September 21, 2009

Chrysler to rely on the minivan

Chrysler's resurgence in the United States and elsewhere is likely to rely on the minivan, a company executive said.

With more than 120,000 Chrysler Group minivans sold so far this year, the profitable and substantial minivan business plays a crucial role to our long-term success, said Peter Fong, president and chief executive officer of the Chrysler brand.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat, which controls Chrysler, recently brought back a third shift at a minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario in Canada, the only facility where Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Voyager are produced, The Detroit News reported Monday.

Chrysler's overall market share has dropped below 10 percent with a 40 percent plunge in sales this year. But it maintains a 40 percent share of the minivan market, the News said.

Minivans sales are predicted to decline to about 4 percent of the market through 2016, said John Sousanis, director of information content at Ward's AutoInfoBank.

Nonetheless, Chrysler is committed to the future of the minivan and we will continue to innovate the best minivans to haul people and things for generations to come, Fong said.