Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is ending the production of its iconic Dodge Grand Caravan this May, an announcement from the company stated.
The automaker is also cutting 1,500 jobs at its Windsor, Ontario plant on June 29, roughly a month after the Dodge minivan sunsets.
This year marks the 35th anniversary since Dodge began producing the Caravan, which is FCA’s best-selling minivan, selling over 122,000 units in the United States in 2019. Its sales peaked at over 300,000 in 1996.
“Now we will ensure that our members receive the support that they need in this process as we continue to fight like hell for new product for Windsor Assembly to get everyone back to work that will be affected by the shift elimination,” a post read on Local 444 Union’s Facebook page, the labor union that represents the workers in Windsor plant.
The end of the Caravan’s production is seen as part of the company’s effort to establish Chrysler as the family-hauling brand while Dodge keeps its focus on producing muscle cars such as the Challenger and Charger.
The decision was made in consideration of the steady decline in the demand for minivans as most car owners in the United States prefer SUVs and trucks.
Minivans like the Dodge Grand Caravan faced a steady decline in demand in the United States in the last few years.
From 2018 to 2019, minivan sales went down by 15%, accounting for only 2.4% of all new car sales that year. It was a stark contrast from the minivan’s market share of 7.2% back in 2000.
“This decision comes as the company works to align volumes with demand,” FCA said in a statement. “The company will make every effort to place indefinitely laid-off hourly employees in open full-time positions as they become available based on seniority and will offer retirement packages to eligible employees.”
The last Dodge Grand Caravan is set to roll out of the assembly in May, but the plant will continue to build the Chrysler Pacifica.
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