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I have never replaced one vehicle with an identical or updated version of the same. Only exception was Acclaim turbo to Breeze. Breeze to T&C, and T&C to Journey. At the end the T&C doubled as a "truck" for me as I didn't have one.
 

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31% of "repeat buyers" -- in this case repeat buyers means people who bought a new car before, and are buying a new car again. They are repeat car buyers, not repeat Chrysler-minivan buyers.


PS> We did replace our 300M with a 300C -- but the 300M was purchased used so we would not count.
 
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I agree, but but suppose the company can only afford one? I'd rather seen one done right then two done half arsed.
 

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Interesting, we went from a Journey to a TC so I will not count.

Good too see people buying Chrysler again.
 

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The DoJ thread has many purposes...

It would not surprise me to see them follow through on the "one with sliding doors, one as more an euro-MPV style" choice - seems like the program is far enough along where they've committed to it.
 

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Stratuscaster said:
It would not surprise me to see them follow through on the "one with sliding doors, one as more an euro-MPV style" choice - seems like the program is far enough along where they've committed to it.
They may have commited to it, but that doesn't rule out the possibility that it will replace one of the two minivans with it. They could release it as a separate vehicle.
 

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If you have a bunch of people or fun stuff to move can't beat Chrysler Minivan for comfort or practicality.
 
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Ramfan said:
bumonbox, I hope that was sarcasm. Crossovers & SUVs in general are mostly about marketing and not nearly as sensibly useful for most consumers. But as a manufacturer you build what sells. With that in mind the Caravan sold 141,000 & the TC 111,000 so it still a popular and profitable vehicle that also has a lot of loyal customers. Whether its trendy & cool or not. With a family of 6 I owned several. My only complaints were that the transmissions did not hold up which sounds like is soon to finally be resolved. Also I don't at all like the new body style compared to the two that preceded it. My kids are grown now and I will next purchase a pick up but as my kids start their familys I suspect they will be owning Chrysler minivans.

I see by your signature that you own one so I presume it was sarcasm.
We have owned 3 different minivans, I don't really like the current styling and if I had to buy a current one I would probably buy a VW Routan as they are best looking of the trio. Also on the last generation if you lived in the rust belt you could almost guarantee that your hood and rear hatch would rust out in 5-6 years. It's sad how many of these I see on the road with completely rusted thru front hood edges. Also don't know why they can't put in more driver side seat travel for us taller people, for the size of the vehicle it is kind of lacking in legroom. On the other hand if they can port the new 8 or 9 speed autos to them and get them to like 30 mpg then they would have something.
 

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I think the current minivan exterior styling goes back a bit to that of the 91-95 series and away from the "large egg" styling of the 01-07 series. For what it's worth, I still like the 91-95 styling in LWB form the most.

Agreed on the hood rust - the leading edge on my 2002 Caravan is pretty much gone. But I'd rather have that than the strut tower rot of the 96-00 series.
 

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DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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Trailduster45 said:
They only need one. It makes no sense to keep two because you suck up more development money and marketing money with two that are now sold under the same roof. Which one is kept is tough. Do one and do it right. Which one?? Wow a tough one. Caravan makes more sense I guess, but the T&C is nice.
As I said in another thread, of every nine minivans that Chrysler as a company sells, five are Grand Caravans and four are Town and Countrys, and they're still at over 100,000 units annually with the Town and Country. Combined they're almost half of the total minivan market, and better yet, there really aren't two minivans, just different trim packages and badging on one vehicle. Same sheet metal, same engines and transmissions, they change the front bumper cover, the grille, and the badging. Everything else, the base vs mid-grade vs high end interiors would exist on a one-brand minivan anyway, and same for the consumer electronics systems like the multiple radios and nav and u-connect and the like. Heck, many cars even have different bumper covers and grilles available on the same car, so really the only thing truly changing is the badging. They're even sold through the same dealer.

To me, more of this, not less, would make sense. If a nameplate like New Yorker was viable, make some 300s as New Yorkers instead if they don't get the V8. If the buying public recognizes what's substantially the same car as two different models, it's foolish to not continue to let them do that if they're still buying them by the truckload.
 

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One thing I think is worth mentioning about loyalty and re-purchase is that Chrysler group is famous (notorious) for it's lack of continuity in its model line-up. They are far too quick to replace models rather than redesign, so how do you build and keep customer loyalty when they have nothing to be loyal to?

I will remind you, Magnum, Imperial, Sebring, Nitro, LHS, Pacifica, Dakota, Prowler, Cherokee, Caliber, Crossfire, Neon, and on, and on. Other than Imperial, these vehicles lasted 2 generations at most, as compared to the multi generational vehicles of toyota, ford, audi, hyundai etc.

What's to replace my Maggie? Chrysler's left me nothing to buy. The only continuous product has been the trucks and minivans, neither of which I want. So my loyalty will go the manufacturer who can provide me with a vehicle for more than one generation. Chrysler has dug this hole for itself.
 

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jimboy said:
One thing I think is worth mentioning about loyalty and re-purchase is that Chrysler group is famous (notorious) for it's lack of continuity in its model line-up. They are far too quick to replace models rather than redesign, so how do you build and keep customer loyalty when they have nothing to be loyal to?

I will remind you, Magnum, Imperial, Sebring, Nitro, LHS, Pacifica, Dakota, Prowler, Cherokee, Caliber, Crossfire, Neon, and on, and on. Other than Imperial, these vehicles lasted 2 generations at most, as compared to the multi generational vehicles of toyota, ford, audi, hyundai etc.

What's to replace my Maggie? Chrysler's left me nothing to buy. The only continuous product has been the trucks and minivans, neither of which I want. So my loyalty will go the manufacturer who can provide me with a vehicle for more than one generation. Chrysler has dug this hole for itself.
Bear in mind that many of the Asian automakers have kept names in play, but haven't really kept them in the same vehicle classes that they were in. Accord, Camry, Maxima, Altima, Civic, Corolla, Sentra, and probably others that are slipping my mind right now have all creeped up in size. What were once mid-size cars (particularly the Accord and Camry) are now full-size cars, and what were the entry-level economy cars are now mid-size cars (Civic, Corolla, Sentra), and new small cars are introduced (Fit, Matrix, Yaris, Scion brand, Versa). If this trend continues, eventually their legacy brands (the original mid-sizes from the list) will be undesirable, old-people cars because they'll be redundant to the models creeping up from below.

I used to feel fairly strongly about model names and loyalty, but with the changing of model names comes one distinct advantage, the ability to know exactly what someone is talking about when they're talking about cars that existed for only design or two before the name was retired. When someone's talking about a Cordoba you have a pretty good idea of what they mean. When they're talking about a Barracda, same thing. Challenger, is it old, or new? (because the Mitsubishi-built ones are a nonfactor). Intrepid, which of the two generations? LHS, same thing.

It would be nice if a few legacy makes stuck around, but I don't know where they should be positioned in the product line. Low end products? High end products? Middle-of-the-road products?
 

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TWX said:
Bear in mind that many of the Asian automakers have kept names in play, but haven't really kept them in the same vehicle classes that they were in. Accord, Camry, Maxima, Altima, Civic, Corolla, Sentra, and probably others that are slipping my mind right now have all creeped up in size. What were once mid-size cars (particularly the Accord and Camry) are now full-size cars, and what were the entry-level economy cars are now mid-size cars (Civic, Corolla, Sentra), and new small cars are introduced (Fit, Matrix, Yaris, Scion brand, Versa). If this trend continues, eventually their legacy brands (the original mid-sizes from the list) will be undesirable, old-people cars because they'll be redundant to the models creeping up from below.
Part of this is actually letting the vehicles change gradually as their customer age. 'most' people gradually trade up to larger, more comfortable vehicles as they age, Toyota & Honda are masters at grasping this subtle concept, to keep building loyalty, not just within a brand, but on specific models. And, yes eventually those models will be 'old people' cars, because the customer base is that.

Without getting on a tangent, yes there are downsides to this strategy.

BUT, bringing this comment back around to the topic at hand... IF Town&Country buyers are aging, and not so much younger families (only a hunch, I don't have demographic breakdown on the two minivans) , perhaps T&C customers (not consumers) have subtle differences in preferences and wants in a 'people mover' than Caravan customers, and perhaps T&C can start to diverge away from Caravan to fit those customers requirements.
 

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JoshMHam said:
They may have commited to it, but that doesn't rule out the possibility that it will replace one of the two minivans with it. They could release it as a separate vehicle.
Yup! I may be imagining this, but dont they have designs for a Dodge and Chrysler minivan and a Dodge and Chrysler crossover thing?

jerseyjoe said:
If you have a bunch of people or fun stuff to move can't beat Chrysler Minivan for comfort or practicality.
Agreed!

vipergg said:
We have owned 3 different minivans, I don't really like the current styling and if I had to buy a current one I would probably buy a VW Routan as they are best looking of the trio. Also on the last generation if you lived in the rust belt you could almost guarantee that your hood and rear hatch would rust out in 5-6 years. It's sad how many of these I see on the road with completely rusted thru front hood edges. Also don't know why they can't put in more driver side seat travel for us taller people, for the size of the vehicle it is kind of lacking in legroom. On the other hand if they can port the new 8 or 9 speed autos to them and get them to like 30 mpg then they would have something.
We are on our 8th. 4 Plymouth Voyagers, and 4 Dodge Caravans

The 01-07 did have some hood rot issues. Thankfully we never had any issues on our 01, 04 or 07. However, the 07 was showing rust on the inside bottom of the front doors and tailgate.

The legroom in the new vans is definitely less in the front row. I know that the Stow N Go limits where the seats are mounted, but theres got to be a way to allow the seats to slide back another couple of inches. Every time I get into our van I always try and push the seat back as I never think its all the way back. In my Caliber and our Dakotas I can't even drive them safely with the driver seat all the way back. Not sure if its because the dash comes forward so much, or what it is, but it would be something I'd like to see changed.

Also, give us back the front wipers from the '96 - '07 minivans, and the windshield wiper heating elements that dumbler took away!
 

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When are the minivans supposed to get the 8 or 9 speed transmission?
 

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Someone mentioned aging, and teh honest reason for going to a Journey instead of another T&C was the fact that the kids are all but grown and have their own rides, so Liz wanted out of the "mommy" van stage. The Journey was a heck of a deal too for what we got. I wonder how many young families are doing that? Fewer kids per fam over the last twenty years has contributed too I am sure.
 

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BGWheelhorse said:
When are the minivans supposed to get the 8 or 9 speed transmission?
Next generation at the earliest I'd guess
 

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We get a lot of people that buy a crossover, be it the Journey or the Equinox or whatever, thinking "oh we only have 2 kids we don't need a minivan". Then they realize that with all the garbage you have to carry around (or at least all the garbage THESE people carry around) with 2 kids that crossovers just are not big enough. Then they land on our doorstep with a very mildly used crossover wanting to look at a minivan and its at that point, once they see the space afforded them in a minivan that a somewhat serene look washes over their faces and they just seem to relax.

Its the minivan cure.


Would make a pretty good commercial actually... bunch of crazy kids with all their stuff running all over, opening the liftgate on their crossover and stuff spilling out at the dealer... sales guy opening the rear hatch of a minivan, stuffing all their stuff in the stow n' go bins and behind the rear seat, putting on the dvd players and... peace... serenity.
 

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Trailduster45 said:
I agree, but but suppose the company can only afford one? I'd rather seen one done right then two done half arsed.
If they can stuff in this new crossover then clearly they feel they can afford at least 2 vehicles. Looking at Chrysler's current trends, and the minivans, the second minivan is more valuable, and presumably would cost less than a crossover. As of I have said Sergio appears convinced that customers will simply migrate from one to the other. But the Dart should be humbling to him - he made a lot of assumptions about how they could position / price and package the vehicle, he doesn't yet sufficiently understand the brands he is working with, and the US market - if he did, he wouldn't be making such assumptions about the minivans.

That said, it sounds like the Durango is headed to it's demise. So, go ahead, make the next go around on the minivan platform, whilst keeping the second minivan.
 

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bumonbox said:
If they can stuff in this new crossover then clearly they feel they can afford at least 2 vehicles. Looking at Chrysler's current trends, and the minivans, the second minivan is more valuable, and presumably would cost less than a crossover. As of I have said Sergio appears convinced that customers will simply migrate from one to the other. But the Dart should be humbling to him - he made a lot of assumptions about how they could position / price and package the vehicle, he doesn't yet sufficiently understand the brands he is working with, and the US market - if he did, he wouldn't be making such assumptions about the minivans.

That said, it sounds like the Durango is headed to it's demise. So, go ahead, make the next go around on the minivan platform, whilst keeping the second minivan.
Agreed.

For all that I like the Dart, I hope they learn from it.
 
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