Chrysler Talks About Minivan Sales, And So Does TACH
But First Snide's Remarks: Here at The Auto Channel we still believe that the minivan has its place... if you have a large family or need your vehicle to drive carpool for kids over 7, or want to take a road trip or move some furniture, or take a kid to college, or or or...stick with a minivan...today's crossovers are ok but not as a substitute (in spite of presumed fuel savings) when you REALLY need your family car to have the space and flexibility a minivan provides.
At TACH we believe that the first manufacturer to offer an efficient clean diesel powered minivan that will get 40+ MPG (instead of today's 20 MPG and less) will energize and re-establish the minivan segment as the vehicle of choice for those who really want and need space in their family car.
Hey Stu; Chrysler already sells Fuel Efficient Diesel Powered Minivans in Europe, and builds the new VW minivan powered by diesel for European consumers (but gas only here in North America - HUH??) and now Chrysler (who created the minivan segment) has the great opportunity to create another "segment buster" and continue to lead the pack (and make big profits) by offering the green conscious soccer moms of North America (and that's all of them) a real green choice...a 100 MPG Minivan powered by a Plug-In(Bio-)Diesel-Electric Hybrid...
Hey Stu the New Chrysler's fuel efficient minivans will blow out the segment, and Become THE MUST BUY; HELP SAVE THE WORLD; AND KEEP THE KIDS COMFORTABLE AND SAFE...WOW WHAT A CONCEPT! SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM STU?
Let Me Know What You Think? firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chrysler: Ask US About Minivan Sales
by Stuart Schorr
Senior Manager, Sales, Mopar and Dealer Communications
If you want to talk about hamburgers, you call McDonald's. And
if you want to talk about minivans, then come to us.
So we had to pause when we read a recent news story that perpetuated the myth that shoppers are moving away from minivans. Because here at Chrysler LLC, minivans are a strong and profitable part of the market, serving the needs of hundreds of thousands of families.
In fact, our U.S. retail minivan sales are flat through the first quarter this year, despite the overall 9 percent drop in industry sales, and the reduction of our lineup to two models from four. We stopped making the short-wheelbase minivans which could not accommodate the newest consumer-friendly features such as Stow 'n Go & Swivel 'n Go seating. So look at it this way - this year we're selling dramatically MORE of our most profitable minivans, the two feature-laden long-wheelbase models, to showroom-visiting customers.
"The minivan segment is not a niche segment," Steven Landry, Chrysler Executive Vice President - North American Sales, told Bloomberg in an interview. "It is a very profitable and volume-oriented segment for Chrysler."
To properly analyze consumer demand of Chrysler's minivans, you have to isolate out either fleet sales or former lower-priced short wheelbase sales from the analysis, or both. (See graph above). For example, our U.S. retail sales of long-wheelbase (LWB) minivans for the first quarter are up 40 percent from the same period last year. But when you add back in fleet sales to the LWB comparison, our total long-wheel base minivan sales in the United States are flat at 67,575 versus 67,341 in the first quarter last year. The pattern holds true when keeping fleet in and isolating for short wheelbase sales.
In other words our total minivan segment sales are down because we cut our minivan models in half to two from four, we cut our minivan fleet sales by 46 percent, and overall industry sales are down this year. In the face of that, we're seeing dramatically stronger consumer demand for two highly-profitable vehicles, the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan.
Look, we promise not to weigh in on hamburger sales. But if you're looking for a pulse of the consumer market insight on minivan sales, it's worth asking the automaker that invented the minivan and sells the most.