. Both Ford and GM need to start using their international connections a lot more and stop treating North AMerica as unique and somehow different.

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The minivan market is going to plummet. Canadians aren't that enamored with the minivan...they are moving to crossovers in droves. The minivan as we know it, is on it's way out. It's had it's day. I'm so glad it's almost gone. I detest them.

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Um. In all seriousness, how do you figure?

Minivans will always be around in significant numbers. What would a florist or small courier prefer - a crossover with sedan doors, a fullsize van, or a 4cyl SWB Voyager-type van?

Also, I'm sure 9/10 who can afford it will always get one practical, family car and one real truck/car/SUV because as something like the R-Class shows, you can certainly combine them all, but you may not like how it tastes.

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I hate the numbers these have sold....I hate having to see these massive blobs of insignificance everywhere. They have messed up the automotive landscape. I'm so glad that the crossover will replace them. They are so much easier on the eyes...far better proportions. And the trades, delivery people and ordinary folk who need vans will buy actual utility vans. A new day is dawning.

Edited by HarleyEarl

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I hate the numbers these have sold....I hate having to see these massive blobs of insignificance everywhere.  They have messed up the automotive landscape.  I'm so glad that the crossover will replace them.  They are so much easier on the eyes...far better proportions.  And the trades, delivery people and ordinary folk who need vans will buy actual utility vans.  A new day is dawning.

do you have kids?

do you need to haul a lot of cargo?

do you have a clue about the appeal behind the sliding doors?

people that do, have the maturity to put aside the fact that the minivan does not look like a 911 or something, because it hauls the family, people, and cargo around in an efficient, functional, economical manner, at a price just about everyone can afford.

if that's not good design (function that pleases people at a good value) i don't know what is.

Chrysler sold what now, 2 million or so of their current basic minivan design? I don't think the looks are holding them back.......

when you realize that the minivan is perhaps the best opportunity for an automaker to develop brand loyalty for a lifetime........most couples, perhaps the only new cars they ever buy or the first ones they buy when starting out are minivans. if i were building cars I'd want to be in the van segment with my company's best effort. If i were a full line maker, i would see the need to be represented with my best foot forward, pleasing the market. I might have a customer for a LONG time if i make them happy with their minivan. if I have no entry, people won't take me seriously as a carmaker. What? Chevy has no minivan? Ford has no minivan? They must NOT be big players anymore.

Edited by regfootball

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The minivan market is going to plummet.  Canadians aren't that enamored with the minivan...they are moving to crossovers in droves.  The minivan as we know it, is on it's way out.  It's had it's day.  I'm so glad it's almost gone.  I detest them.

Well, if you have 2+ kids, they are alot easier to live with. If you are a parent with babies, a sliding door on both sides beats "looking hip". No friggin way are sliding door vans going anywhere. Just becasue one 'detests' a certain vehicle doesn't mean "they are dying".

Look at the stats. There were 1 millions sold last year. Cross overs will steal sales from haevy truck SUV's.

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I find SUV's and Crossovers poor compromises in comparison to the minivan, its really no contest for a 3 kids+ or 2 kids + big dog family. Form vs. function.

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Exactly. Crossovers only serve to combine elements of minivan user-friendlness with the SUV ride height and look people have come to adore. You cannot substitute the minivan with anything else.

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Say what you want about the CSVs, but they seem to be selling ok as a whole. If they cut them down to two brands <Chevy/Saturn>, the numbers would look better.

The Freestar/Montery weren't enough of a departure from the Windstar to matter.

Edited by Oldsmoboi

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The minivan market is going to plummet.  Canadians aren't that enamored with the minivan...they are moving to crossovers in droves.  The minivan as we know it, is on it's way out.  It's had it's day.  I'm so glad it's almost gone.  I detest them.

Quoted for truth. Glad to see I'm not the only one who sees that.

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Um. In all seriousness, how do you figure?

Minivans will always be around in significant numbers. What would a florist or small courier prefer - a crossover with sedan doors, a fullsize van, or a 4cyl SWB Voyager-type van?

Also, I'm sure 9/10 who can afford it will always get one practical, family car and one real truck/car/SUV because as something like the R-Class shows, you can certainly combine them all, but you may not like how it tastes.

No. People are going to want smaller, gas saving cars-trucks.

I expect the market to drop on both these and the larger SUVs....

Some will still need it, but a lot less will.

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Say what you want about the CSVs, but they seem to be selling ok as a whole. If they cut them down to two brands <Chevy/Saturn>, the numbers would look better.

The Freestar/Montery weren't enough of a departure from the Windstar to matter.

they were virtually indistinguishable visually and had worse interiors!

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I think that there is too many brand with minivans, companys like Toyota, Honda and even Chrylser should really be the only brands with minivans because they are really best out there. Even Kia is a better choice with its new Sedona. I mean GM doesnt need four of the same damn reworked Venture, and Ford didnt need to give Mercury a minivan, the only reason why the Town Country and Grand Caravan sell good is because they have a big difference between them unlike GM and Ford who just rebadged their minivans

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SUVS are the worst vehicles on the planet. There are only two countries in the Free World that buy them in any significant numbers: the U.S. and Canada. We are one hurricane or well placed bomb away from having $6 a gallon gas here and $5 down there and I wouldn't want to be driving a Tundra or Explorer when that happens.

Seriously, I've been selling vehicles for 8 years now and I just don't get SUVs: they are the worst of all worlds. They are basically bloated station wagons, but somehow the world (as we see it) has come to know them as status symbols. They are gas guzzlers, they can't carry as much stuff as a typical minivan, they ride and handle like tanks (for the most part!), they block the road, take up more space when parking. Seriously, unless you have a horse farm or a boat, what purpose does an SUV serve? Even here, in the hinterland, we don't need 4WD!

The minivan, on the other hand, carries 7 or 8 people in relative comfort, quietness and safety; is thousands cheaper to buy and maintain; gets significantly better gas mileage; and is far more versatile in terms of removable/stowable seats, etc.

"Cross-overs" are just another reinvention of the station wagon. They are trying to answer the question to those people who just can't see themselves in a minivan. Yes, they will have their day, but many families don't have the money for an over-priced SUV or cross over.

Now before I get firebombed here, let me say for the record that my last car was a '91 Caprice wagon and then a '98 Blazer - both gas guzzlers that I needed to tow my 20' boat around. I love a big vehicle as much as the next guy, but they truly serve no purpose other than to fan people's egos and to show they have more money than the next guy.

Why do people buy SUVs. What are the official excuses?

1) They are safer. Not from any study I have seen. They tend to roll over when people do stupid things in them. They are a menace when otherwise safe cars (like a 5 star rated IMpala) crash into them because their bulk and size makes them dangerous to other vehicles.

2) They are better in inclement weather. Yeah? When a foot of snow falls and you are stuck on the freeway, guess what - you can't move either because of all the non-4WD cars in front of you! Why do the tow truck guys love SUVs? Because they get stuck farther, deeper!

If you need a people mover, a minivan will do it far better than any SUV. Far from being "over," I would think that minivans will flourish and the SUVs day is numbered.

When China and India start fighint over oil, I hope GM has a lot of hybrid Aveos on the ground, because that is all we will be able to afford to drive.

(End of sermon, puts soap box away.)

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Posted Image

This was known way before the press conference yesterday. The Freestar is dying and will be replaced by the Fairlane, which is a very cool concept. I plan buying one for my wife as soon as I finish school.

The Fairlane, orginally shown on the CD3 platform has been approved on the D3 platform.

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