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It may not be the prettiest icon, but themade its mark on thousands of families across North America during its service. Come this May, it’ll be no longer.
The long-running nameplate will be retired as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles officially gave a May date for the end of Grand Caravan production, according to Canada’s Unifor auto union in a Thursday release. We’ve known for awhile the minivan was on the chopping block, but FCA continuously pushed back its end-of-production date. In fact, the Grand Caravan’s death will come almost two years after FCA originally announced the vehicle would end production.
Dodge told Roadshow in a statement “there are regulatory reasons that will prevent us from selling the Grand Caravan beyond the 2020 model year.” A representative added the automaker “extended its life for as long as possible,” noting its popularity with buyers. The Grand Caravan will remain on sale until buyers snap up all related stock.
Unifor said the decision will eliminate 1,500 jobs from the Windsor, Canada assembly plant, and the facility will run two shifts rather than three. Theand Voyager minivans will remain, though the decision comes just ahead of labor negotiations this summer with the Canadian auto union.
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Despite the current Grand Caravan’s incredibly old age (it went into production before President Obama’s first term), the minivan topped the sales charts as the most popular model in the segment last year, according to Automotive News. The Grand Caravan’s newer and flashier cousin, the Pacifica, was the third best-selling minivan.
FCA hopes the, which starts at $28,480, will fill a hole in soccer families’ hearts when the Grand Caravan does depart us. As it should because the cheapest 2020 Grand Caravan is actually more expensive than the new Voyager with a starting price of $28,785.
For those of us that partially grew up in the backseat of a Caravan, we salute the minivan for putting up with spilled drinks, smushed Cheetos and plenty of shouting children.
Originally published Feb. 28.
Update, March 3: Adds statement from Dodge.
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