Chrysler recaptured minivan title

Despite numerous plant shutdowns and a brand-new Toyota Sienna and semi-new Kia Carnival, Chrysler managed to hold onto the minivan crown, though it was a somewhat pyrrhic victory.  With sales at just under 100,000, Chrysler held steady with 2021, but every competitor plummeted in sales.

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Road Tripper minivan

The Sienna fell by 35%, despite a brand new all-hybrid lineup with excellent gas mileage that undercut the Pacifica Hybrid’s prices. Toyota only sold 69,751 Siennas. The Honda Odyssey continues its descent into the underworld, falling by a stunning 38% to 47,615 sales. Finally, Kia sold a mere 2,905 Sedonas and 16,801 Carnivals; the Carnival fell by 33% from 2021 sales. Kia sales overall were down by just 1% from last year; the Sportage had a remarkably good year with 125,245 sold (up by 32%) but that was their only truly major sales gain.

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I wouldn’t touch a Honda Odyssey (transmission and electrical failures) nor would I put my family in any Toyota due to the whole unintentional acceleration cover-up. And HyunKia? Really just an airport rental counter supplier. Cheap junk that falls apart after the warranty runs out. So my only option has been the Town and County and the Pacifica. I’ve had 3. All of them have been sold with no problems and each has gone at least 250k miles.

I have a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan RT. I love it great power maybe to much sometimes. Handles awesome not to mention it has stow and go which is probably the greatest feature they ever created and own. Stow n Go is what people want. Chrysler owns that. Now I bought my dodge not because it’s a dodge I bought it on value. When I bought mine it had 1,000 miles and was from a rental car company that went out of business. I bought the car thru carmax for around $27,000 which is a steal. They had town and countries with 20,000 miles for the same price or more. Now my van is a RT but is missing 2 features that a normal RT would have. Now remember this is from a rental company. It was missing the DVD system which was devastating to my kids & Bluetooth hands free calling. Other then that has everything else. Another thing that might have helped in it’s pricing was it’s Tan. I have been driving it for 7yrs it has 130,000 miles. Replaced the Suspension and bearings and some sensors but nothing major. Love my van if I end up buying a new van it will either be a Pacifica or a Carnival, Toyotas and Hondas I think are way over priced compared the the other 2.

They keep failing to take advantage of the versatility of the platform. Like most everything else FCA dropped the ball on development with this vehicle. Ram has what, a million combinations of ways to build it, and Chrysler has, if I’m generous, 3 ways to build a minivan. These vehicles should be as Iconic as the VW, considering their sales and world wide influence. Yet like the PT cruiser, no one at chrysler can wrap their heads around multiple versions of this car. Why Not? I can thgink of at least 5 packages right now that would probably double sales. Someone is asleep at the wheel, or are they just waiting for Hyundai/Kia to beat them out of the gate, again?

Yup. Call them, your on to something that needs telling.

Chrysler must seize the minivan as an opportunity, not a dying breed. The Pacifica/Grand Caravan offers unique qualities that still resonate with families but the SUV has taken a chunk out of that market. The opportunity lies in giving some more character and acceptability to their minivan.
The Pacifica truly is a great vehicle but the minivan stigma must be overcome though marketing the benefits and giving the minivan a bit of styling that SUV buyers might gravitate to or even flaunt. Even without the styling proposal, the minivan rarely is seen on TV and that reinforces its soggy image. The Pacifica is pretty stylish inside, market that as exciting to buyers.

It’s amazing to have lived through the entire arc of the minivan product cycle from it’s inception to decline. I can remember when there wasn’t a moment I was on the road without a couple of minivans in sight, and the grade school/high school parking lots were filled with them. We personally owned five of them. I know the segment isn’t dead yet, but it’s a shadow of its former self. I wonder if the SUV will follow the same arc.

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