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Apr13

Minivans Sales Show Some Buoyancy in the U.S., but Only Because of Two Automakers

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2018 Chrysler Pacifica S Appearance Package, Image: FCA

You’d think the creation of devoted electric vehicle platforms would breed a brand new period of flat-floored minivans, but most automakers simply aren’t in going that route — inner combustion or in any other case. There’s no electric Chevrolet Enterprise on the horizon, nor will Ford resurrect the Aerostar in EV type and identify it after a late ’60s muscle car.

Even in our clear, inexperienced future, SUVs reign.

The current, nevertheless, hasn’t deserted the minivan, even when the phase is a shadow of its former self. March minivan gross sales in the U.S. topped that of final March, and yr-to-date gross sales are up in comparison with 2017, regardless of the disappearance of two nameplates. In contrast to SUVs and crossovers, nevertheless, there’s simply not sufficient demand to place wind in each minivan mannequin’s gross sales. It’s straightforward to think about a close to future the place Fiat Chrysler and Honda personal the phase.

Complete minivan gross sales in the U.S. final month reached forty eight,325 automobiles, up from forty five,923 in March of 2017. Of the minivans moved in March, Fiat Chrysler constructed 36.four % of them.

With discontinued fashions like the Nissan Quest and Chrysler City & Nation not exerting any pull in the phase, minivan quantity rose 2.7 % over the first three months of 2018.

The Chrysler Pacifica, which appeared on roads beginning in mid-2016, noticed a yr-over-yr gross sales improve of forty % in March. Yr up to now, the Pacifica nameplate attracted 30 % extra clients than the similar interval final yr. Even the Dodge Grand Caravan noticed an enchancment in 2018, with March gross sales up four %, yr over yr, and gross sales over the first three months of the yr up eight %.

The Grand Caravan stays the best-promoting minivan in the United States, and there’ll be consumers lining up for smokin’ offers till the (unhappy) day it vanishes from supplier tons.

Apparently, the lengthy-defunct Chrysler City & Nation stays on gross sales charts, but solely barely. FCA bought one new City & Nation final month, and three over the course of the yr.

2018 Honda Odyssey - Image: Honda

The one different automaker to see elevated demand for its minivan was Honda, which flaunted its subsequent-era 2018 Odyssey for what looks like ceaselessly. The glowing (and typically tropical) press apparently helped Honda get the phrase out, as Odyssey gross sales rose 27.eight % in March, yr over yr, and 9.four % over the course of the first quarter of 2018.

In distinction, the Toyota Sienna, the phase’s fourth best-promoting minivan, headed in the actual other way. Sales sank 22.6 % in March, with yr-to-date gross sales down 9.2 %. The information wasn’t good for the Kia Sedona, both. The one Korean minivan on the record (ever so barely refreshed for 2019, Kia tells us) noticed March quantity decline forty five.three %. That’s no fluke, as yr-to-date quantity sits forty.9 % decrease than the similar interval final yr.

Kia’s a wierd hen, of course, and appears to please in fielding fashions in segments lengthy since deserted by different manufacturers. Perhaps these new foglights will flip the tide.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Honda]

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