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Chrysler Drops Price on All-New Pacifica

New minivan’s mileage nears top of its class.

by on Mar.10, 2016

Chrysler's new minivan gets a dramatic new look and a new name for 2017: Pacifica.

Chrysler plans to shave about $1,400 off the base price of its all-new Pacifica minivan compared to the outgoing Town & Country people-mover.

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica will start at $28,595, plus a $995 delivery charge. The outgoing minivan started at $29,995. But load the new Pacifica up and you’ll top $42,000, the automaker said today.

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Chrysler also revealed that the gas-powered version of the new minivan will deliver a combined 22 mpg, according to the EPA. That’s a significant bump from the old Town & Country and positions Pacifica as second-best in the minivan market – though Chrysler had been promising to lead the segment with “unsurpassed” mileage.


FCA Confirms Next-Gen Minivan Gets Plug-in Hybrid

Chrysler’s family haulers expand to include new technology.

by on Feb.13, 2015

Chrysler brand chief, Al Gardner, confirmed that a plug-in hybrid minivan is coming next year.

A key FCA US executive confirmed the new family of Chrysler minivans will include a plug-in hybrid version.

Al Gardner, president and CEO, Chrysler brand – FCA North America , said during an interview at the Chicago Auto Show, the plug-in hybrid is definitely part of the Chrysler brand’s future product plan.

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Last month, Fiat Chrysler Automobile Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said he hoped to have the new minivan ready for an unveiling at the next North American International Auto Show in January 2016. (more…)

Spy Shots: 2017 Chrysler Town & Country

Down to one.

by on Jan.05, 2015

Chrysler has some big changes in its minivan plans, with a new Town & Country coming for 2017. Photos by Jim Dunne: Autospy.

Chrysler is hard at work preparing an all-new version of the Town & Country van, set for introduction as a 2017 model.

The much-anticipated debut will cap some major changes at Chrysler. At one point, the maker offered a variety of different – though largely badge-engineered – minivans, including not only the T&C but the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager, as well. From 2017, only the one model will remain, the maker developing a very different sort of “people mover” to replace the Dodge offering.

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The big challenge for FCA US LLC – the new name for the merged Fiat-Chrysler – will be to maintain demand for even its one remaining classic minivan. Once controlling more than two-thirds of the market, it has come under withering assault from a handful of foreign competitors, notably the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. At the same time, the minivan market itself has shrunk drastically since its mid-1990s peak.


With Loss of Dodge Grand Caravan, Minivan Market Keeps Shrinking

Departure means possibilities for others in segment.

by on May.07, 2014

FCA is going to phase out the Dodge Grand Caravan in 2016. The minivan segment has been shrinking for some time.

Confirming longstanding rumors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles says it will end production of the Dodge Grand Caravan in 2016 as part of a broad product and brand realignment that will leave the U.S. side of the automaker with only the Chrysler Town & Country in its model line-up.

That’s a big shift for a manufacturer credited with inventing the modern minivan in 1984 and who once offered the family-friendly vehicles under a variety of different badges. But it reflects not only the changes coming as Fiat Chrysler (FCA) rejiggers its brand strategy, but also the long and steady decline of a once-popular market segment today largely disdained by American motorists.

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Minivan sales shrank by 4.0% in 2013, according to industry data, to 532,357. That’s still enough volume that the industry can’t completely write off what critics have dubbed “mom-mobiles,” but it’s a far cry from the 1.4 million minivans manufacturers like Chrysler sold at the segment’s peak in 2000. (more…)

Chrysler Could Pull Minivan Production Out of Canada

Automakers must “learn from our past, says CEO Marchionne.

by on Feb.14, 2014

A Chrysler minivan rolls down the maker's assembly line in Windsor, Ontario.

After 30 years, Chrysler may wind up pulling production of its iconic minivan out of Canada, warned Sergio Marchionne, CEO of the newly merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The maker is nearing a decision on a number of key investments, Marchionne told reporters during an appearance at the Toronto Auto Show, but it has so far not been able to nail down plans for re-tooling an assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, across the Detroit River from Detroit, since Canadian officials have dragged their feet on a financial assistance package.

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“We’ve got to decide whether you want this or not,” Marchionne said, using the interview to send a message to Canadian officials. “And if you do, I’ll be more than willing to stay. I’m not using this as a threat, but there are some parts of the world that are desperately looking for capacity utilization, where infrastructure exists, is in place and is operational.”


Chrysler Developing Prototype Engine That Burns Gasoline and Diesel

New, high-mileage powertrain concept breaks all the rules.

by on Jun.06, 2011

An unusual engine design using both diesel and gas could yield over 30 mpg in the big Chrysler Town & Country minivan.

Oil and water don’t mix, and neither do gasoline and diesel fuels.  Not until now, anyway. But that old rule could soon go out the door.

Chrysler and the U.S. Department of Energy are developing a radical engine design that burns a combination of gasoline and diesel fuels.  If the prototype works, it could help Chrysler and other automakers meet tough new fuel economy targets that will be phased in over the next 15 years, according to a presentation given by Chrysler during the DOE’s 2011 Merit Review in Washington D.C.

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The small-displacement, 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder multi-fuel engine promises up to a 25% improvement in city and highway fuel economy for a Chrysler minivan, compared to a 2009 4.0-liter V-6, while maintaining similar performance. That would mean that the new engine could yield as much as 31 mpg on the highway in a Town & Country.


Chrysler Increasing Its Minivan Lead

But competitors taking aim with new products.

by on Jul.07, 2010

Chrysler's minivans, including the Town & Country, have been regaining market share.

With no domestic competitors to worry about anymore, Chrysler has been firming up its hold on the market segment it created, more than a quarter-century ago; but increasing competition from foreign makers threatens to loosen its grip on the minivan market.

In its early years, Chrysler held nearly 100% of the people mover segment, and even into the 1990s, it regularly outsold all its competitors combined, though that dominance slipped in the new millennium.  But for the first half of 2010 Chrysler is back on top again – overwhelmingly.

“The last year, the question was whether there’d be someone around to service your car,” says Joe Phillippi, chief analyst with AutoTrends Consulting, referring to Chrysler’s 2009 bankruptcy.  “Once you knew they’d be around, people regained confidence in the brand.”


For the first six months of the year, the maker’s Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan models collectively accounted for 49.1% of the segment.  That’s up nearly 10 full points from the same period a year ago, when Chrysler’s minivan share sank to 39.2%.  And it only bounced to 42.2% for the full year.  But industry analysts warn that the smallest of the Detroit automakers shouldn’t expect to rest on its laurels while it focuses on reviving the rest of its struggling line-up.