Don’t mourn for the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan just yet. Chrysler Group has denied a report from Bloomberg last week that 2012 is going to be its last model year, according to a source. Under Chrysler's 2009 product plan, the Grand Caravan and its Chrysler Town & Country minivan line mate would stay in service until 2014.
Chrysler sent a statement to Automotive News to say that the company “hasn't wavered” from its five-year cycle plan for two minivans. It said that no change will take place until 2014 for the Grand Caravan and Town & Country. Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said last week that its next minivan would use a new platform in 2014 as planned.
Last month, Marchionne was asked by analysts at a conference call about development expenses for the next minivan. He replied that the company is currently studying the minivan issue but that most of it will take place in 2013. Nevertheless, it’s obvious that Chrysler's product planning office has something up its sleeve. Chrysler had presented a minivan concept named the 700C at last January’s Detroit auto show.
This was meant to measure public reaction to its style. Marchionne had said that there’s a need for “one” new minivan. In the past, Chrysler had numerous single-brand dealerships so having twin minivans was useful since one signature product could then be placed on nearly every lot.
But it doesn’t make much sense to have two minivans now since most Chrysler dealerships carry all of the traditional brands. The Dodge is priced lower than $30,000, while the Chrysler sells for over $30,000.