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Minivan making mystery

by David Zatz on

When will Chrysler start making its next-generation minivans?

Allpar’s sources claim that the plant will shut down near the end of the year, and stay closed for months, preparing to make the new independent-suspension, AWD-capable minivans and full-size crossovers. Two Januaries ago, Sergio Marchionne said we could expect production around January 2015.

2016 Chrysler Town & Country

Last year, though, Mr. Marchionne said we could expect production around January 2016, and most media outlets seem to be sticking with this statement.

It’s possible that the renovation of the aged Windsor plant — still a facility known for high quality and engaged employees — is required just to produce new-minivan pilots, so that the plant must be refitted long before any prototype vans are made. With a February deadline, one would expect to have seen some serious minivan spy shots by now… perhaps.

The Town & Country is selling well, but it’s also been getting incentives, and for 2015 it will reportedly add a power sunroof to the top model while lowering its price. While the van is much more attractive than in the past, it is having a hard time winning over customers from the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. Dodge Caravan remains a sales leader, propped up by low entry prices and  fleet sales.

The image above shows JackRatchett’s latest thoughts on the future minivan, with a stylish crease unbroken from front fender to tail, dual Chrysler-wing shapes framing the rear license plate, and a 700C-style dual door handle.

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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