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Minivan plan settled

by David Zatz on

Chrysler has made a final decision about which brand(s) will get a minivan, design chief Ralph Gilles told Allpar this week. When we asked at the New York Auto Show about the new design direction for Chrysler and Lancia would affect the new Chrysler minivan, Mr. Gilles said that the question of which brand or brands are getting a minivan was “decided internally, but they’re not decided externally. We don’t talk about what we’re doing externally, because we don’t want to cause any undue concern with our dealers or the public. But internally, the plan is quite cemented and we’re well on our way. We’re deep in development right now.”

Sergio Marchionne had told Allpar and other outlets in January, at the Detroit Auto Show, that the new minivans would show up around 2015-2016, and that their architecture had been determined. At the time, he said that no final decision had been made regarding branding — whether Dodge would keep Caravan or Chrysler would keep Town & Country, or both — an issue that arose after Mr. Marchionne said they would only keep one minivan, and would give the other brand a related crossover.

In Canada, Dodge Caravan has been a hot seller, but in the United States, retail sales vastly favor Town & Country.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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