Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Chrysler Minivans: Will Lower Prices Drive Higher Sales?

What happens when you take a best selling model, add more bells and whistles, and cut the sticker price? Chrysler hopes it leads to a resurgence of the Dodge Caravanand Chrysler Town & Country minivans.

This is another sign, Chrysler is serious about defending its dominance in vans. It sells roughly 42 % of all the new models in that segment. But in the last year, that lead has eroded while Toyota , Honda  and Hyundai continue to pick-up business.

Minivans may bore the heck out of you, but it's still a huge business (Chrysler sold more than 360,000 last year) and, after the Ram pick-up, the minivans are Chryslers best selling vehicles. But here's the rub: Chrysler's been using big-time discounts to move the metal. When you continually off thousands off of a new vehicle, it hurts the reputation and residual value of that model. It also further fuels the perception Honda's Odyssey and Toyota's Sienna are better.

So Chrysler's cutting the sticker on the redesigned vans by up to $3,500 while also putting roughly another $2,000 worth of content (electronics, features, etc) in each model.

Will it help? It can't hurt. The minivan war is brutal, but Chrysler is stepping up.

Questions?  Comments?