Dodge dealers across Canada say they are looking to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to offer an affordable replacement to the Grand Caravan, after the company announced it would end production of the Windsor-built minivan as well as the Journey crossover after the 2020 model year.
The announcement could leave the Dodge brand without a front-wheel drive crossover for the first time since 2008, and without a minivan for the first time in nearly four decades. Dealers expressed alarm that Grand Caravan’s disappearance will leave a void in the low-cost minivan niche.
“Chrysler will have to come up with something or they’ll lose that portion of the market,” said Geoff Zobl, new-vehicle sales manager, at Ottawa St-Laurent Jeep-Ram-Chrysler-Dodge.
In Vernon, B.C., Dan Loewen, managing director of Vernon Dodge, said while the “lacklustre” Journey won’t be missed, the Grand Caravan offers “good value” for families who are looking for lots of space.
“I think we’ll only realize the pain once it’s gone,” Loewen said. “There are not a lot of seven-seat vehicles at out there” at that price.