As part of a massive retooling of the Chrysler Windsor plant to build a new Chrysler Pacifica, FCA may also plan to bring back the Voyager minivan as an entry-level option.
Automotive News Canada
reports that FCA plans to invest $350 million into the Chrysler Windsor plant over the summer in order to handle the production of a new all-wheel-drive version of the popular Pacifica minivan.
The next step could be to use the extinct Voyager nameplate on an entry-level version of the Chrysler Pacifica, in order to maintain a foothold in the cheap minivan segment after the likely exit of the Dodge Grand Caravan.
'They just can't afford to risk that foothold that they have in the minivan space, I think there's more of a risk in killing the Caravan and having only one Pacifica and having too many trim levels where they lose the high-end Caravan buyer to a higher-sized Pacifica,' according to industry analyst Joe McCabe.
'That's where we see the risk. They have to make sure they backfill the more cost-conscientious Caravan buyer.'
If not for the introduction of a minivan with a lower price point, FCA would at least have to offer better packages and larger rebates on the Pacifica after the Grand Caravan goes away, in order to keep those customers in the fold. That's the thinking of Ryan Tessier, general manager of Drumheller Chrysler in Alberta, who said a cheaper van is 'pretty important.'
Minivan sales have been on a steady decline due to the influx of SUVs, but FCA isn't ready to let other manufacturers take all the sales.