Skip to main content

Marchionne: no more Dodge Caravan after 2012

Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne stated at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show that one of the popular Chrysler Group minivans would be terminated in an effort to avoid brand redundancy and it now appears that it will be the Dodge Caravan lineup that meets its maker – effectively ending the incredibly dominating 27 year run by the vehicle that introduced the world to the minivan.

Join us...    

While speaking at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, Marchionne explained that either the Dodge Grand Caravan or Chrysler Town & Country would be removed in favor of a smaller “people mover” but according to Automotive News; the Dodge Caravan lineup will be replaced by a mid-sized crossover model for the 2013 model year. Along with the Dodge brand losing the Caravan in 2013, reports indicate that the Dodge Avenger will also meet its demise in an effort to assist the Chrysler 200’s growth in the segment. The new mid-sized crossover coming to Dodge in 2013 is slated to replace both the Caravan and the Avenger, so those who want a new Chrysler Group minivan or mid-sized sedan will turn to the Chrysler brand while Dodge enters a new segment with their crossover.

Marchionne has pushed to have all of the Chrysler Group brands under one roof so removing redundancy across the brands is an essential move but to remove the Caravan name from the Dodge lineup comes as a pretty big surprise. The Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan are not far from being rebadged versions of the other, with the exception of some upscale touches in and around the Chrysler models so we knew that one would soon be gone. However, the idea of removing the Caravan – the vehicle which literally introduced the world to the modern minivan – seems like an interesting choice, especially when you consider the fact that the Dodge Grand Caravan is comfortably outselling the Chrysler Town & Country this year. The only differentiation between the two company minivans was the shift of the Town & Country towards the luxury end of the spectrum while also pushing the price of the Chrysler model over the $30k mark, while the Dodge was left to serve as the lower priced model. It will be interesting to see if Chrysler adds new trimline options for the Town & Country to attract those who are interested in the lower price of the Grand Caravan once the Dodge minivan is gone, or if Chrysler will take their entire minivan family to the upscale market.

Minivan popularity has declined over the past few years as the stigma of the “soccer mom vehicle” have made driving a minivan famously unpopular while the rising capabilities and dropping prices of the crossover and sport utility segments have taken some of the van’s market share. Based on the comments by Marchionne, we can expect the new Dodge brand crossover to stand just above the current Journey; which will also be replaced by a slightly smaller model for the 2014 model year. While Chrysler has made strides to shift their lineup to the luxury end of things, Dodge has moved to a more aggressive, sporty lineup so removing the minivan and adding a new sport ute makes good sense – hopefully removing the Grand Caravan doesn’t hurt the company’s control of the segment.

Other Chrysler News:
Chrysler leads the nation in September growth, bests Toyota in sales
The 2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman is the most powerful truck in the segment
The first Italian-built Chrysler production models unveiled
Chrysler Group recalls select V6-powered Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler models
Jeep Liberty under NHTSA investigation for airbag risks
Official: the 2010 Dodge Viper runs The Ring in 7:12 with video
TorqueNews review of the V6-powered 2011 Dodge Challenger Rallye

Source: Automotive News

Join us...    


Henry M. (not verified)    October 10, 2011 - 4:27PM

I hate to hear about the Dodge Caravan being discontinued after the 2012 model year - don't forget that it was the Dodge Caravan & Plymouth Voyager that put Chrysler on the road to REAL economic recovery in the mid-1980's & saved it again from a possible bankruptcy in the early 1990's - I'ved owned a number of Dodge Caravans & Dodge Mini-Ram Vans(current vehicle is a 1989 Dodge Caravan C/V with 244,000 miles on it) & consider them to be good,reliable vehicles - I'll keep buying these vehicles as lond as the parts are available to fix them up...

Elliot (not verified)    October 15, 2011 - 4:32AM

And in other brilliant marketing news, Sony announced it will reintroduce the Betamax.