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Posts Tagged ‘minivan news’

Honda Hopes to Make Minivan Hip Again With Launch of Next-Gen Odyssey

People-mover moves passengers with new Magic Slide seats.

by on Jan.09, 2017

The new Honda Odyssey looks to keep its spot as the top selling minivan in the U.S. for the last seven years.

No other vehicle does a better job of moving a passel of passengers from Point A to Point B. But minivans have, over the last decade, become painfully un-hip, sending millions of once-loyal buyers looking for SUVs, CUVs and other alternatives.

With minivan sales sliding, manufacturers have been struggling to find ways to make these people-movers popular again, and Honda is weighing in with a complete makeover of its Odyssey model at the North American International Auto Show.

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The best-seller in this downsized segment for seven years running, “This new Odyssey raises the stakes for family-friendly packaging, performance and technology in the minivan segment,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. “In all aspects of its design, the new Odyssey is made to keep every member of the family happy, no matter the seating position, no matter the destination.” (more…)

Chrysler Pacifica Surges Out to Strong Start

Town & Country replacement luring buyers with lower sticker price.

by on Jul.25, 2016

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

The new Chrysler Pacifica is off to a strong start as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pumps new life into the segment many analysts had written off long ago.

Matt McClear, senior manager for the Chrysler Brand said during a briefing outside FCA headquarters that sales of the new Pacifica have steadily grown since it was launched in April. During June the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica continued to gain momentum in the marketplace, selling 7,207 units, up significantly, from May, said McClear, even though dealers didn’t have a full supply.

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FCA also sold more than 8,000 Town & Country minivans during June. But FCA has stopped building the older Chrysler Town & Country at the company’s assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario. The last 2016 Town & Country has been shipped to dealers and Chrysler is now totally dependent on sales of the new Pacifica going forward, McClear said. (more…)

Reinventing the minivan: Chrysler Betting Big on the 2017 Pacifica

Pacifica Hybrid version to top 80 mpg.

by on Jan.11, 2016

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

It went from being one of the hottest products on the market to the butt of jokes. But is the minivan slated for oblivion, or can Chrysler make it cool again?

That’s likely to be one of the biggest questions of this year’s North American International Auto Show as the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica makes its debut. Not to be confused with the wagon-like crossover of a decade back, Pacifica is the name Chrysler has chosen for the replacement for the old Town & Country minivan.

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“People will tell you the minivan segment is dead,” says Tim Kuniskis, the head of the Chrysler brand. “But it’s still selling 500,000” a year. The question is whether the new Pacifica can reverse the steady decline of a segment that once accounted for more than 2 million sales annually. (more…)

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…)

Volkswagen Issues Second Recall for Minivan Ignitions

Chrysler-made vehicles getting new ignitions.

by on Apr.16, 2015

Volkswagen is recalling 21,000 Routan minivans to fix faulty ignition switches.

Volkswagen entered into a partnership with Chrysler in 2008 to help the German maker fill its void in the minivan segment in the U.S. Now that partnership is giving VW a headache as it’s recalling nearly 21,000 of the minivans for the second time.

VW is recalling them again to fix faulty ignition switches that can cause the vans to stall.

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The recall covers roughly 18,500 Routan minivans from the 2009 model year and another 2,200 from 2010. The switches can unexpectedly slip out of the run position, shutting off the engines, knocking out power steering and brakes and disabling the air bags. (more…)

Three Minivans Flunk Latest Offset Crash Tests

Toyota Sienna only family hauler to get passing grade.

by on Nov.21, 2014

The 2015 Toyota Sienna was the only one of four current model minivans sold in the U.S. that passed the IIHS front offset crash test.

Each day thousands of parents hit the button on their key fob that opens the power sliding door on their family minivan and watch their kids to amble into their seats, knowing that vehicle is among the safest on the road. They are wrong, according to recent crash test results.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently completed small overlap front crashes on four minivans sold in the U.S. – Toyota Sienna, Nissan Quest, Chrysler Town & Country and its twin, Dodge Grand Caravan – and three of the four earned “poor” ratings.

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“Minivans are popular among parents, a group that tends to be safety conscious, but we’ve only seen two so far that offer decent protection in small overlap crashes,” says David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer. (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…)

Kia Straddles Minivan/Crossover Line

Touts new Sedona as a ‘multipurpose vehicle.’

by on Apr.15, 2014

The 2015 Kia Sedona marks the maker's first major overhaul of the vehicle since 2009.

The mystery is gone regarding the 2015 Kia Sedona minivan, er, multipurpose vehicle. After dropping a few hints and dark pictures of the new version, the maker unveiled the details about new Sedona it plans to show in New York this week.

One of the questions floating around was would it be a minivan at all. Given the fact that the minivan segment is shrinking and dominated by a couple of makers, wondering if Kia would stay there was a valid question. Now the answer is, uh, well…maybe.

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Touting its “European-inspired” styling and other features, it seems Kia’s plans to differentiate the Sedona from other minivans is to simply suggest that it’s not a minivan at all, but a crossover. (more…)

Kia Teases New Multi-Purpose Vehicle

Replacement for Sedona due to debut at NY Auto Show.

by on Apr.03, 2014

Kia teases the replacement for its all-but-forgotten Sedona minivan, due to debut in NY this month.

With less than two weeks left before the New York Auto Show’s annual media preview begins our e-mailbox is suddenly getting flooded with news about new production models – and a raft of concept vehicles that could offer a hint of models to come.

Among the planned debuts, expect to see a new “midsize multi-purpose vehicle” from Kia, apparently a more acceptable alternative to the oft-derided term, minivan.

Product News!

The Korean carmaker isn’t saying much, issuing little more than this teaser image and a terse release that suggests, “This global debut will challenge the segment and will offer the functionality to transport as many as eight passengers and their belongings while also serving as a purposeful offering for adventure seekers.” (more…)