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Seriously, is there really a market for this?

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Dispatch/market-dispatches.aspx?post=1774163&_blg=1,1774163

Guys, get ready, and soccer moms, move over. Chrysler is working on a new minivan -- for men.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Chrysler's new version of the Dodge Grand Caravan will be designed with guys in mind.

The "man van," as Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is calling it, will have a sportier look on the outside, with a possible black-and-gray interior trimmed with hot-colored stitching on the seats and steering wheel, according to the report.

Minivans typically have been targeted at moms carting kids and their athletic equipment and schoolbooks back and forth every day, so focusing on men is a new concept for some automakers.
 

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Toyota has done this with the Sienna SE. I think that they are on to something, the van market is really competitive now with Honda / Toyota / Chrysler. Now maybe Nissan will get in the game as well.
 

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Uh Guys, they did this like 2 years ago.

They took the short wheelbase Caravan, took the sliding doors off in favor of swings, added a beefier grill, angled the rear window and put bigger tires on with an AWD option.

Oh, and renamed it Dodge Journey. It's a quite nice looking SUV impersonator. But it's still mostly Caravan in the DNA.
 

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manualman said:
Uh Guys, they did this like 2 years ago.

They took the short wheelbase Caravan, took the sliding doors off in favor of swings, added a beefier grill, angled the rear window and put bigger tires on with an AWD option.

Oh, and renamed it Dodge Journey. It's a quite nice looking SUV impersonator. But it's still mostly Caravan in the DNA.
We have had Dodge Journeys for rental cars twice recently. I liked the vehicle, but never had the impression that it was anything like a minivan. Seemed like a nice crossover-style SUV to me.
 

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Why not Make a safe, reliable and fuel eff. van instead

Why don't they go for the safe, reliable and fuel eff. image versus chasing after a style image ?
 

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I think it's because Chrysler will always be considered the worst of the "Big 3" by buyers... no matter how safe or efficient they try to make their cars, they can't get there. They can't get "best in class" in anything when it comes down to objective ratings. Always getting the black circles of poor reliability in Consumer Reports. Always making the lists of "Used Cars to Avoid." Always, year after year.

So, knowing that, they market the only thing they can market, which is style....if you can call it that when applied to a Chrysler product.

OF
 

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0dyfamily said:
I think it's because Chrysler will always be considered the worst of the "Big 3" by buyers... no matter how safe or efficient they try to make their cars, they can't get there. They can't get "best in class" in anything when it comes down to objective ratings. Always getting the black circles of poor reliability in Consumer Reports. Always making the lists of "Used Cars to Avoid." Always, year after year.

So, knowing that, they market the only thing they can market, which is style....if you can call it that when applied to a Chrysler product.

OF
True, the other marketing piece is dropping price points. Which they use against imports year after year after year...
 

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There's nothing wrong with targeting "MEN" as a minivan audience... Quite frankly, I'm fed up with the whole "soccer mom" image in general and female empowerment in particular. I have to be honest, I see FAR too many women in my area putting around in pickup trucks or SUV's, when they have no need for them or business driving one.

My uncle owns a Journey and it's an "O.K." car, but I don't know that I'd compare it to a Caravan, much less an Odyssey. I've driven it only once, but I found his SXT optioned with 19" wheels and tires rode FAR too choppily for my tastes. :(

My best friend's wife has an '08 Grand Caravan (first year of the redesign) which they purchased when it was six months old...Paid $26, 000CDN for an SXT when the identically optioned new van was closer to $40, 000CDN at the time. It's a nice LOOKING van, I find the seats more comfortable than my Ody's (I like bolsters) :DD BUT.... it's been in for SOOOO many recalls and repairs since they've had it, I think I'd rather have my old ODY anyday.

If I ever won the lottery, I must admit the first thing I'd do after paying out all our debt would be to truck on over to the local Chryco Dealer and buy me a Hemi SRT/8 Challenger. I don't care if it's reliable, I just LOVE those things! Much better than the current Mustang redesign and don't even get me STARTED on the ugly s#!t that General Motors is cranking out here in Oshawa and calling a "Pony Car.":yuck:

Chrysler definately pulls off "image," and has for decades. I guess that's one way to sell cars...:dunno:

Regards,
Shea:)
 

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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T - 2011 Chicago Auto Show The “Man Van” is in the house


Dodge president and CEO Ralph Gilles is an unrepentant gearhead. So anything he touches has to have a performance component to it. Even minivans. That’s right, the poster child for soccer moms everywhere, the minivan, has received an injection of testosterone.

The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T is the latest in the division’s performance-oriented Road and Track packages and boasts an all-new V-6 with best-in-class horsepower. Known internally as the “Man Van,” the new R/T model features styling and mechanical enhancements that make this a people-mover with attitude.

Beneath the hood, a transversely-mounted 3.6-liter powerplant produces 283 bhp, an increase of 86 bhp over the previous 3.8-liter pushrod V-6. The new overhead cam engine also makes 260 lb.-ft. of torque, a gain of 30 lb.-ft. And yet its smaller displacement allows the new engine to deliver about the same fuel economy as the unit it replaces.

Helping to capitalize on the new engine’s efficiency is a new driver-selectable fuel-economy mode. With the flip of a switch, the drivetrain management system changes the shift points on the 5-speed automatic transaxle to maximize mileage. The R/T models also are equipped with low rolling resistance tires, revised aerodynamics (including a new spoiler), low drag brake calipers and a lower ride height to boost mpg.

The interior of the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T is done up in a macho-looking black (the only color available) perforated leather with red stitching. Also getting the leather treatment are the sport steering wheel and shift lever.

The sound system is worthy of any den—it’s a 506-watt system with nine speakers and a subwoofer.

This Grand Caravan carries the usual complement of family-friendly features, including a passenger area entertainment system, flexible seating, cool storage options and available on-board navigation.

In addition to the upgraded interior, the R/T exterior features a body-colored grille and side moldings, plus 17-in. wheels. The suspension has been tuned to help put the extra power down, reduce body roll and improve the overall handling of the vehicle.

The R/T is available in eight colors and is priced at $30,595. Deliveries are expected to begin this spring.









Road And Track
 

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My 'man van' smokes anything Chrysler would ever have the balls to build...

 

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There's nothing wrong with targeting "MEN" as a minivan audience... .
Sometimes I too question how vehicles are marketed - and on the same token the potential markets they completely miss. Some random thoughts...

-Prius (rental) - great mpg/lamest ads and resulting stereotypes for drivers (Patchouli perfume/'Save the World'. Why not target high mileage solo commuters (Nav/Bluetooth/USB charging jacks) and show the $ savings can go towards a fun weekend toy.
-Honda Element - ending production, initial ads/target were college kids and their 'fun' lifestyle. Realistically it seemed owners were DINKs (double-income)/2nd vehicle/Home Depot and dog park runs.
-Cadillac Escalade - Initially for 2nd vehicle to primary Cadillac sedan/affluent/no kids at home. Realistically became an icon of $30k 'Millionaires' (buried in debt), young celebrities, etc.
- Chrysler SB ad with Enimem - I have his uncensored CD's but I really don't believe he is driving 8-mile in a Chrysler 200. Realistically many people think more of the poor products and $ government bailout of domestic products. Where is their production hybrid anyways??

We man'd our Odyssey with large NRA and 'Peace Through Superior Firepower' stickers http://x.co/QDWg . We plan to powdercoat the OEM wheels black.:DD Ironically, friends who are driving enthusiasts seem to love our van...regardless of gender.
 

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Very cool (I've seen this van), but I doubt they drive it to work daily. 67K on my van, not even three years old yet...

Let's talk about Renault's V10-powered Espace... :D


Nice, I had a vague memory of that thing



Actually one of the One Lap Of America teams had one street legal last year (license plates and all). I talked to them and they were getting better MPG highway with the 6MT than my 5MT, LOL. They just basically transplanted a MazdaSPEED3 engine from a wreck (2.3L, Turbo DISI), made some other suspension mods, race tires and wheels and ready!



But anyway, going back to the Dodge's "man van", they blew it, so bland. I keep my Odyssey with its OEM looks, thank you. If at least they would have tried to get closer to the actual concept they did back in 08, but this one, meh...

 

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I wonder why Toyota hasn't pulled a Hybrid Sienna yet. They've got it in the Highlander and it's a decent boost in mpg. Not sure it's worth the price of entry though...
 

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I wonder why Toyota hasn't pulled a Hybrid Sienna yet. They've got it in the Highlander and it's a decent boost in mpg. Not sure it's worth the price of entry though...
A Sienna hybrid shouldn't cost more than a Touring Elite, can it?

I'd even look at that boat handling Sienna if it were hybrid.
 
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