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Minivan-based crossover may not arrive

by David Zatz on

The 2014 four-year plan clearly shows a Chrysler-badged crossover based on the next minivan, and insiders have been talking up the “RA” crossover, based on the “RU” minivan; but Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne today cast some doubt on whether this was a certainty.

We’re working our way through the economics of that case right now. So the car is designed. We know what it looks like. We’re just trying to find out whether we can sell enough. But obviously it shares the architecture with the minivan. We’ll let you know as soon as we find out. We’re still busy trying to launch the minivan. Let’s not worry about a second car.

Originally, the crossover was to be a Dodge, likely badged Caravan, and sources claimed that the current “RT” Caravan would be made alongside the “RU” Town & Country until the crossover was ready for sale, to keep the name active. However, the Plan has a full size Chrysler crossover rather than a Dodge one, perhaps in keeping with Dodge’s muscle image and the apparent continuation of the Durango.

It appears now that the vehicle is ready, but may not be produced. The company might be keeping it “in its hip pocket” in case minivan sales don’t use all of the Windsor plant’s capacity;  if the minivan sells so well that the plant is busy making just that one vehicle, it would be an expensive mistake to make the crossover there as well.

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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