Chrysler, Honda, Nissan and Toyota betting on the old minivan comeback

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 25, 2010

There are signs that the minivan will be making a comeback and carmakers are only too eager to prepare for this scenario. Later this year or early in 2011, Chrysler Group, Toyota Motor Sales USA., American Honda Motor Co. and Nissan North America will be introducing new-generation vans to the market.

Edmunds has noticed a sudden increase in Web traffic for consumers researching minivans on its site. On any typical month, only 2 to 3% of consumers on the site check out minivans but in April, this number rose to nearly 5%.

Ivan Drury, an Edmunds analyst, said that this represents a definite peak in interest. He assumes that the public has heard about the arrival of new minivans and they want to read about them.

Used-vehicle barometer LeaseTrader has also noted a rise in demand for minivans, with its Web site recording a 23% rise in interest in April.

LeaseTrader works by arranging lease-swaps for consumers who want to switch to another vehicle before their lease is up.

John Sternal, the company's vice president of marketing, revealed that these consumers who are in search of a minivan have commented that "crossovers are just too expensive and not practical enough."

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