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Posts Tagged ‘Chrysler Town & Country’

First Drive: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Redefining the minivan – will it win back American family buyers?

by on Mar.21, 2016

Perhaps no other type of vehicle does a better job of delivering what it offers than a minivan.

Running from the Southern California Coast towards Lake Elsinore, the Ortega Highway is the sort of torturously twisting two-lane highways that motorcycles and sports cars love. Minivans travel it at their own peril, and yet, we’re planning to run nearly the full 111.5 miles of what’s official known as CA-74 this drizzly, late winter morning.

If we were driving Chrysler’s old Town & Country model, or just about any conventional minivan, for that matter, you might have reason to question our choice of routes. But this is our first chance to drive the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.

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No automaker is more closely identified with the minivan. The Detroit side of Fiat Chrysler invented the modern people-move back in 1984, and for years it struggled to meet demand, U.S. sales at one point nudging 2 million a year. These days, the numbers are down for nearly three-quarters and a number of one-time competitors, including Ford and General Motors have dropped out of the minivan market. So, some question whether the new Chrysler Pacifica is the segment’s last great hope.

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Spy Shot: 2016 Chrysler Town & Country

Chrysler's new Mom-mobile caught in testing.

by on May.05, 2015

Chrysler is set to idle its Windsor plant to retool for the launch of the 2016 Town & Country.

Coming to your Chrysler dealer soon…

Here’s a look at what Chrysler has planned for the next generation of its Town & Country minivan. No, the camo-wraping is not part of the introduction package, just Chrysler’s way of hiding the completely new 2016 styling of its strong-selling soccer mom vehicle.

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Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario, assembly plant about to shut down for a summer changeover as the Town & Country gets set for a complete update for the coming model-year. The new design is only part of the story, however. The other big news is the decision by FCA to abandon the Dodge Caravan model to focus on just one minivan – a reflection of the huge slide in demand for these mom-mobiles over the past decade. (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.

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Feds Looking at Chrysler Minivans for Stalling Problem

Agency claims eight complaints, but could be more than 100.

by on Sep.12, 2014

NHTSA is looking into eight complaints about 2007 Dodge Grand Caravans that stall after refueling.

Federal regulators opened probe into a potential problem with Chrysler minivans stalling after a man complained about the problem with his 2007 vehicle, and since then they have found others about similar problems.

After the initial complaint, the query expanded to include seven more 2007 model year vehicles. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.

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However, an analysis by Reuters suggests that thee are more than 100 complaints about the problem dating back to 2008. (more…)

Toyota Pulls Wraps Off New Sienna

Automaker opts for online unveiling.

by on Jul.17, 2014

Working with three social media-savvy parents, Toyota launched its 2015 Sienna minivan on the internet.

It isn’t a good time for minivan fans. Two decades ago, they were the hippest things on wheels, just about every maker racing into the segment with new products loaded up with the hottest new features, whether juicebox holders, stowaway seats or rear entertainment systems. But with demand sliding, a growing number of makers are pulling out or trimming their minivan lines, Chrysler soon set to abandon the Dodge Grand Caravan model.

But don’t count Toyota out of the market. Quite the contrary, the maker revealing an updated version of the popular Sienna mom-mobile that introduces an intercom system so parents won’t have to scream at the kids battling in the back seats.

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In what might be a telling move, rather than reveal the 2015 Toyota Sienna at an auto show or some other traditional event, the Japanese maker pulled the wraps off digitally, with an online unveiling that showed off its potential, the maker explained, “through the eyes of three creative, social media-savvy parents. In a series of custom videos, these parents bring to life the everyday and sometimes unexpected adventures possible in and around the Sienna.” (more…)

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…)

Marchionne: Chrysler Will Get Two “People-Movers,” but Only One Minivan

Maker will respond to shifting market with 2015 roll-out.

by on Jan.17, 2013

The Chrysler Town & Country may end its long run in 2014, when one of the maker's two minivans is expected to get a radical makeover.

The company that invented the modern minivan still sees a place for “people carriers” in its line-up, but only one will be the classic soccer mom-mobile, according to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

The maker currently has two models, the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, that will continue in production through at least 2014, but it has been sending mixed signals about whether they will both remain in the line-up going forward as sales continue to tumble, buyers looking for hipper alternatives. Now, it appears, only one will remain, the other brand getting an alternative approach.

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“People grow out of minivans,” Marchionne concluded during a meeting with reporters at the North American International Auto Show. The challenge is to find an alternative that can maintain its appeal – something Chrysler thinks it may have come up with.

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Growing Number of Models Won’t Make it to 2013

Clearing out space for some all-new offerings.

by on Jun.19, 2012

Gone and soon forgotten? The Dodge Caliber will soon vanish from the fleet.

Don’t look now but some old and familiar nameplates – perhaps one parked in your garage – won’t be around much longer.

Automakers plan to drop a number of models that aren’t cutting it over the next couple years, sometimes to bring in a renamed replacement but in many cases simply to abandon a market niche that isn’t generating enough sales to justify the cost of an update.

Among the many products that manufacturers plan to eliminate is the once-popular Chrysler Town & Country minivan.  In fact, the Detroit maker has been steadily paring back its range of people-movers as sales slide and competition increases.

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A dozen or more products will quietly vanish from the market over the next several months as industry assembly lines re-tool for the 2013 model-year.  Among those also heading off to the automotive rust heap are: (more…)

Chrysler Killing Town & Country, Keeping Dodge Caravan

Chrysler model to be replaced by new crossover.

by on May.30, 2012

The Chrysler Town & Country is likely to end its long run in 2014, leaving the maker with just one minivan.

With the market for minivans steadily declining Chrysler will kill off one of its two remaining models and replace it with a more trendy crossover vehicles, according to company sources.

But the automaker has apparently reversed its original plan and will now drop the more upscale Chrysler Town & Country model and keep the mainstream Dodge Caravan, one of the original models the maker introduced to much fanfare back in 1984.

According to comments made this week by CEO Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler will also abandon the slow-selling Jeep Compass, the brand’s least traditional SUV offering.

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The apparent 2014 demise of the Town & Country underscores several dramatic changes that have occurred in the U.S. automotive marketplace over the past three decades.  When former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca revealed the original Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager models revolutionized family transportation with their vast interiors and easy access sliding doors and tailgate.

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The 10 Most Popular Mom-mobiles

Honda, Nissan dominate the distaff list.

by on May.10, 2012

The Honda CR-V, what Mom apparently would like more than flowers this Mother's Day.

Forget the flowers.  What Mom apparently wants for Mother’s Day is a new Honda CR-V.  Or so it would seem according to a closer look at the car American moms are driving.  The Japanese crossover tops the list, with Honda landing five out of the Top 10 Mom-mobiles, Nissan close behind with three of its own on the list.

Not surprisingly, what mothers drive depends on how big a brood they have, according to research by TruCar.com.  But the one big surprise is the fact that for mothers overall only one minivan made the list, the Honda Odyssey.  For those with three children, the Chrysler Town & Country and the Toyota Sienna also made the list.

The CR-V is the most popular choice for those with one child.  For those with more kids, Honda is still the top brand – but the pick of this litter is the maker’s Odyssey minivan.

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“The data show moms prefer vehicles that combine practicality with style,” said Kristen Andersson, Senior Analyst at TrueCar. “Bigger is not always better when it comes to moms’ favorite vehicles as evidenced by the lack of any Large SUVs and only one minivan in the overall top ten.”

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