Dodge's affordable minivan model will end production in late-May.
The Dodge Grand Caravan will officially exit production this year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has confirmed, after a stay of execution was issued last year in response to the outcry from Canada's Unifor union. The Grand Caravan is assembled at FCA's Windsor, Ontario production plant, which will see its third shift eliminated, cutting some 1,500 hourly jobs after production stops on May 22, according to the Financial Post.
To say the current fifth-generation Dodge Grand Caravan is getting on in years would be an understatement. The model first launched in its current form for the 2008 model year, meaning it's remained on the market far longer than the typical eight-year product lifecycle.
It's also the longest consecutively running nameplate in the Dodge fleet. The Charger and Challenger names may be older, but remember, they went on hiatus for quite some time before returning as the awesome muscle cars we know today.
For the 2020 model year, the Dodge Grand Caravan is barred from sale in the thirteen US states that follow California's stricter emissions standards, as FCA neglected to update the minivan with the latest, CARB-compliant Pentastar V6 petrol engine. Today, that's the Grand Caravan's sole available engine in the US market.
The Dodge Grand Caravan will effectively be replaced by an inexpensive, pared-down version of the Chrysler Pacifica dubbed "Voyager", which constitutes what used to be the Pacifica's more basic L and LX trim levels. The Voyager starts at $28,925 in the US market, including destination, which is $195 higher than the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica L's starting MSRP.
We doubt many new car shoppers will mourn the loss of the Dodge Grand Caravan, although its discontinuation does mark the end of an era. The Dodge Caravan nameplate's history stretches back to the mid-1980s, when the vehicle first launched alongside the Plymouth Voyager and helped spawn the once-white-hot minivan segment in the US. Starting with the fifth generation, the short-wheelbase Caravan was dropped entirely, leaving just the long-wheelbase Grand Caravan version.
There are no currently known plans for a Dodge Grand Caravan replacement, and as crossover utility vehicles continue to grow, occupying essentially the same space that minivans once held in the US market, it wouldn't be at all surprising if FCA chose not to launch a successor.