One Van, Two Names? Next Minivan May Be A Chrysler in U.S., Dodge in Canada

Part of CEO Sergio Marchionne’s plan to consolidate the Chrysler Group’s models is to eliminate Dodge’s Grand Caravan in favor of the Chrysler Town & Country. Or is it? According to The Detroit News, the Dodge Grand Caravan may live on…but only in Canada.

The Chrysler minivans will get a complete overhaul in 2013. As we’ve previously reported, when the next-generation debuts, only Chrysler will get the new van and Dodge will receive a crossover on the same platform instead.

The Detroit News spoke with Reid Bigland, the head of the Dodge brand, who said that while there will be only one true minivan, it will wear different nameplates depending on what side of the border it was on.

“It would certainly be the Dodge Grand Caravan in Canada, but the Town & Country resonates more strongly here in the U.S., so that's going to be the van in the U.S,” Bigland said.

According to Bigland, the Town & Country outsells the Grand Caravan two to one in the States, but “it's just complete minivan domination” in Canada where the Dodge version takes 70 percent of minivan sales and is the third-best-selling vehicle in the country.

The 2013 Chrysler and Dodge vans will likely share all of their parts, with the exception of the badge. Chrysler will continue to build the vehicle at its plant in Windsor, Ontario, but is expected to offer both all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic in the new vehicle.

Source: The Detroit News

 

Dan in PA
I think this is a big mistake, there is too much brand equity with both the Caravan and the Town and Country to squander like this. Fiat would be better off concentrating their efforts into cosmetics, contend and price like VW does with VW and Audi. Does anyone get a Tiguan confused with a Q5? As far as content and pricing goes, the Town and Country can be like the Acura TSX was in it's first generation, back then Acura offered it as a pretty much loaded for its class model, you had an option of manual or automatic and navigation or no navidation. I am not saying do not offer the Caravan with Nav, since that is too popular of an option these days, but maybe offer the T&C with things like heated and ventilated front and second row captains chairs and powerfolding rear seat and a heated steering wheel as a comtort package. For an entertainment package, add satellite or internet radio capability, and headrest mounted screens for the second row and a fold down screen for the people way in the back. AWD and rear sunroof that opens on its own would be stand alone options, nav and front sunroof would be standard as would LED tail lights and HID headlamps with LED running lights and fog lights.. The Caravan would not get ventilated seats, HID headlamps, (LED tail lamps only on top range model with leather) standard nav, heated steering wheel or standard captains chairs for the middle row. It would also forgoe wood accents, even faux wood, and leather would be part of an option package. AWD and the 8sp would be part of an enhanced drivetrain package As GM learned with the outgoing Malibu vs the previous generation, people will pay more if it looks like it is justified in fit and finish and perceived quality, which why people pay more for an Audi versus a VW. Like with the 300 vs charger make them look different inside and out. And price them so the very basic caravan starts out in basic Sedona territory with the top line topping out in the upper 30s while the Chrysler would start in upper 30s with its softer leather and real wood trim and top out around 41k to be right around loaded Oddessy and Seina territory.

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