FCA announces next-generation Chrysler Grand Caravan
It is to be produced exclusively for the Canadian market
A minivan with a familiar name will start rolling off the assembly line in Windsor in a few weeks.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will start producing the Chrysler Grand Caravan destined for the Canadian market in the fall.
FCA has had to discontinue the Dodge Grand Caravan because it wouldn't be able to meet tougher new emission standards. The new Chrysler Grand Caravan will meet the standards.
FCA describes the van as "designed with budget-friendly family customers in mind," but with a sticker price of just under $38,000, the base model of the Grand Caravan — built on the same platform as the Pacifica — is the same price as the base model of the Pacifica.
"So the question now is what is different between the two, other than the name?" queries Greg Layson, digital and mobile editor with Automotive News Canada.
FCA spokesperson LouAnn Gosselin points out the Grand Caravan SXT, which is one step up from the base model, is actually $3,950 less than the Dodge Grand Caravan trim package it is replacing.
In order to keep the price point down, the new Grand Caravan will not have Stow N' Go seats in the second row of seating, only in the third row. The base model will have a bench seat and the SXT will feature removable bucket seats. Gosselin says Stow N' Go seats in the second row will be available as an option for an extra $2,000.
Layson thinks FCA made the right choice continuing with the popular Grand Caravan.
"Last year alone, the Caravan sold 32,000 [units] and that was more than double the Toyota Sienna," said Layson. "So it makes sense for them to keep it."
The Grand Caravan is basically the same as the Voyager which has been available in the U.S. for a year. Layson said he recently observed quite a few of them on the road in Florida.
He points out, however, this development will not bring more jobs to the FCA Windsor Assembly Plant.
The Grand Caravan will go into production sometime this summer. An exact date was not announced.