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2018 Honda Odyssey minivan breaks cover at 2017 Detroit Auto Show

Honda finally presented the new 2018 Odyssey minivan during the 2017 North American International Auto Show, currently held in Detroit. Already popular with customers for seven years now, the 2018 model year is expected to offer new features and different technologies.

The design of the 2018 Odyssey sports a more contemporary style which utilizes the flying wing grille on the front with the LED headlights on each side. It has the Active Shutter Grille which helps enhance fuel efficiency especially when cruising. The trademarked lightning bolt beltline is still there but it has a design element that is more elegant. On the rear section, the taillights also utilize LED and a hands-free power tailgate has been equipped to it.

The highlight of the 2018 Odyssey is the in-vehicle connectivity which brings the family connectivity concept to new heights. Because it offers what may be the quietest cabin in its segment, conversation among occupants is easier. Enhancing the experience are the different connected-vehicle technologies and features. Connectivity for example is now available as 4G LTE.

One new feature is the new display audio which, in addition to having a new operating system, uses app tiles that can be customized and menus being more intuitive. The various operations are managed through the high-resolution 8-inch touchscreen. This system is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Another innovation inside is the Magic Slide seats for the second row. It not only allows easy access to the seats in the third row but it can be rearranged to maximize passenger comfort. Four modes are offered for this system which are Easy Access, Buddy, Super, and Wide. Under Wide mode for example, it makes it possible to remove the center seats. It also allows the two outboard sets to be positioned in a more outer place ensuring that the center is wide enough to walk through.

For trims EX and higher, it will include as standard the Honda Sensing, a wide range of advanced driver-assistance and safety technologies. These include Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, and Collision Mitigation Braking System. With the Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure plus advanced airbags, Honda hopes to get the TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from IIHS and 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from NCAP.

Powering this minivan is the i-VTEC 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with the 10-speed transmission.

Honda revealed that the 2018 Odyssey minivan will be launched at authorized dealers across the U.S. this coming spring. Since 2010, the Odyssey has been the most popular of minivans with customers on an annual basis. It was first released in 1994 and it estimated that almost 2.5 million units have been sold in the U.S.

Honda finally presented the new 2018 Odyssey minivan during the 2017 North American International Auto Show, currently held in Detroit. Already popular with customers for seven years now, the 2018 model year is expected to offer new features and different technologies.

The design of the 2018 Odyssey sports a more contemporary style which utilizes the flying wing grille on the front with the LED headlights on each side. It has the Active Shutter Grille which helps enhance fuel efficiency especially when cruising. The trademarked lightning bolt beltline is still there but it has a design element that is more elegant. On the rear section, the taillights also utilize LED and a hands-free power tailgate has been equipped to it.

The highlight of the 2018 Odyssey is the in-vehicle connectivity which brings the family connectivity concept to new heights. Because it offers what may be the quietest cabin in its segment, conversation among occupants is easier. Enhancing the experience are the different connected-vehicle technologies and features. Connectivity for example is now available as 4G LTE.

Read the entire article 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan breaks cover at 2017 Detroit Auto Show

Waymo provides glimpse of its fully autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans

Just days after Google’s autonomous vehicle project became an autonomous tech company dubbed as Waymo Inc., the company now unveiled its first fully self-driving vehicles in the guise of 100 driverless Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans.

Back in May 2016, Waymo – then known as the Google Self-Driving Project – and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles entered into a partnership in which the carmaker would provide a number of vehicles to the project. The partners saw it fitting to choose Chrysler’s new 2017 Pacifica Hybrid minivans – 100 of them -- for the self-driving vehicle project. The Pacifica Hybrid minivans were specifically built by Chrysler to be fitted with the latest of Google’s hardware and software.

While these Chrysler Pacifica units are based on the 2017 production model available to the market, the carmaker modified them – including their chassis, powertrain, structural and electrical systems – so that Waymo could properly install its own technology into these new minivans.

Then, intensive and grueling work began. However, it didn’t take long for Waymo to complete the installation of its hardware and software into the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. Waymo fitted these minivans with its own onboard computer, power and sensors as well as telematics. The autonomous tech company converted some of these minivans into early prototypes that were made to undergo an array of tests on Waymo’s test track in California, and on FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, as well as on the carmaker’s Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca. Waymo commenced production of the fully autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid in October.

Within just six months, Waymo completed the whole self-driving Pacifica Hybrid project. Waymo is hoping to bring these fully autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids to public roads in 2017, although it has yet to officially unveil these vehicles. Waymo is expected to bring these autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids to the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 5 to 8, 2017.

Waymo – which stands for a new Way forward in Mobility – unveiled the world’s first fully autonomous car in October 2015. Although that was a prototype, it proved that fully autonomous vehicles are not far off from being a reality.

With the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Waymo is making true to its promise of concentrating its strengths on forging or deepening its partnerships with existing carmakers like FCA. People privy with Google said that Waymo and FCA are planning to start a ride-sharing service using the carmaker’s semi-autonomous Pacifica minivans in late 2017. This may mean that aside from the 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans provided by FCA, more vehicles would be needed in order to fully realize a ride-sharing service.

Waymo chief executive John Krafcik remarked that the company’s technology would be useful in personal vehicles, ride-sharing and logistics. As of the end of June 2016, the project had around 58 prototype cars being tested on the road. The addition of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids would bring the number to around 158.

Just days after Google’s autonomous vehicle project became an autonomous tech company dubbed as Waymo Inc., the company now unveiled its first fully self-driving vehicles in the guise of 100 driverless Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans.

Back in May 2016, Waymo – then known as the Google Self-Driving Project – and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles entered into a partnership in which the carmaker would provide a number of vehicles to the project. The partners saw it fitting to choose Chrysler’s new 2017 Pacifica Hybrid minivans – 100 of them -- for the self-driving vehicle project. The Pacifica Hybrid minivans were specifically built by Chrysler to be fitted with the latest of Google’s hardware and software.

While these Chrysler Pacifica units are based on the 2017 production model available to the market, the carmaker modified them – including their chassis, powertrain, structural and electrical systems – so that Waymo could properly install its own technology into these new minivans.

Read the entire article Waymo provides glimpse of its fully autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is now king of minivan fuel efficiency as rated by EPA

In the minivan segment, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is already impressive in terms of fuel economy figures – as rated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica returns EPA-rated fuel economy figures of 28 mpg highway, 18 mpg city and 22 mpg combined. But it turns out that its hybrid version would infallibly dominate the minivan mpg wars after EPA finally released its fuel economy ratings for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

Prior to the release of the official EPA ratings for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, the carmaker is already preaching impressive fuel economy figures for its new minivan. Chrysler expected the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid to return 80 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) – that is when the minivan is running in pure electric mode. The carmaker also expected the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid to be able to travel up to 30 miles in all-electric (EV) mode. In addition, the hybrid minivan from Chrysler is estimated to deliver – when running on conventional engine – 32 mpg combined city and highway. Overall, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid offers a range of around 530 miles.

When the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid underwent scrutiny with the EPA, the results were highly encouraging for the hybrid minivan, as they totally exceeded Chrysler’s expected fuel economy numbers. According to the EPA, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid returns 84 MPGe (vs. 80 MPGe estimated) with a conventional rating of 33 mpg combined city and highway (vs. 32 mpg combined city and highway estimated). In the all-electric mode, the EPA has certified the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid to be able to travel up to 33 miles (vs. 30 miles estimated). In addition, EPA has rated the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as being capable of reaching a total of 566 miles (vs. 530 miles estimated). With these numbers, Chrysler will be able to gloss the credentials of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as the most fuel-efficient minivan in the market so far, until Chrysler or other carmakers manage to surpass it.

Bob Lee, FCA's Head of Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion, and Systems Engineering in North America, attributed much of the credit to the e-Flite dual-motor electrically variable transmission (EVT) found in the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid. Designed and patented by FCA US, the e-Flite EVT makes use of two electric motors, both which could drive the wheels of the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid. The hybrid minivan employs a one-way clutch that – when necessary – could command the motor-generator to deliver torque to the wheels for a higher level of efficiency and refinement.

According to the EPA, the annual fuel cost (gas and electricity combined) of the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid will be around $900.

In the minivan segment, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is already impressive in terms of fuel economy figures – as rated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica returns EPA-rated fuel economy figures of 28 mpg highway, 18 mpg city and 22 mpg combined. But it turns out that its hybrid version would infallibly dominate the minivan mpg wars after EPA finally released its fuel economy ratings for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

Prior to the release of the official EPA ratings for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, the carmaker is already preaching impressive fuel economy figures for its new minivan. Chrysler expected the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid to return 80 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) – that is when the minivan is running in pure electric mode. The carmaker also expected the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid to be able to travel up to 30 miles in all-electric (EV) mode. In addition, the hybrid minivan from Chrysler is estimated to deliver – when running on conventional engine – 32 mpg combined city and highway. Overall, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid offers a range of around 530 miles.

When the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid underwent scrutiny with the EPA, the results were highly encouraging for the hybrid minivan, as they totally exceeded Chrysler’s expected fuel economy numbers. According to the EPA, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid returns 84 MPGe (vs. 80 MPGe estimated) with a conventional rating of 33 mpg combined city and highway (vs. 32 mpg combined city and highway estimated). In the all-electric mode, the EPA has certified the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid to be able to travel up to 33 miles (vs. 30 miles estimated). In addition, EPA has rated the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as being capable of reaching a total of 566 miles (vs. 530 miles estimated). With these numbers, Chrysler will be able to gloss the credentials of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as the most fuel-efficient minivan in the market so far, until Chrysler or other carmakers manage to surpass it.

Read the entire article 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is now king of minivan fuel efficiency as rated by EPA

2017 Chrysler Pacifica offers fuel economy rating of 28 mpg highway, 22 mpg combined

Buyers looking for excellent fuel efficiency need not look further than the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan. With a highway-cycle fuel-economy rating of 28 miles per gallon given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is 12 percent more efficient

Read the entire article 2017 Chrysler Pacifica offers fuel economy rating of 28 mpg highway, 22 mpg combined

It won’t be long now before the Volkswagen BUDD-e enters production and arrives at nearby dealerships. Earlier this year, the MPV was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show. It was one of the many vehicles that promoted connected mobility solutions. Moreover, it demonstrated the clear visi

Read the entire article VW’s purely electric BUDD-e will soon enter serial production track

The electrification technology was actually ideally suited for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan on account of its large footprint and multiple daily trip patterns, according to Bob Lee, Vice President and Head of Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion Systems Engineering, FCA – North

Read the entire article 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is company's first electrified minivan and promises 80 MPGe

The original minivan creator, FCA US LLC, has been delivering world class vehicles for the past 30 years. It continues that streak as customers can now enjoy new levels of functionality, technology, versatility and bold styling in the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. Redefining the minivan segment,

Read the entire article 2017 Chrysler Pacifica redefines minivan style

Nissan has revealed that it has priced the 2016 Nissan Quest, currently on sale at different Nissan dealers across the U.S. The 2016 Quest has a number of family-friendly features that include the Advanced Climate Control System and the one-touch power sliding doors. It even has the fold-flat quick

Read the entire article 2016 Nissan Quest has a starting price of $26,530

Have you ever heard of a high-performance minivan? Well, people really don’t expect carmakers to come up with a product like that. But it’s not at all unusual for Toyota. At the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, Toyota turned that possibility into a reality by unve

Read the entire article Toyota launches high-performance Sienna R-Tuned minivan concept at 2015 SEMA Show

Mercedes-Benz is proud to unveil its latest concept car with Vision Tokyo. Much like its namesake city, it has a distinct atmosphere, gives us a feel of the future, and is huge structure-wise. Indeed, it is so progressive that it truly is befitting of the name. While it allows autonomous driving, t

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz shows Vision Tokyo Concept at 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will soon start deliveries of its new Caravelle Generation Six special edition model. The new Caravelle Six Edition is priced from £52,051 (RRP OTR incl. VAT) and was designed to stand out from the crowd with its customized interior and exterior features. I

Read the entire article 2016 VW Caravelle Generation Six announced in the UK, priced from £52,051

BMW is widening its product range in China to 6 models to make sure that options are available to middle-class consumers who don’t have chauffeurs driving them around. The vehicles that will soon start production in China are the front-wheel drive 2-series Active Tourer minivan, a fwd sedan that falls below the 3 series (which will possibly have a 1 series badge), and a variant of the rwd/awd X3 compact SUV.

According to BMW’s China chief Karsten Engel, its top-seller is still the (China-only) long-wheelbase version of the 5 series, which makes up more than a third of its sales in China. Engel added that BMW has been attracting more new customers who drive their own cars. Local production of the 2-series AT will start next year.

A sedan will be next in 2017. Production for the X3 will be announced later. BMW’s factory is located in Tiexi, west of Shenyang in northeastern China. The 2-series AT and sedan will feature BMW’s new UKL fwd architecture that is shared with Mini. Tiexi opened in 2012 and produces the X1 compact SUV and the 3-series sedan in standard and long-wheelbase variants.

In addition, Tiexi is part of the joint venture with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings. It was in 2003 that the first joint venture plant in Dadong, northeast of Shenyang, started operations. This plant produced a long-wheelbase variant of the 5-series sedan that was only available in China. This year, the facility added a plug-in variant of the long-wheelbase 5 series.

Because of the three models added to its output, BMW has decided to expand the combined production capacity of the Tiexi and Dadong to 400,000 units by 2017 from 300,000 currently and had recorded about 285,000 units built in 2014. Engel said that locally produced vehicles make up around two-thirds of BMW’s 425,765 units sold in China in 2014.

Furthermore, BMW is preparing its Tiexi complex to add complete engine production at the start of 2016. The facility will be able to produce 300,000 engines annually, beginning with the new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline unit that made its debut on the 2-series AT.

What came next was the 1.5-liter, three-cylinder already available on the revamped 1 series. Ian Robertson, BMW board member in charge of BMW marketing and sales, said that this marks the first time for the automaker to have an engine casting complex outside of Germany.

BMW is widening its product range in China to 6 models to make sure that options are available to middle-class consumers who don’t have chauffeurs driving them around. The vehicles that will soon start production in China are the front-wheel drive 2-series Active Tourer minivan, a fwd sedan that falls below the 3 series (which will possibly have a 1 series badge), and a variant of the rwd/awd X3 compact SUV.

According to BMW’s China chief Karsten Engel, its top-seller is still the (China-only) long-wheelbase version of the 5 series, which makes up more than a third of its sales in China. Engel added that BMW has been attracting more new customers who drive their own cars. Local production of the 2-series AT will start next year.

A sedan will be next in 2017. Production for the X3 will be announced later. BMW’s factory is located in Tiexi, west of Shenyang in northeastern China. The 2-series AT and sedan will feature BMW’s new UKL fwd architecture that is shared with Mini. Tiexi opened in 2012 and produces the X1 compact SUV and the 3-series sedan in standard and long-wheelbase variants.

Read the entire article BMW adds minivan, sedan and SUV to lineup in China

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will issue another recall of 703,000 minivans and SUVs with a faulty ignition switch that could rotate out of position. According to the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall covers MY2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Journey, which faulty switches could make a vehicle stall, lose power and disable its airbags.

These vehicles were recalled in 2011 and 2014. FCA’s recall is similar to the ones that plagued General Motors in 2014, linked to 57 deaths in crashes and led to the recall of 2.59 million small cars. The delays in GM’s response to the defect have led to four congressional hearings and a $35 million fine. Those switches were supplied by Delphi.

NHTSA’s investigation into Chrysler vehicles commenced after the GM ignition-switch disclosures in 2014, when it contacted all major carmakers on whether vehicle stalls might affect airbag performance. In Chrysler’s case, it has determined that the airbags in the three affected models function for two-tenths of a second if the ignition switch moves to the accessory or off position.

Fiat Chrysler has advised NHTSA that there is a new remedy for the issue and repairs have been accelerated, according to spokesperson. Vehicle owners are advised to remove all items except the ignition key from their key rings, until their units are repaired.

NHTSA received 24 consumer complaints about the issue, and these document situations like immovable steering wheels, loss of all power and difficulty braking. Likewise, dealers were generally unwilling to fix the vehicles since no recall was issued.

These driving experiences, according to the complaints, were similar to the situations described in the GM ignition-switch recalls.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will issue another recall of 703,000 minivans and SUVs with a faulty ignition switch that could rotate out of position. According to the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall covers MY2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Journey, which faulty switches could make a vehicle stall, lose power and disable its airbags.

These vehicles were recalled in 2011 and 2014. FCA’s recall is similar to the ones that plagued General Motors in 2014, linked to 57 deaths in crashes and led to the recall of 2.59 million small cars. The delays in GM’s response to the defect have led to four congressional hearings and a $35 million fine. Those switches were supplied by Delphi.

NHTSA’s investigation into Chrysler vehicles commenced after the GM ignition-switch disclosures in 2014, when it contacted all major carmakers on whether vehicle stalls might affect airbag performance. In Chrysler’s case, it has determined that the airbags in the three affected models function for two-tenths of a second if the ignition switch moves to the accessory or off position.

Read the entire article FCA to recall again minivans and SUVs with faulty ignition switch

The Dodge Grand Caravan's American Value Package will be soon gone. The bottom end of Fiat Chrysler’s minivan lineup -- carrying a starting price of $22,390, including shipping -- will be replaced by the redesigned 2017 Chrysler Town & Country.

The redesigned Town & Country will have a price range of between around $26,000 and over $45,000, depending on features selected by the customer, Chrysler brand head Al Gardner told Automotive News.

Gardner said the redesigned Town & Country will be offered particularly on the $30,000 to $40,000 range. He remarked that the American Value Package is a very difficult price point to build the technology, the content, the vehicle and the platform. He added that even competing brands cannot build on the price point.

Gardner also added that Fiat Chrysler would love to sell something to customers at that price point, even if may not be a Town & Country. Fiat Chrysler is planning to suspend production at its Windsor Assembly site in Ontario for around three months starting this month to prepare for the output of the next-generation Town & Country. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

The Dodge Grand Caravan's American Value Package will be soon gone. The bottom end of Fiat Chrysler’s minivan lineup -- carrying a starting price of $22,390, including shipping -- will be replaced by the redesigned 2017 Chrysler Town & Country.

The redesigned Town & Country will have a price range of between around $26,000 and over $45,000, depending on features selected by the customer, Chrysler brand head Al Gardner told Automotive News.

Gardner said the redesigned Town & Country will be offered particularly on the $30,000 to $40,000 range. He remarked that the American Value Package is a very difficult price point to build the technology, the content, the vehicle and the platform. He added that even competing brands cannot build on the price point.

Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler will drop sub-$25,000 minivans

Nissan announced that the 2015 Quest 3.5 S will have a starting price of $26,530 in the United States, excluding the $885 destination charge. Still, if you want more, the 2015 Quest 3.5 SV starts at $30,280, while the Quest 3.5 SL costs $34,060. The most expensive model will be the 2015 Nissan 3.5 Platinum, which costs $43,180.

Prices do not include the $885 destination charge. According to Nissan, the 2015 Quest arrives with some enhancements. First of all, the previous LE grade becomes Platinum grade, while the revised tuning and enhanced D-Step Shift logic added to the standard Xtronic transmission improve fuel economy by 2 mpg on the highway, 1 mpg in the city and combined (now 27 mpg on the highway, 20 mpg city and 22 mpg combined).

Moreover, the 4.3-inches display for audio systems is replaced by a larger 5.0-inch color display. The Moving Object Detection (MOD) added to new Platinum grade’s Around View Monitor. Each model is powered by a standard 3.5-liter DOHC V6 petrol engine rated at 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque, bolted to the Xtronic automatic transmission.

Nissan will offer the 2015 Quest with plenty of option packages such as DVD Entertainment System, Bose Package, Dual Opening Glass Moonroof, Leather Package and Roof Rails. The Quest Platinum grade gets the standard Blind Spot Warning (BSW) system.

Nissan announced that the 2015 Quest 3.5 S will have a starting price of $26,530 in the United States, excluding the $885 destination charge. Still, if you want more, the 2015 Quest 3.5 SV starts at $30,280, while the Quest 3.5 SL costs $34,060. The most expensive model will be the 2015 Nissan 3.5 Platinum, which costs $43,180.

Prices do not include the $885 destination charge. According to Nissan, the 2015 Quest arrives with some enhancements. First of all, the previous LE grade becomes Platinum grade, while the revised tuning and enhanced D-Step Shift logic added to the standard Xtronic transmission improve fuel economy by 2 mpg on the highway, 1 mpg in the city and combined (now 27 mpg on the highway, 20 mpg city and 22 mpg combined).

Moreover, the 4.3-inches display for audio systems is replaced by a larger 5.0-inch color display. The Moving Object Detection (MOD) added to new Platinum grade’s Around View Monitor. Each model is powered by a standard 3.5-liter DOHC V6 petrol engine rated at 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque, bolted to the Xtronic automatic transmission.

Read the entire article 2015 Nissan Quest priced from $26,530 in the United States

Chrysler Group’s Windsor minivan facility in Ontario, Canada will be idled for 12 weeks to pave way for upgrades in the first and second quarters of 2015 as the carmaker prepares the site for the output of the next-generation van. The announcement was made by Chrysler Group chief executive Sergio Marchionne during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Marchionne said that the carmaker should create detailed plans to ensure that it still could produce the current minivan until the shutdown. The carmaker currently offers two minivans in North America -- the Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan. The latter will soon be phased out with Marchionne saying that the new van will be a Chrysler.

He, however, did not say if the new van still be known as the Town & Country. During the conference, reiterated that Fiat Fiat Chrysler would start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 13, and would be registered in the Netherlands.

Fiat Chrysler will have a tax domicile in the United Kingdom and will have operational bases in Auburn Hills, Mich., and in Turin, Italy.

The Italian prime minister remarked that it does not matter to him where Fiat is based, since what is more important is that the new company will still provide jobs to Italians. Marchionne, on the other hand, remarked that Chrysler's alliance with Fiat will in the end "breathe life" into the Italian industry.

Chrysler Group’s Windsor minivan facility in Ontario, Canada will be idled for 12 weeks to pave way for upgrades in the first and second quarters of 2015 as the carmaker prepares the site for the output of the next-generation van. The announcement was made by Chrysler Group chief executive Sergio Marchionne during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Marchionne said that the carmaker should create detailed plans to ensure that it still could produce the current minivan until the shutdown. The carmaker currently offers two minivans in North America -- the Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan. The latter will soon be phased out with Marchionne saying that the new van will be a Chrysler.

He, however, did not say if the new van still be known as the Town & Country. During the conference, reiterated that Fiat Fiat Chrysler would start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 13, and would be registered in the Netherlands.

Read the entire article Chrysler will idle Ontario site to prepare it for new minivan output

Volkswagen AG is recalling around 18,529 Routan minivans (MY2009), adding to the MY2010 models it called back in 2011 for ignition switches that could be knocked into the accessory position and shut off the engine, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This brings the total number of vehicles recalled in the United States to around 31,270 vehicles. VW expanded the recall after Chrysler June sent in late documents for a callback of its own minivans over the same the issue, saying that MY2009 Routan minivans were also affected.

Chrysler called back 696,000 more minivans from (MY2008 and 2009), in addition to a recall of MY2010 models. Carmakers have been paying more attention to the issue of ignition switches even since General Motors recalled 2.6 million cars because of a faulty part tied to at least 13 deaths.

The issue has become the center of several probes at NHTSA, the US Congress and the US Department of Justice, as well as several state attorneys general.

Just like GM and other carmakers that have faced this issue, VW is advising owners of the recalled vehicles to remove all items from their key rings except for the ignition key, according to the NHTSA documents.

The German carmaker will notify owners of the recall while its dealers will modify the ignition switch at no extra charge, according to the NHTSA documents. VW is expected to commence the call back this month.

Volkswagen AG is recalling around 18,529 Routan minivans (MY2009), adding to the MY2010 models it called back in 2011 for ignition switches that could be knocked into the accessory position and shut off the engine, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This brings the total number of vehicles recalled in the United States to around 31,270 vehicles. VW expanded the recall after Chrysler June sent in late documents for a callback of its own minivans over the same the issue, saying that MY2009 Routan minivans were also affected.

Chrysler called back 696,000 more minivans from (MY2008 and 2009), in addition to a recall of MY2010 models. Carmakers have been paying more attention to the issue of ignition switches even since General Motors recalled 2.6 million cars because of a faulty part tied to at least 13 deaths.

Read the entire article VW is recalling 18,529 Routan minivans over faulty ignition switches

Recent sales figures of minivans pale in comparison with the numbers a decade ago. But despite that, carmakers and dealers are earning more from them – because in-demand higher-end minivans do deliver good margins. Brian Heney, director of operations for the Kelly Automotive Group, remarked to Automotive News that unlike before, customers are now just choosing between just two shopping options.

He noted that minivan customers now know what they are looking for and “they pay for it.” Kelly Automotive Group sells Chrysler Town & Country, Honda Odyssey and Nissan Quest. He remarked that loaded up minivans do appeal a lot to customers.

The good margin from selling minivans may have prompted carmakers to quietly get ready for battle for customers. For one, Chrysler unveiled in May that it plans to consolidate its segment-leading minivan offerings under the Chrysler brand while dropping the Dodge Grand Caravan.

The move is expected to make customers purchase more premium minivans under the Chrysler brand, which entry level product is over $10,000 pricier than a similar offering by Dodge version that carries a base price of $21,590, including shipping.

Chrysler is also planning to roll out a plug-in hybrid version of the Town & Country in 2016. Ford, which has left the minivan market eight years ago, is looking to re-enter the segment through its Transit Connect Wagon, which looks, operates and feels like a minivan, although the carmaker is marketing it as an "unminivan."

Kia Motors America, meanwhile, unveiled at the 2014 New York auto show a stylish Sedona minivan, which will be available this fall. Kia, however, refers to the Sedona as a multipurpose vehicle. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

Recent sales figures of minivans pale in comparison with the numbers a decade ago. But despite that, carmakers and dealers are earning more from them – because in-demand higher-end minivans do deliver good margins. Brian Heney, director of operations for the Kelly Automotive Group, remarked to Automotive News that unlike before, customers are now just choosing between just two shopping options.

He noted that minivan customers now know what they are looking for and “they pay for it.” Kelly Automotive Group sells Chrysler Town & Country, Honda Odyssey and Nissan Quest. He remarked that loaded up minivans do appeal a lot to customers.

The good margin from selling minivans may have prompted carmakers to quietly get ready for battle for customers. For one, Chrysler unveiled in May that it plans to consolidate its segment-leading minivan offerings under the Chrysler brand while dropping the Dodge Grand Caravan.

Read the entire article Minivan segment now seeing lower sales but higher profit margins

Chrysler Group will still build minivans at its Windsor site in Ontario, and has withdrawn a request for government help. Chrysler, however, warned that Canada should become a cheaper place to do business for it to be considered for future products.

The carmaker disclosed that it will carry the costs of renovations necessary to produce next-generation vehicles in Windsor and at its large-car plant in Brampton, Ontario, sans financial help from the federal or provincial government.  A Chrysler statement said that the result of 2016 negotiations with UNIFOR -- representing Canadian auto workers -- would be "of particular importance."

"It is clear to us that our projects are now being used as a political football, a process that, in our view, apart from being unnecessary and ill-advised, will ultimately not be to the benefit of Chrysler," Chrysler said in a statement. "As a result, Chrysler will deal in an unfettered fashion with its strategic alternatives regarding product development and allocation and will fund out of its own resources."

Chrysler reiterated its commitment to produce the successor for the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan at its Windsor site and the next-generation Dodge Charger and Challenger and Chrysler 300 at its Brampton facility. Those models accounted for 20 percent of the 1.8 million vehicles Chrysler sold in the United States in 2013.

In its disclosure withdrawing its request for the reported over $630 million in government support, the US carmaker said it would continue to observe the "competitiveness" of Canada both in North America and globally, specifically citingthe 2016 union talks.

UNIFOR President Jerry Dias expressed pleasure that Chrysler elected to invest in Windsor and Brampton but let out concern at the carmaker’s decision to withdraw its request for government help. "The bottom line is that the people of Ontario and our leaders need to understand the importance of developing a long-term strategy, including public investment, if we want to have a strong, competitive advanced manufacturing sector," Dias said in a statement.

Chrysler Group will still build minivans at its Windsor site in Ontario, and has withdrawn a request for government help. Chrysler, however, warned that Canada should become a cheaper place to do business for it to be considered for future products.

The carmaker disclosed that it will carry the costs of renovations necessary to produce next-generation vehicles in Windsor and at its large-car plant in Brampton, Ontario, sans financial help from the federal or provincial government.  A Chrysler statement said that the result of 2016 negotiations with UNIFOR -- representing Canadian auto workers -- would be "of particular importance."

"It is clear to us that our projects are now being used as a political football, a process that, in our view, apart from being unnecessary and ill-advised, will ultimately not be to the benefit of Chrysler," Chrysler said in a statement. "As a result, Chrysler will deal in an unfettered fashion with its strategic alternatives regarding product development and allocation and will fund out of its own resources."

Read the entire article Chrysler retains minivan output at Ontario site in Canada

The Honda Odyssey minivan built for Japan is more interesting and definitely more advanced than the minivan that came out in the U.S. this year. While the U.S.-market minivan came with a vacuum cleaner as a new option, the all-new fifth-generation Odyssey minivan for Japan has new seating configurations, sophisticated tech features, a totally new platform that comes with an ultra-low floor layout.

As a result, its interior is quite spacious. The JDM Honda Odyssey is much smaller than the U.S. Odyssey so it’s to be expected that the Japanese van isn’t equipped with the 3.5-liter V-6 engine used by the U.S.-market van. Rather, it features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (included in Honda’s “Earth Dreams” engine family) and is partnered with a standard CVT.

The standard model has front-wheel-drive. All-wheel-drive is optional. The interior of the Japanese Honda Odyssey appears very upscale, particularly if it is given the optional special seating for the second row that doesn’t appear as your usual car seats. They actually appear more like armchairs from your living room. These are dubbed as “Cradle Seats” and could recline because of their articulated backrests.

They also have footrests. The third-row seat is a bit more conventional. It has three sections so that every passenger can recline the backrest to a different angle.

In addition, the JDM Honda Odyssey gets numerous active safety features that aren’t offered on the U.S.-market Odyssey such as a multi-view camera system, an active city braking system, and a Honda Smart Parking Assist System that can steer the vehicle into a parking space. The Honda Odyssey started selling in Japan last week, offered in trim levels that range from B, G, and EX to the top-of-the-range level dubbed Odyssey Absolute.

The Honda Odyssey minivan built for Japan is more interesting and definitely more advanced than the minivan that came out in the U.S. this year. While the U.S.-market minivan came with a vacuum cleaner as a new option, the all-new fifth-generation Odyssey minivan for Japan has new seating configurations, sophisticated tech features, a totally new platform that comes with an ultra-low floor layout.

As a result, its interior is quite spacious. The JDM Honda Odyssey is much smaller than the U.S. Odyssey so it’s to be expected that the Japanese van isn’t equipped with the 3.5-liter V-6 engine used by the U.S.-market van. Rather, it features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (included in Honda’s “Earth Dreams” engine family) and is partnered with a standard CVT.

The standard model has front-wheel-drive. All-wheel-drive is optional. The interior of the Japanese Honda Odyssey appears very upscale, particularly if it is given the optional special seating for the second row that doesn’t appear as your usual car seats. They actually appear more like armchairs from your living room. These are dubbed as “Cradle Seats” and could recline because of their articulated backrests.

Read the entire article Honda debuts the 2014 Odyssey in Japan
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