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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.

Reviews You Can Trust!

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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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.

Your Inside Source!

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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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.”

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Maxi-News!

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.

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