Is the Era of the Minivan Over?

Dodge recently announced that they will no longer be manufacturing the Dodge Caravan in 2013, and that the minivan will be replaced by a crossover utility vehicle. This comes as a shock to many since the Grand Caravan has been one of the best-selling minivans in the country.

So why is Dodge discontinuing its minivan line? It’s not because people are tired of minivans, or in favour of more sporty vehicles, although one can make a case for that as well. Dodge says they are trying to remove duplicate vehicles that are made by Chrysler like the Town and Country, which will continue to be produced in the foreseeable future. The Town and Country was the best-selling minivan in 2010 and it makes sense that the company would continue to generate revenue from future models.

For years it has been rather confusing that similar vehicles have been made by GM, and it’s about time that the company starts to clean house a little. Removing these duplicate vehicles will mean less clutter on showroom floors and hopefully will mean that more time and effort can be put into the unique vehicles the company makes.

This also makes us wonder if minivans will continue to be made 10 and 20 years from now. They have served a great purpose in carrying little ones to soccer practice and toting groceries from the store, but are Americans getting tired of the minivan? Although they usually get better gas mileage than SUVs and are much more practical for carrying younger passengers, minivans also have a stigma that most people in newer generations are trying to avoid. They don’t want to be looked at as a “minivan” driver no matter how practical the vehicle may be.

More car companies are trying to manufacture vehicles that are not only practical but that look cool to drive, and it seems like crossovers are the “not-minivan” vehicles that are trying to replace the minivan. Like I said, GM is not eliminating the minivan even though they are discontinuing the Grand Caravans, but this move does make car buyers wonder if there really is a bright future for minivans.

With crossovers, smaller SUVs, and station wagons with HEMI engines taking over the scene, people are finding more attractive options to minivans. And these “options” are coming equipped with better fuel economy as well. The only thing they don’t have is sliding doors, but we may see that in the future as well.

What will really determine if minivans will continue to stick around for the next ten years is the car buyer. After all, if the demand for the minivan continues to decline, car manufacturers will have no reason to continue to make the vehicles. Until then, we can all enjoy the spacious luxury of a minivan and those automatic closing doors …before the door closes on this iconic vehicle forever.

About: Phillip loves everything about cars and writes about auto warranties as well as keeping people’s identities safe with Lifelock reviews.