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Why drop the Caravan?

by David Zatz on

Allpar readers often ask, why would Dodge drop the Caravan? (The more pedantic ask, why would Dodge drop the Grand Caravan, and why won’t you use the full name?)

Today, we found out — based on a graph sent in by a reader, purporting to show the retail sales of all full-size minivans sold in the United States for the past year.

The Caravan, despite having high overall US sales, is second to last in retail — yet still sits above the Kia Sedona. Market share has been roughly 10% or less. That implies massive fleet sales, which are presumably less profitable.

Replacing the Caravan with a lower-cost Pacifica variant could gain a few more customers, at far lower cost than making two completely different minivans.

Clarification: the Dodge Grand Caravan is slated to run through the 2019 model year and possibly into the 2020 model year. 

FCA should be a shoe-in for the most popular minivan this year, with combined Dodge+Chrysler retail sales coming well above any competitor; Honda and Toyota have been fighting it out for second place. On its own, the Pacifica would come in third. Perhaps, without Dodge’s competition, the Pacifica would outsell Honda and Toyota in retail, all by itself.

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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