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Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales
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raitchison
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 10:18 am    Post subject: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

From Auto.com

Quote:
The Dodge Caravan continues to lead the U.S. minivan market, despite the rapid rise of the Toyota Sienna.

In May, DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group sold 25,695 of the minivans in the United States, an increase of 7.6 percent from May 2003, according to the research firm Autodata Corp.

An article in Tuesday's Free Press Business section failed to mention that the Caravan was the industry's top seller in May.

Chrysler pioneered the minivan segment in 1984 and still commands a 34-percent share of the market, but Toyota and other Asian automakers have made inroads in recent years.

The rapidly growing Toyota Sienna posted May sales of 16,273, an increase of 77.4 percent from the previous May. The Sienna hit showrooms in March 2003.

From January through May of this year, the Caravan was the top-selling minivan with 105,715 sold. However, that number was down 4.3 percent from the same period in 2003, according to Autodata. Sales of Chrysler's Town & Country minivan were down 7.5 percent in that period.

Toyota sold 72,621 Siennas, an increase of 119.6 percent, from January through May, compared with the same period in 2003.

A major part of Chrysler's strategy to retain its leadership in the segment is a new seating system for its minivans. In March, the automaker launched 2005 minivans that feature second- and third-row seats that fold into the floor. The Stow 'n Go seats also offer extra storage compartments when not folded down. The system is available on the Dodge Grand Caravan and the long-wheelbase version of the Chrysler Town & Country.

Currently Stow 'n Go models are made only in Windsor. Chrysler recently announced it would invest $113 million to equip its St. Louis South assembly plant to produce Stow 'n Go models.
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ARJOSHUA
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 10:24 am    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

quantity/cheaper over quality Smile
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Rmplstlskn
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 8:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

I was given a 2002 Dodge Caravan for a loaner by the Mazda dealer when I was having the final deal work done and I have to say, "I am so glad I bought a Mazda!!!"

Beside the BLAH minivan look of the DC the seats were TOO SOFT and the frames weren't firm. The seat backs pitched and swayed while entering, exiting and moving around. I also felt like I was on a platform.... the seats seemed too high as I was looking out the top section of the windshield. That section has a form of visual distortion as well from the curve and it was distracting.

The middle seat was a bench and it makes me cherish the split, sliding seats of the MPV. I had to lean way in to swing our baby seat into the carrier. Same getting it out.... not near as easy as the MPV.

The engine power seemed OK and responsive though, as well as having a smooth ride. It seemed to have more road noise than the MPV.

The trim materials were BLAH and plain. BORING! The radio sucked and the A/C controls were wierd. The cup holders were marginal and the storage spaces were not user friendly.

Needless to say, I'm not going to run out and get a Caravan. The MPV kicks the DC's a$$.

Rmpl

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papabear
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 11:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

Rmplstlskn wrote:

Beside the BLAH minivan look of the DC the seats were TOO SOFT and the frames weren't firm. Rmpl


It's funny you mention this. I was thinking the same thing. I finally drove the MPV after a couple of weeks of exclusive Altima driving and the very first thing I realized was how supportive the seats are in the MPV and with the lumbar support it was much less fatiguing to drive even just around town than in the altima.

I do like the telescopic wheel in the Altima though. Sort of wish that was an added feature in the new MPV!

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JMTRANSAMSD455
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 1:41 am    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

They can keep them. Wife and I looked years ago and chose Mazda in 1992. In Nov.03, we looked again and compared. MPV won hands down vs. DC, like day and night plus "MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK" AND BETTER QUALITY AND WORKMANSHIP in a Mazda. Jack.
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03sageLX
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:37 am    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

McDonald's sells the most hamburgers, too. So they must be best, right ?

To paraphrase George Carlin, this is the "a billion flies can't be wrong" theory. ("Eat sh--, a billion flies can't be wrong...").

I'll pass, thanks.

If Chrysler sales are up 7%, good for them. I don't think the segment grew by that much, so they took away sales from somebody. Clearly, it wasn't Toyota though, whose sales grew by 77%. Toyota may never sell as many Sienna's (at the current price point) as Caravans. I doubt that they care to - it would mean they traded away profitability for volume.

The bigger problem for Chrysler is the shift in perceptions: the innovation leader is now Toyota, and before them Honda. The quality leadership is a tossup between the two - with Chrysler a distant also-ran. And the value equation has also changed - I bet if you look at the demographics, there's a world of difference between the typicall Chrysler buyer and the typical Toyota/Honda buyer, and it's not in Chrysler's favor.

These are things that will hurt them badly in the long run, and they know it.

-brianV

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

And don't forget, there are many people in the States who would NEVER buy a foreign nameplate, never mind that many of them are made in the US.

We have friends that we met when we lived in Texas. He is a professional car restorer and an excellent body and fender man. Very knowlegeable. When it came time to buy a new minivan back in 2001, what did they buy? A Chrysler T&C...because "I won't buy a foreign car".

Go figure. Rolling Eyes

Tom

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 3:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

Just goes to show... there's no accounting for taste.
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AZRonS
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 7:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

Leader, schmeader----

Old Smokey (94) runs circles around our friends' 2000 Dodge Caravan. That thing sounds like everything that was bolted on is almost ready to fall off. I haven't ridden in a vehicle that was that poorly put together. Old Smokey is still tight and quiet. Cool No shakes or rattles, and no wind noise at 80 mph! That's hard to beat! How many Dodge Caravans can say that? Question

In reading this thread, I had to think that I can't imagine owning a 94 DC. There wouldn't be enough left of it to restore as I am doing to Old Smokey.

One other story. I have a son-in-law who is a police officer in Phoenix. And of course he is one of these "Buy American" guys. Wouldn't buy a "rice wagon." He owns his second Suburban. With 6 kids, he needs a big one. A few years ago I was praising my Toyota Camry. Of course, he poo-hooed it. He was bragging about his Ford Ranger, American you know. When I told him my Camry was made in Kentucy and his Ford was made in Mexico, he didn't have a whole lot to say. I said that he is on his second Suburban. The first one had about every piece of interior trim hanging from one screw. He had to replace the seat belt mechanisms and any number of other things just fell off the thing. Even with all that, he stubbornly sticks to his "Buy American" theory. The thing he won't comment on is his Police Kawasaki motorcycle. Under his breath, he has to say that he loves it.

Nuff said on that matter.

AZRonS Very Happy Very Happy

Old Smokey, my first MPV, 94 - 2WD, ---Gave her away!!
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2001 OdyEX, 94K---Could almost park Old Smokey inside her!!{Here's Old Smokey![/color][/b]
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 1:21 am    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

funny
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ARJOSHUA
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:26 am    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

i was reading about an article about the new DC mini-vans a while ago ......they said that although it has a smart stow/hide and go features but in reality DC has to address some other issues such as the reliability..which is overdue... Very Happy (duh)

like they said Mcdonalds sells million bugers worldwide BUT do they make the best burgers???

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 9:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

AZRonS wrote:

In reading this thread, I had to think that I can't imagine owning a 94 DC. There wouldn't be enough left of it to restore as I am doing to Old Smokey.


I owned a 94 DC. When we traded it in in 2003, it was still rattle free and drove well, although that was poor compensation for the numerous repairs we endured. We test drove a 2002 DC, and our 94 had a better, quieter and more solid interior.

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atam
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 9:32 am    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

My brother has been driving DC almost all his life. He loves it. He said parts are easy to get; mechanics are familiar with the car; there are lots of dealers around and their used prices are reasonable. Let's be fair. Mcdonald's does not make the best burger but there is a reason why they sell the most.
To me, reliability, nimble handling, safety and workmanship are more important to me. So, I went for the MPV. And I prefer Burger King to Mcdonald's.
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03sageLX
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 10:20 am    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

atam wrote:
Mcdonald's does not make the best burger but there is a reason why they sell the most.


Yeah, they're cheaper.

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Wendy's all the way !!

Smile

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 10:43 am    Post subject: Re: Dodge Caravan still the leader in minivan sales Reply with quote

If McDonald's is to DC as Burger King is to Mazda, What is Jack in the Box? Wink
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