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New minivans in CY 2015?

by David Zatz on

The Windsor Star reported that Chrysler’s planned minivan plant shutdown had been moved from midyear 2014 to November-December 2014, indicating delays in the production of next-generation minivans. This would correspond with sales at dealerships starting around January-February 2015.

The Star also wrote that union leaders had been promised new product, but that phrase could include the expected crossover version of the vans. Years ago, local newspapers also claimed that a new pickup, based on  minivans,  would be produced in Windsor.

Around a year ago, Sergio Marchionne reported that a new architecture had already been developed, and that the company was working on the rest of the package. He also promised that all wheel drive would be coming.

The architecture exists, which is not an inconsequential choice because that architecture inside the minivan today is probably one of the oldest we have within the family and so it needed to be substantially upgraded. We have done all that work from the engineering standpoint; we understand fully what it needs to do.

Maybe I shouldn’t be telling you this. One of the things that we’ve been looking at is a possibility of using a minivan architecture to introduce plug-in hybrids and make that sort of standard fare for the minivan, but it’s still too early to make a call. Certainly the architecture exists and is capable of doing all those things.

The Star also said that union leaders had been promised “new product” at the plant, but it is easy to mis-read this. While they could have been referring to


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