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Caravan to move to Chrysler?

by David Zatz on

There are two recent indications that Chrysler may have decided to keep both the Caravan and Town & Country names for its next-generation minivans. First, recently, sales chief Reid Bigland said that rumors of the Caravan’s death were not necessarily true. Second, in January, CEO Sergio Marchionne said that the Town & Country name would remain on minivans, at least as a trim level.

This leaves room for the company to do what they did when Plymouth was dropped and there was suddenly a Chrysler Prowler and American Chrysler Voyager: move the Caravan over to Chrysler, and call it the Chrysler Caravan (or, awkwardly, Chrysler Grand Caravan), with a Chrysler Grand Caravan Town & Country trim level on top. Indeed, today, a source said they would be doing just that — though no rumor should be taken too seriously, as plans are in flux, and Chrysler seems to be testing the waters with false reports.

One can see room for extra layers, such as Chrysler Grand Caravan Town & Country Limited Platinum Edition, which is one reason (other than alliteration) some would prefer that they finally drop the “Grand” — once signaling the long-wheelbase versions of minivans which now have a single size.

In Canada, the company may continue to sell the vans as Dodges, though it would require some work on the appearance, make advertising harder, and hurt Dodge’s work on remaking its image in muscle/sport form. That said, Dodge sells around 80% of Canadian minivans, and Canadian Reid Bigland can’t be happy about losing a Dodge Caravan up north.

In most markets outside North America, there is no Town & Country or Caravan regardless, with minivans being sold as Chrysler Voyagers and Lancia Voyagers.

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