Chrysler has just released details on its commercial-grade Dodge Grand Caravan Cargo Van, which has tradesmen, small business owners, and other small fleet customers in its crosshairs (pun fully intended). Since it's a work vehicle, the second and third row seats have been eliminated. This creates 143.8 cubic feet of storage capacity in back, and to keep it from getting instantly trashed, the cargo floor is covered with an industrial-grade material. The interior trim for the second- and third-row seating areas can also be deleted completely, as the working man's Grand Caravan is designed to be a blank slate that upfitters can customize for role-specific duties.
The forward compartment is equipped with YES Essentials fabric seats, a decent stereo, the to-be-expected variety of cupholders, power outlets, and storage areas, and a rubberized floor capable of withstanding daily punishment. Powered by Chrysler's 175-horsepower 3.3L flex-fuel V6, the Grand Caravan Cargo Van sports a 17/24 city/highway EPA rating. 16-inch steelies and a heavy-duty suspension are standard, and both the dual sliders and rear hatch are manually operated. While a panelized version isn't currently offered, the existing rear glass is tinted dark for maximum privacy, so you'll have to moosh your face right up against it to see what goodies your local bakery's hauling back there.
[Source: Chrysler LLC]
Dodge Introduces All-new 2008 Grand Caravan Cargo Van
All-new Van Raises the Bar and Provides "Garagable" Solution for Small Business and Commercial Needs
- New cargo van continues Dodge's commitment to the commercial vehicle market
- All-new exterior and interior design offers ideal balance of utility, functionality and visibility
- Enhanced commercial suspension for heavier cargo without sacrificing ride quality
- Rear hatch convenience and dual sliding doors for ease of loading and unloading
- Abundant upfitter and storage capability
- Outstanding interior cargo volume space (143.8 cubic feet), flexibility and durability to handle the most demanding commercial jobs
- Standard features include a 3.3-liter V-6 flex-fuel capable engine, front and rear power outlets, industrial cargo floor, sunscreen glass, dual sliding doors, security alarm, Sentry Key® engine immobilizer, and YES Essentials® stain-resistant, odor-resistant, anti-static cloth fabric
- More than 15 standard safety features including advanced multi-stage front air bags, side-curtain air bags, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS), tire pressure monitoring system and energy-absorbing steering column
- All-new cargo van arrives in dealerships this fall
"With the introduction of our all-new Grand Caravan cargo van, Dodge continues to offer innovative solutions to the commercial vehicle market," said Michael Accavitti, Director – Dodge Brand SRT Marketing and Communications. "An ideal solution for a variety of businesses, the all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van's efficiency, flexibility and versatility make it the perfect work-vehicle for commercial customers who simply don't need the massive power of a Dodge Ram or the cavernous interior of the Dodge Sprinter."
The all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van is powered by an efficient 3.3-liter V-6 engine with flex-fuel capability mated to a four-speed automatic transmission delivering 175 horsepower and 205 lb.-ft. of torque. This powertrain provides fuel economy of 17 miles per gallon (mpg) city and 24 mpg highway. The drivetrain is bolstered by a special commercial-tuned heavy-duty front and rear suspension allowing for heavier cargo and added capability without sacrificing ride quality. The suspension, combined with hydraulic power-assist rack-and-pinion steering, front anti-roll bar and twist beam rear suspension with coil springs provides enhanced handling and driver comfort.
Packing plenty of comfort and convenience, Dodge Grand Caravan cargo vans provide business customers both a comfortable and utilitarian 143.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity, 58.9 cubic feet of front compartment volume, maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 6,050 lbs., Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 7,000 lbs., payload capacity of 1,500 lbs. and impressive towing capacity of 1,800 lbs.
The all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan cargo vans are designed to meet specialized small business and commercial customer needs, while offering exceptional occupant protection to ensure a safe and secure driving experience. In addition to outstanding interior space, rear hatch convenience and dual sliding doors provide ease of loading and unloading. Rear seats are not included to provide ultimate storage capacity. For increased protection, an industrial cargo floor covers the cargo area and front rubber floor covering is standard.
The all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van features abundant upfitter and storage capability. Comfort and convenience features include dual glove boxes and multiple storage bins and cup holders. With superior space and versatility to handle the most demanding commercial jobs, dark sunscreen glass panels provide a pleasing aesthetic and improved visibility.
Standard features include 16-inch steel wheels, a 20-gallon fuel tank, power front windows and locks, front and rear power outlets, no intermediate or rear seats, industrial cargo floor and front rubber floor covering, sunscreen glass, dual manual-sliding doors, sliding door alert system, halogen headlamps, manual liftgate with single floodlamp, 12-volt power outlets in the instrument panel and rear quarter trim, tire pressure monitoring system, and intermittent front and rear wipers. An interior delete option is offered which removes the second- and third-row interior trim.
Additional standard comfort and convenience features include front bottle holders, dual glove boxes, AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio, and YES Essentials® stain-resistant, odor-resistant, anti-static cloth fabric.
More than 15 standard safety features include advanced multi-stage front air bags, side-curtain air bags (with option to delete), Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with traction control and brake assist, four-wheel anti-lock braking system, BeltAlert, brake/park interlock, constant-force retractors, Door Alert, dual-folding exterior mirrors, Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS), front crush sensors, halogen headlamps, loose fuel cap message on instrument cluster, pretensioners, side door alert warning, three-point lap/shoulder belt with height adjusters, tire pressure monitoring system, and a patented energy-absorbing steering column.
The all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van is available in six exterior colors: Bright Silver Metallic, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat, Inferno Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Light Sandstone Metallic, Modern Blue Pearl Coat and Stone White.
Covering a broad spectrum of demographics, the typical customer for the all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van includes entrepreneurial small-business customers such as "mom and pop" type businesses, operators of small fleets of 10 vehicles or less, and service and delivery vocations such as florist, dry cleaner and package/parcel operators. Target audience also includes small fleet customers with anywhere from 10 to 49 vehicles.
The all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van is manufactured at the Chrysler St. Louis South Assembly Plant in Fenton, Mo., and arrives in dealerships this fall.
Dodge Commercial Vehicles
Dodge continues to increase the breadth of its commercial products and offers a comprehensive array of vehicles and services designed with business customers in mind. Along with the Dodge Ram 2500/3500 Box-Off models and the Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs – the Class 3-5 segments' most powerful, capable and upfit-friendly work trucks – the Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van complements a growing Dodge commercial lineup that includes the class-leading Dodge Sprinter, which continues its legacy and leadership as the top-performing commercial van in the marketplace. Dodge also maintains a collaborative partnership with DaimlerChrysler, the world's leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles.
Launched in 1999 and offering no-cost enrollment, Dodge BusinessLink is a full-service commercial program comprised of a select network of Dodge dealers who know and understand the unique vehicle needs of small businesses, fleet managers and other commercial vehicle customers. Providing exclusive benefits, BusinessLink dealers offer unprecedented business assistance including dedicated commercial account managers and sales teams, dealer inventories representing a higher mix of work-truck and other commercial vehicles, next in-bay service and technicians, extended hours to minimize downtime, free loaner vehicles and more. BusinessLink also includes our "On The Job" program which offers discounts on upfits and direct cash incentives and savings on almost all Dodge commercial vehicles.
With a U.S. market share of 6 percent, Dodge is Chrysler's best-selling brand and the fifth largest nameplate in the U.S. automotive market. In 2006, Dodge sold more than 1.3 million vehicles in the global market. Dodge continues to lead the minivan market with a 20 percent market share in the U.S. In the highly competitive truck market, Dodge has a 15 percent market share. Dodge is also entering key European volume segments with Nitro, Caliber and Avenger.