Chrysler Group boss Sergio Marchionne has decided to only offer one minivan in the future and the Chrysler Town & Country will be it. The Dodge Grand Caravan, along with the mid-size Avenger, will be getting the axe and replaced by a single crossover in 2013.
However, this move has some people puzzled since the Caravan has outsold its more expensive sibling by 14,000 units through September 2011. The decision to give the Caravan and Avenger the boot are part of Marchionne’s plan to reduce duplicate models in Chrysler’s lineup.
“We cannot have the same type of vehicle in the showroom because the consumer is not stupid,” Marchionne said in an interview with Automotive News. “We’re not going to create the confusion and conflict in the showroom.”
The Caravan’s exit plan has been taking shape for a while, and possibly as far back as 2008 when “Project Genesis” went into effect under Cerberus Capital Management, Chrysler’s previous owner. “Project Genesis” was Chrysler’s plan to consolidate models and dealerships across the country in order to save money. For the time being, the Town & Country will be the only minivan offered by Chrysler but another minivan based off a Fiat platform is expected in 2014. At that same time, Dodge will launch a crossover targeting those who would usually buy a van. The new crossover is expected to be based off a Fiat platform and will be sporty, while still being spacious and practical.
Chrysler will also be getting rid of the current 200, but will attach the name onto a new mid-size sedan. The Dodge Avenger will not be as lucky, as it gets dropped in favor of the aforementioned crossover. A new compact sedan based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta will replace the defunct Dodge Caliber even as Chrysler has backed off from prior statements claiming production will cease at the end of November.
Currently Chrysler has no plans to launch another subcompact model in the U.S., and it appears the 500 will be the only model offered for the foreseeable future. Marchionne doesn’t believe releasing another subcompact model here would warrant much revenue.
“I can introduce them in Canada and Mexico,” Marchionne told Automotive News. “But I would never center the U.S. as being the single largest driver of [subcompact] volumes.”
Do you think it’s a good move on Chrysler Group’s part to get rid of the Dodge Caravan? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
Source: Automotive News