There are lots of ways to celebrate an important birthday, and all of them are well deserved. You can throw a big party, buy yourself something nice, or – if you're the altruistic type – do something for others in need. The latter is how Chrysler has opted to mark the 30th anniversary of its Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country.
Recent reports have suggested that Chrysler may soon phase out its long-running Dodge brand, and while the company remains mum on the subject, you can't blame analysts for thinking that's the direction the Pentastar's everyday brand is heading. After all, Chrysler has shown a willingness to shutter brands, having killed off Plymouth back in 2001, and it's putting big dollars behind its bid to build Fiat into a North American force. Chrysler also recently took the step of spinning off its trucks
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.
Chrysler has had at least two minivans since it started the family-friendly craze back in 1984, but we've known for some time that one of two not-so-mini vans (the Dodge Grand Caravan or Chrysler Town and Country) would not survive for a next generation. Last we heard, it was the Chrysler model that would be losing its sliding doors in place of a crossover design, but Chrysler execs have also said in the past that Chrysler would retain the minivan design and the Grand Caravan would become a CUV.
Bringing the Chrysler "S" treatment to the Town and Country minivan does not – let us be clear – make the thing any more formidable to drive. But, kicking in the cool factor for its bread-and-butter grocery-getter might just convince a few more moms and dads to pull the trigger on buying a new family ride.
Chrysler previously brought us the "man van" with the Dodge Grand Caravan R/T, but now it's apparently rolling out its its "mean van," with this sinister 2013 Town and Country S. Joining similar packages available on the 200 and 300 sedans, this new Town and Country trim replaces most of the standard car's shiny bits with dark accents, giving the minivan a more unique appearance.