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New vans to be modified CUSW?

by David Zatz on

The Windsor, Ontario plant, the birthplace of Chrysler minivans and currently their only source, will be down for a long changeover period — according to sources, from mid-February 2015 to nearly the end of May.

The factory will have heavy production through that time to produce a good stock of the current vans, and will then go into “build-out” of the 2015s as soon as production returns in late May. New vans are expected in late July, to start arriving on dealer lots in August or September.

Current rumor has the 2016 minivans riding on extended CUSW platforms — longer and wider than the Jeep Cherokee, but with a similar powertrain, and an all wheel drive option (possibly late-availability, and most likely the 200 style rather than the Cherokee style). They will almost certainly have nine-speed automatics and should have better ride and handling than any current minivan.

If the CUSW platform did not work out as well as anticipated and had to be adjusted to meet Chrysler’s minivan needs, it would explain what appears to be a long delay in creating and producing the minivans (based on Sergio Marchionne’s first public estimates on production times).  The Jeep Renegade had an even longer delay due to the need for extensive revisions to get it to pass Jeep tests.

Hybrid-electric minivans are due a month or three after the conventional vans start up.

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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