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What will replace the Grand Caravan after 2019?

Could it be replaced with a Portal-like vehicle?

2018 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (FCA Photo)

When questioned about the future of the Dodge Grand Caravan at the Windsor Assembly Plant during his annual press conference at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January in Detroit, Michigan, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne had an interesting answer. “The replacement of the Caravan will be a Caravan-like vehicle,” Marchionne explained. “I need another minivan. It’s going to be in line with the Pacifica architecture.”


2018 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Blacktop (FCA Photo)

It has been long said that after the end of the Grand Caravan production somewhere in the 2019, a full-size crossover based on the Pacifica architecture would come to market. It would then be followed up with another minivan like vehicle. This vehicle would be a production version of the Chrysler Portal Concept shown last year that the Consumers Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Chrysler Portal Concept Vehicle (FCA Photo)

The Portal Concept was based on the Pacifica architecture. However, it is about ¾ the size of the Pacifica minivan. Chrysler at the time was doing anything to not call it a minivan, due to the fact it was to be shown as a vehicle for millennials.


FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne at the 2018 North American International Auto Show

During his annual press conference at NAIAS last year, Marchionne stated that Windsor would be a “natural place” to build the Portal. In that same press conference, when asked about a Pacifica based crossover than, he smiled and said, “I know Kuniskis wants one”, referring to Tim Kuniskis who is Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America.


Chrysler Portal Concept Vehicle (FCA Photo)

So, a production Portal, may solve FCA US’ problem with having to kill of the highly successful but aging Dodge Grand Caravan. A mini-minivan or smaller multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) than the much larger Pacifica and offer minivan like convivences at much more affordable price. In turn, with following the direction of the concept Chrysler could offer a hybrid model like they do with the larger Pacifica and allowing the idea of Portal to continue with its advanced technologies, while filling in a gap in the Chrysler brand lineup.

Since Dodge has taken the route of being the performance arm of the FCA US portfolio, such a vehicle would not fit in the Dodge brand portfolio after FCA quits production of one of it’s most successful vehicles. This allows, the Chrysler brand or FCA US’ “mainstream brand” to hold onto such a vehicle.

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