Chrysler to rethink minivan: Marchionne

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Chrysler Group chief executive Sergio Marchionne said the automaker would build a new type of minivan by 2014 to help keep Chrysler on top of the North American market.

The announcement came Tuesday during a speech Marchionne gave to workers and the media at the Windsor Assembly Plant where both the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country are built.

“We're not going to give one inch of territory in terms of our domination of (the minivan) segment,” he said in published reports, noting they will “rethink” the minivan concept as refreshed 2011 models hit the market.

According to Automotive News, Marchionne said a fresh architecture for a new generation of minivans would be introduced in 2013 or 2014 that will define a new type of people mover.

New concepts, he continued, could include mechanical underpinnings that could be used in full-sized cars.

“You're going to see a new architecture on the line, a completely different architecture, completely re-thought,” Marchionne told reporters after the event.

“We've learned a lot in making this minivan over the last 20 plus years. We need to upgrade this and make it a much more versatile platform, one that will allow us to make more than just minivans.”


His plan to use the same platform for multiple units is part of what he has said is a larger strategy to reduce the complexity of the automaker’s offerings, news agencies said. 

“I'd like to get 80 percent of the volume on four or five architectures,” Marchionne added.

- With files from Automotive News