Chrysler, the automaker credited with inventing the minivan segment four decades ago, is not retiring its iconic minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica. Instead, as revealed by Chrysler Brand CEO Christine Feuell, Stellantis is embarking on a substantial “mid-cycle action plan” for the Pacifica. Said plan promises to involve more than just a moderate refresh, ensuring the Pacifica, which is solely produced at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, remains relevant within the tiny minivan segment.
The Pacifica’s lineage can be traced back to November 2, 1983, when the first minivan, a Plymouth Voyager, was manufactured by Chrysler Corp. Since then, over 15 million Stellantis minivans have been sold.
This upcoming refresh, according to Feuell, will be significant, although the details and timeline are not yet disclosed. It will follow the launch of Chrysler’s first battery electric vehicle (BEV) product, an all-electric crossover anticipated in 2025, resembling the 2022 concept Airflow. However, Chrysler has not yet confirmed the name or other specifics of this forthcoming crossover.
The transition to a “one-product brand” will occur for about a year, following the end of the Chrysler 300 production at the Brampton Assembly plant this month. During this period, the Pacifica will be Chrysler’s primary focus.
The minivan market itself, as per Feuell’s statement as reported by Automotive News Canada, remains robust. It saw a 40% increase in North America in 2023 compared to 2022, with expectations of a 15 to 20% rise in the following year and stability through 2030.
However, Sam Fiorani, Vice-President of Global Vehicle Forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, notes the minivan market faces competition from three-row crossovers. While the minivan volume might remain stable for the next five to eight years, its market share is gradually eroding.
Feuell also highlighted affordability concerns due to inflation and increasing raw material and component costs, affecting the pricing of the Pacifica and Grand Caravan. Stellantis has adjusted prices over the past two years to offset these costs, balancing monthly payment affordability and rising expenses.
In addition, the Chrysler Voyager and Grand Caravan will continue to serve specific markets, with the Voyager as a fleet vehicle in the United States and the Grand Caravan as an entry-level minivan in Canada.