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Minivan leader looks forward to spring

March 28, 2008 at 3:27 PM

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 28 (UPI) -- Chrysler LLC is waiting for April and May to roll around before reacting to a national decline in minivan sales, the Detroit Free Press reported Friday.

Minivan sales have dropped 12 percent in the United States since the company launched its redesigned models six month ago, the Free Press said.

Minivans have also declined in their share of the market as companies have switched to cross-over vehicles, the report said.

Chrysler Vice Chairman Jim Press has said company's minivan strategy might change, as the company could have saved $100 million by selling one, rather than two, minivan models, the report said.

The higher-end Chrysler Town & Country has outsold the family-oriented Dodge Grand Caravan, the paper reported. Sales of the Caravan dropped 20 percent in the past six months, while Town and country sales dropped 1.7 percent.

But April and May, when summer vacations are planned, are "minivan months," one analyst said.

And the vehicles have received strong reviews. "The minivan remains the ultimate troop transport for family focused on functionality," reported Kelly Blue Book recently, "and none is as kid-friendly as the new-for-2008, fifth-generation Dodge Grand Caravan (and its Chrysler Town & Country sibling)."

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