Can Chrysler Re-Energize Its Brand With A Minivan?
The minivan has been the quintessential family vehicle since its introduction to markets in 1983. With three rows of seating and ample storage room, the minivan has become synonymous with having a family in American pop culture.
Despite that, many automakers like General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) abandoned the boxy vehicle years ago, as more Americans opted instead for the more stylish SUV as the family vehicle.
However, with big name players out of the game, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) is hoping to snap up more minivan market share with an updated version of the old family favorite.
According to International Business Times, the automaker unveiled its Pacifica minivan at the Detroit Auto Show this month in an effort to rework the car's image from a boxy, embarrassing parents' car to a sleek solution for those who require extra space for children. The firm is also planning to release a hybrid version later in the year.
While minivans may have fallen out of favor with the American public, Chrysler is betting big on the Pacifica. The company has already invested $2 billion in its factories in order to begin production of the new car.
At first glance, Chrysler's decision to continue investing in what has become known as one of the most dated automobiles in the United States may seem unwise. However, with very few players in the industry, Chrysler has been able to gain a huge share of the market. Not only that, but most analysts are expecting the demand for minivans to remain relatively constant at around 500,000 units per year over the next 10 years, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Some are even predicting a minivan revival as Millennials, whose parents were huge minivan customers, start families and look into buying a family car.
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