Chrysler has slowed production of its Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans this week, Automotive News reports. The Windsor, Ontario plant will cut its three shifts from eight hours each to four hours each in an effort "to align production with market demand," a Chrysler spokesperson told AN. Chrysler also builds the closely related Routan minivan for Volkswagen at its Ontario facility, but has not built a single example thus far in 2013.

Sales of Chrysler's minivans fell 15 percent for the first two months of 2013, and a large part of that has to do with the 26-percent drop of the Grand Caravan alone (the T&C was only down by one percent). According to Automotive News data, as of March 1, Chrysler had an unsold inventory of 24,713 Town and Country models and 18,547 Grand Caravans – a 69- and 43-day supply, respectively.

"No sense running full speed now, then have a lot of vehicles sitting around a few months down the line," Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson told AN. Full production is expected to resume again on March 18.

According to our earlier reports, Chrysler will continue to build the minivans as-is through the 2014 model year. After that, a decision will be made about which one of the two vans will get the axe, to be replaced by a different sort of people-mover. Our best guess is that the Chrysler brand will continue on with the Town and Country, and this makes more and more sense considering the recent sales figures.


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  • 84 Comments
      jacqueline
      • 1 Year Ago
      I had a Dodge Grand Caravan - best vehicle I ever owned - no problems at all
      Ronnie Haig
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'M DRIVING MY 3RD MINIVAN RIGHT NOW AND I LOVE IT. IT'S SO VARIABLE AND COMFORTABLE. GETS DECENT GAS MILEAGE, AND IF YOU'RE INTO REMODLING A 4 x 8 SHEET OF PLYWOOD IS NO PROBLEM. EITHER ARE 8 FT STUDS. SHOPPING IS A BREEZE WITH PLENTY OF ROOM TO HAUL MOST ANYTHING, EVEN PEOPLE! TO ME IT'S SAD TO SEE THE MINIVAN GO.
      Edsel
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like my Routan, especially at the fire-sale price I purchased it for. It's been a reliable appliance. I especially enjoy telling people that my Routan was engineered by Americans, re-fashioned by Germans, built by Canadians from parts manufactured in Mexico, and delivered to me by an Italian company.
      dmcglynn0519
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Routan was a good idea very poorly executed... and the market has spoken. It's not that people don't want vans... they just didn't want THIS van. VW did this as a cheap shortcut just to say that have a people-hauler for the US market... and VW buyers saw right through this rebadging exercise. A real shame too when VW makes some great people haulers for the rest of the world. I think they would have done much better bringing over the Touran instead. Could give the Mazda 5 a real run for the money. And lets be honest... the vans from Honda, Toyota, and others stopped being "mini" years ago...
      PsychedelicSpell
      • 1 Year Ago
      In this economy people cannot replace their vehicle every 3-5 years. Its not that they do not want to replace it, they cannot afford it. Not only do families have to figure in the car payments they have high gas prices to take into account too. And families have to cut costs and opt out of the new family van. So supply and demand comes into play. And its not profitable for them to produce vehicles that are not selling. So they cut production. Its a sign of the times because of the economy.
        tombill333
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PsychedelicSpell
        I agree with everything you said, but would add one more thing. The price of vehicles has skyrocketed. You used to be able to buy a decent home for less than a car costs these days.
        BG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PsychedelicSpell
        Not sure if I fully agree. I live in a poor state, and I'm astonished how many ponderous new crossovers/SUVs I see roaring along the interstate every day. And many look like fully decked out models with behemoth alloy wheels. My wife always asks, "What recession?" Gas must still be cheap.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PsychedelicSpell
        [blocked]
      janka51
      • 1 Year Ago
      i hoped they were talking about mufflerless motorcycles
      SCOTTM
      • 1 Year Ago
      Actually, these are great vehicles for the money if a van is what you want/need. consider the fact one can buy a nicely equipped model for the price of what it cost for the same model 13 years ago. My father and mother just bought an SXT model for not much more than what they paid for their 2000 SE in 1999. That was a very good van that gave them 150k miles of trouble free service. Being a Michigan vehicle, it was starting to rust in some spots but other than that, it was a great buy and this new one, is a much better value yet! The fit and finish of their 2013 has greatly improved. We checked out the competition and It's not quite as nice as the Honda or Toyota offerings in the fit and finish, but it represent a much better value for the money...and the Stowe-and-Go is ingenious. The new drive-train has plenty of gusto for a van!
      hondian
      • 1 Year Ago
      Had three mini vans, best vehicle for a family. 2 were chrysler 1 was vw, all were great. Lots of room, good MPG, a little short on power that I didn't need. 99% of my driving is on flat land. could take seats out to move large objects, or seats in for 4 to 7 people. 2 sliding doors made it easy to get in te back.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @hondian
        [blocked]
      Rob
      • 1 Year Ago
      Chrysler is an automotive *****. First Mercedes Benz married her for more market access, then Fiat to enter the market. Who\'s next after Fiat dumps her.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      mr ortiz
      • 1 Year Ago
      the only thing i love about Chrysler products is that you can buy them really cheap after they come off lease.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mr ortiz
        [blocked]
      RJC
      • 1 Year Ago
      For what's billed as a family car, modern minivans suck down fuel. And have you looked at the sticker prices lately? You can't keep aiming them at young families with meager resources. They need to be brought down to their original intent.
        NightFlight
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RJC
        The prices have skyrocketed, it is absurd. The Caravan and the now departed Sedona were the only two with reasonable price points for families on a budget.
        jf.bouchard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RJC
        The Grand Caravan is the cheapest minivan available on the market (AFAIK). In Canada where we usually pay a lot more for our cars, a base Grand Caravan is 19,895 Canadian dollars. That's really cheap for a 7 passenger vehicle with cruise control, power doors/locks, heated mirrors, A/C and steering wheel controls. If young families want power sliding doors, heated seats, moonroofs, leather upholstery and all the flashy stuff they see in brochures, they'll need to pay for it. But if they manage their expectations and are willing to let go some of the luxury they want, they CAN buy a decent minivan for a great price. And we haven't even talked about incentives yet...
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