So, what exactly went so wrong with the Chrysler Pacifica that it caused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to axe an entire shift at its Windsor Assembly Plant after just two full years of North American sales?
Two things says Toronto-based auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers, who heads up DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
First, its name. Second, its price. Those are “the original criticisms of the Pacifica,” he said.
“It kept the Pacifica name and the original Pacifica was not successful, they dropped it,” DesRosiers said. “Trying to build on the legacy of a product that wasn’t successful was criticized.”
The 2004 Pacifica was an early attempt to strike a compromise between the capability of Jeep SUVs and the comfort of three-row minivans, then Automotive News FCA reporter Larry P. Vallequette once wrote.
DaimlerChrysler had high hopes for the vehicle. At the 2002 Detroit auto show, where the Pacifica debuted, then-Chrysler design boss Trevor Creed said: "We wanted to come up with the next big thing ... a vehicle that did not conform to the traditional proportions of a car, sport-utility or minivan, yet featured their best attributes."
Great idea, but the execution was lacking. The Pacifica got high marks for design and interior comfort, but despite boasting V-6 engines, the big crossover was underpowered due to lacklustre four-speed transmissions.
U.S. sales remained well below the company's projected 100,000 annually. The Pacifica peaked at 92,363 in 2004 and had dropped 42 per cent by 2007 to 53,947, when it went out of production.