Earlier this year, Fiat and Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne revealed that Chrysler would reduce its minivan offerings to just one by 2014, when the company's next-generation minivan will be introduced.
Currently the company offers both Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivan models, which differ primarily in cosmetics and trim.
Both models (along with a Volkswagen Routan variant) are produced in Canada at Chrysler's Windsor, Ontario assembly plant.
When that decision was revealed, it was widely speculated that the upscale Town & Country would be the model to survive, as its higher price-tag would make it the more profitable of the two.
This week, however, at an event in Belvidere Illinois where the new Dodge Dart is built, Marchionne told journalists that the Town and Country will be the model eliminated.
That's good news for Canadians as the lower-priced Grand Caravan is much more popular here. Combined, Chrysler's two minivan models account for 75% of all new minivan sales in Canada.
While the minivan segment as a whole has been in decline in the U.S., the Grand Caravan is still the third-best-selling truck and fifth-best-selling vehicle in Canada.
Chrysler introduced the minivan concept to the world in 1983, in the form of the 1984 Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. The Town & Country joined the minivan lineup as a 1990 model and the Voyager disappeared, along with the Plymouth brand, after the 2000 model year.
The Town & Country, Marchionne said, will be replaced by a new crossover model in 2014. Whether or not the new vehicle will continue the Town & Country name was not disclosed.
Marchionne also revealed that the Jeep Compass would be dropped in 2014. Presumably its twin-under-the-skin, the Jeep Patriot, will be continued.
Since Fiat took over, Chrysler has been gradually eliminating company models that compete directly with each other – a legacy from the days of different dealerships for different Chrysler group brands.
Last year, the Dodge Nitro, disappeared. It was based on and competed directly with the Jeep Liberty.