FCA Is Killing off the Dodge Grand Caravan After 35 Years
Tell your kids to pour out their Welch’s—this is serious.
The van loved by film crews and budget-conscious soccer moms everywhere is about to go the way of the dinosaur. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced that production of the Dodge Grand Caravan will stop in late May, marking the end of the minivan’s 35-year run.
The writing has been on the wall for years now. As the Chrysler Pacifica got all of the latest safety tech, sleek styling, and a modern interior, the Dodge was left to languish in a purgatory of middling options packages and an outdated design.
In its later years, the Grand Caravan became a shell of its former self. When Chrysler exhumed the Pacifica nameplate for its minivan in 2017, the Grand Caravan began its slow descent into redundancy. The Pacifica not only got all of the latest tech and comfort features, but it also got fresh styling—much more palatable than the late-2000s chic that the Dodge van carries.
The change will also impact production at FCA's Windsor, Ontario plant, where the Grand Caravan was built. FCA says that its decision will move the facility from a three-shift staffing structure to a more traditional two-shift schedule, which will impact around 1,500 employees. The company will work to place the laid-off workers in other roles, but there's no word on when or how that will happen. The Drive has reached out to FCA for comment and will update this story as more information becomes available.
Van fans can take solace in the fact that, as the Dodge Grand Caravan makes its final ride into the sunset, Chrysler is reviving another nameplate with the Voyager, a minivan that will be a bit smaller and less expensive than the Pacifica. It’s not a Grand Caravan, but it will carry more modern tech and better looks.
If you’re hoping to get your hands on one of the final 2020 Grand Caravans new from a dealer’s lot, the deck is stacked against you. Dodge says that the new van won’t be available in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington for the remainder of its production run due to emissions regulations.
It might not be everyone's idea of a collector's item, but if you own a Grand Caravan of any vintage, just know—they don't won't make 'em like they used to.
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