The minivan is dead. Or so goes conventional wisdom, and the steady decline in sales would suggest that’s probably true. Even king-of-the-hill Chrysler is struggling to fill a single factory, while the other domestic makers, Ford and General Motors, have walked away from the minivan segment entirely.
Well, then again, maybe not. Ford weighed in with an interesting alternative, last year, in the form of its Flex “people mover.” And at the upcoming New York Auto Show, it will reveal another possible minivan substitute, this one dubbed the Ford Family One.
If the basic shape is familiar, that’s because Ford has been getting a lot of mileage, lately, out of its European-designed TransitConnect van. We saw a heaping helping of TC variants at the Chicago Auto Show, just two months ago. But the automaker does have an interesting point to make: the van is surprisingly flexible, and perhaps it could be turned into a real minivan alternative, if your family doesn’t mind being driving a van distinctly commercial in its overall shape.