Does the end of FCA-Windsor’s midnight shift mean there won’t be new product?
By now, if we believed Allpar.com and other rumor sites, we should have had a Chrysler Portal (like the one shown in New York years ago) and some form a crossover based on the Pacifica (like the old Pacifica, but presumably named Town & Country to really confuse older buyers).
Rumor after rumor has come down the pike about the next Chrysler crossovers. One would be based on the Pacifica. One would be based on the Jeep Grand Commander, which is sold only in China. One would be the Portal, in production form. Surely, something was actually going to replace the ancient, long obsolete Dodge Journey, especially since FCA wasn’t even bothering to keep the Journey updated.
“Chrysler Aspen” projected the look of an expected minivan-based large crossover.
Nothing came, and now Fiat Chrysler and Canadian union Unifor are talking about buyouts for 1,500 workers on the third shift. After months of talk, the third shift will end on July 13, 2020. The Dodge Grand Caravan’s final day has been set at August 22, 2020.
Minivan sales fell for everyone last year; Fiat Chrysler, the country’s largest seller of minivans, saw a 17% fall in Pacifica sales and a 19% fall in Grand Caravan in 2019. The 2020 numbers are likely to be worse. The company did sell well over 200,000 minivans in the United States alone, with the outgoing Grand Caravan easily outpacing the Pacifica. However, the older Dodge minivan is much cheaper than the Pacifica and has a higher proportion of fleet sales. Chrysler has launched a new Voyager model to replace the Grand Caravan; it’s essentially an entry-level Pacifica.
A somewhat more retro look for the projected full-size minivan-based crossover.
Clark Westfield grew up fixing up and driving past-their-prime American cars, including various GM and Mopar V8s. He has ghostwritten auto news for the last few years, lives in Farmingdale, New York, and can be reached at +1.516-531-4021.