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This has the potential to be one of the stupidest decisions in the history of Chrysler. BOTH minis are the leading seller for their brand.
If Marchionne wants to have a smaller CUV type version then build it but keep the two full sized versions going.
IF the CUV sells, then and only then, do you kill off the weakest version, if that is even an issue.
To date the Journey hasn't hurt Grand Caravan ( nor did it replace sales lost by the termination of the shorter Caravan).
This will be the blunder that Sergio fears and it will be by his hand.
 

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They are over complicating this decision. Make the Town and Country a lwb van, more upscale. Make the Caravan a swb van, more economical. Hey Sergio, you don't need to reinvent the wheel here.
 

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THE MAD DUCK
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I Remember There Were Those Who Thought the Journey Replacing the SWB Mini Van Was A Bad Idea.

The Journey is Not Selling that Bad.

TMD
 

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The Mad Duck said:
I Remember There Were Those Who Thought the Journey Replacing the SWB Mini Van Was A Bad Idea.

The Journey is Not Selling that Bad.

TMD
The Journey is selling acceptably, however I would be curious to see the sales number drop of Caravan vs the Journey sales numbers
 

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It is not directly comparable Norm. You love to do that lol. You cannot just look at numbers back when they were selling a SWB Caravan, and then compare them to sales of the Journey and be like, See? It was a different market, with different competition etc etc etc etc etc. Same reason you can't look at old Cherokee or Grand Cherokee sales and then compare them to the current model and say, see? Its all because they made them less off road worthy. You have absolutely no way of quantifying any of those statements.
 

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What's the ATP of a Caravan? What's the ATP of a T&C? What's the fleet percentages of both?

What's your intended market for a new vehicle? Can they boost the ATP of the new CUV (in comparison to a defunct minivan) so selling less makes them more?

All questions they are asking and answering before they figure out what to do.
 

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I think it would be funny if after all this back and forth that both are kept.
 

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JRS200x said:
It is not directly comparable Norm.. .
Uh sales are directly comparable...Marcchionne wants to kill a van and replace it with a CUV.
Let me try again, I'll write slower.
Journey was pushed as the short Caravan replacement. Caravan ended and Journey immediately started. With me so far?
What were the short wheel base sales in Caravan's last year?
What were Journeys' sales in its first year?
That's all Im asking. I'm assuming Caravan's lost sales were not made up by the Journey.
It IS directly comparable to overall Chrysler sales. My premis is it is flat stupid to drop a best seller on a whim.
If Marchionne thinks a CUV would sell better than one of the Mini's then bring it, but don't drop the Mini until it stops selling, that's simply bad business.
 

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Stratuscaster said:
Ah - if only Chrysler had reported sales of the SWB and LWB minivans individually.
Did they not?
 

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Mopar-nac The Moderator
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MoparNorm said:
Did they not?
I don't believe I have ever seen it broken out.

Mike
 

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This has the makings of getting rid of Plymouth all over again.
 

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Move along, nothing to see here
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dana44 said:
This has the makings of getting rid of Plymouth all over again.
Yep. The only reason for killing one of the vans is Sergio's opinion on brand separation - which doesn't even make sense when you think about it. Flex manufacturing has proven that both vans could have far more substantial sheet metal differences than they currently do, yet still come off the same line (my first example being the Caliber/Compass/Patriot trio).

This idea to take one half of the long time sales leading duo behind the barn and put it down is just ridiculous. Dodge already has a CUV - Journey, and I DOUBT it sells anywhere near the volume of the former SWB Caravan. You want a full size 7 seater but don't want a minivan? Durango. Except that's not really selling well, is it? There is no logical reason the Caravan and T&C cannot continue to coexist as minivans other than, "we just don't want them to."
 

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It would be interesting to see if they end up offering two minivans still after the clinics. I'm personally hoping for a Grand Caravan and a Chrysler CUV (If they absolutely HAVE to offer a CUV)

Heck maybe they will offer 4 new vehicles...

...But i suspect that would cost quite a bit more.
 

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I can only go by my dealership, but we sell A LOT more Journey's than we ever did SWB Minivans, at least towards the end of the SWB minivan's life. Back in it's heyday I have no idea, but in 2005 and up, their sales barely registered on our radar. The Journey on the other hand does quite well, especially since the interior update.
 

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MoparNorm said:
Uh sales are directly comparable...Marcchionne wants to kill a van and replace it with a CUV.
Let me try again, I'll write slower.
Journey was pushed as the short Caravan replacement. Caravan ended and Journey immediately started. With me so far?
What were the short wheel base sales in Caravan's last year?
What were Journeys' sales in its first year?
That's all Im asking. I'm assuming Caravan's lost sales were not made up by the Journey.
It IS directly comparable to overall Chrysler sales. My premis is it is flat stupid to drop a best seller on a whim.
If Marchionne thinks a CUV would sell better than one of the Mini's then bring it, but don't drop the Mini until it stops selling, that's simply bad business.
At one time the swb far outsold the lwb vans. Windsor was producing 350,000 swb vans a year and St.Louis produced about 250,000 lwb vans. At the end I think we were selling about 125,000 swb vans. I always liked the swb vans better. The Journey may have been advertised as the replacement for the swb van but in reality it is not even close. This was another Daimler decision that almost killed Chrysler. I really think Sergio needs to keep both vans a swb and a lwb van. Especially these days with gas prices so high. The lwb could offer the 3.6l engine and the swb could offer smaller more economical engines. It would offer the consumers a great choice. Also by offering different engine options it would ease the strain on the motor supply chain.
 

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Say no to kool-aid
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The good news here - they're at least trying to get input from customers, rather than assuming. But the issue is, WHO is in the sales clinics, and this concerns me. As they'll feel vindicated with their decision even if they have the wrong people in the sales clinic.

If you put your attention towards real perspective buyers, you should have a high number of actual buyers, people have and WILL buy the product. If you took, for instance people who have already bought minivans, particularly Chrysler minivans, you have a VERY high likely hood that these people WILL buy the product they are expressing interest in, and in turn that they represent REAL buyers, not just people who say they like the car. If you go target, primarily a bunch of random potential CUV buyers, they may tell you which design they like, but odds of them actually wanting to buy that product aren't very good. You'd end up skewing the results. The hope remains that what ever base they have there will represent real likely buyers, as that would almost ensure they maintain both minivans. They want to add a Crossover after, be my guest. But I have long felt that Marchionnes obsession with 1 minivan is a manifestation of his ego, and nothing to do with pragmatism. Which I don't like to see, as I like him. The sales numbers speak for themselves, there is no NEED to kill a minivan. It's one of the very few things Chrysler has had continuously going for them over the last decade (The other may be the wrangler)
 

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I think one thing that is driving this change, is the fact that Chrysler/Fiat does not offer a euro-sized MPV / Minivan. (The Journey is a different category, which it seems to be doing fine in). GM Zafira, Ford S-Max, VW Touran, Mazda 5, etc. They don't sell in the USA.. yet anyway. But can you make one that would appeal to USA buyers AND capture part of the euro MPV market as well.
 

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That would be all well and good...if there were any European buyers. Isn't that what the Doblo and Panda are for?
The simple solution is to let Chrysler designers design a new body for the butt-ugly Doblo and leave the Minis alone.
 
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