According to Detroit News, thanks to the 102,495 Town & Country vans sold in the final month of the year, the automaker is ahead of its biggest competitor, Honda, which managed to shift 98,035 Odyssey units during the same period. The next strongest contenders are the Toyota Sienna (89,509 sales year-to-date) and the Dodge Grand Caravan at 89,057. "Our goal is regaining leadership. We consider we own it and we need to regain what once belonged to us," said Olivier Francois, head of the Chrysler brand.
"I think the segment has legs. The press was writing obituaries for Chrysler and minivans just two years ago. Now we see new life in the segment that corresponds with Chrysler's ongoing recovery," said John Sousanis, director of information content for auto data specialists WardsAuto.
Under Marchionne, major upgrades to the minivan are being introduced for 2011, but the next generation of Chrysler minivan is not due to arrive until 2014. US sales of minivans were totaled 438,808 in the first 11 months of last year, almost equal to the 2009 full-year total of 424,007. Figures for the month of December, as well as cumulative result for the entire year, are due Tuesday.