Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant To Begin Preparations For Plug-In Hybrid Town & Country Minivan

APR 26 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 14

Old Prototype Plug-In Town & Country Minivam

Old Prototype Plug-In Town & Country Minivam

Chrysler 700c Concept

Chrysler 700c Concept

Over in Canada, at Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant, preparations are now underway on producing the next-generation Town & Country minivan:

“As we retool the plant for production of the next-generation minivan, we are also preparing the line with the necessary tooling for production of the PHEV (plug-in electric hybrid) version.”

Says Jodi Tinson, spokeswoman for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Even Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne offered up comment on the electrified minivan, saying that a “massive” effort is underway to develop PHEVs and adding:

“The minivan that is coming out of Windsor is the first classic example of a massive introduction of hybrid technology.”

“It’s the beginning of a long process where you will see electrification work its way through in a variety of ways, through the larger vehicles, through the minivans, the pickup trucks eventually, to try and deal with the issue of CO2 and mileage.”

It makes sense for Chrysler’s first production plug-in to be its minivan since the automaker is credited with being the inventor of this segment of automobiles.  Hopefully, Chrysler’s next stpe with be a production PHEV version of either its SUVs or Ram trucks.

Fiat Chrysler’s five-year plan includes a plug-in electric version of a full-size crossover in 2017.

Chrysler's Plug-In Hybrid Minivan Now Coming In 2015, Not 2016 As Graphic Depicts

Chrysler’s Plug-In Hybrid Minivan Coming In 2016

Source: Detroit Free Press

Categories: Chrysler

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14 Comments on "Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant To Begin Preparations For Plug-In Hybrid Town & Country Minivan"

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Like many here, I am stunned by the lack of PHEV and EV SUVs/CUVs and minivans in the US.

I strongly suspect that when companies finally get off their butts and bring them to market, they’ll be “surprised” by how well they sell. (Of course, we plug-heads will see it coming a mile away, but that’s another point for another time…)

Not really surprising, since CUVs/SUVs/minivans are a lot heavier than compacts/subcompacts as well as less aerodynamic.
(PH)EV production is currently battery-constrained. The auto manufacturers can produce 2-3 BEVs compacts/subcompacts for every SUV — that’s about the battery capacity ratio. For the current learning phase of the industry, it’s not surprising they’d rather have more (and cheaper) EV units on the road to learn from.
This will change once battery production capacity catches up in a few years.

FCA really has to get moving to increase their fleet MPG ratings for Dodge and Chrysler.

Marchionne announced a couple years back that he would axe the Dodge Caravan and replace it with a large CUV. Chrysler would march on with the Town And Country minivan. Since they still sell a Grand Caravan, it appears that plan has changed. EPA mandates are looming and they best form a hybrid strategy for all their lineup soon.

Minivan sales have sagged immensely over the years, even though they are some of the most sensible vehicles around for many families. Chrysler has dominated the segment regardless of their lack of engine refinement. One of the reasons was their sole-ownership of Stow-N-Go seating. Another reason was that the other American automakers simply abandoned the segment.

Styling hasn’t been a strong point for Chrysler vehicles, so perhaps Italy’s intervention ( the nice-looking Chrysler 300, for example )is what is behind the resurgence of the brand of late. Interesting to see how much of the 700c Concept will make it into the production van.

A great place to start, Chrysler, bring it on and sell the PHEV out front and not a limited-run compliance machine!

I was surprised at your comment about “sole ownership of stow-and-go seating”. One of the reasons Chrysler lost the battle to keep market leadership was their 2001 generation minivan didn’t copy Honda/Toyota’s fold-into-the-floor seats for the 3rd row – at the time they thought optional AWD was a more important competitive feature and that you couldn’t do fold-into-the-floor *and* AWD. Well, they were wrong on both counts – fold-in seating was a huge differentiator and it turns out that with smart planning you can do both. What I didn’t know – since I dropped out of the minivan market as the kids grew up – was that Chrysler now folds second and third row seats into the floor – smart! However, makes me wonder where the batteries will go …. Minivans are far more practical than large SUVs, but many Americans prefer SUVs for the image, which is a sad commentary. Minivans are often used for long family trips, yes, but are also vehicles that in day-to-day use tend to be lower mileage vehicles with lots and lots of short trips. A PHEV, therefore, makes tons of sense if it has a decent all electric range and a strong enough… Read more »

I will buy this vehicle the day it’s released as it’s exactly what I need for the school runs and after school clubs. No more visiting gas stations.

electric-car-insider.com

Interesting that Marchionne would describe FCA’s PHEV development efforts as “massive” by only two are in the published roadmap. VW has 44, BMW and Mercedes 10 each.

A half dozen SUV PHEVs are coming out this year that will get 70+ mpg. Train is leaving the station.

for the plug hater Sergio, 2 is massive.

Build it Sergio. You will own that important segment because Honda and Toyota will never do this.

Mini vans are the perfect platform for electrification. And the mileage boost will be huge.

This is most likely my family’s next car. Unless I can get a good used model s or x

I just want to say this “HAHA, Sergio!” 😛

Now stop whining about plug-ins you old gear head.

The Town and Country prevails because it’s so affordable. One or two years old they sell for under $20K. I hope they can keep the affordability thing going. Sure some people will pay $45k and get the Odyssey with the vacuum cleaner, but not us when used T&C is so cheap.

“The train is leaving the station”… Exactly. So many people in the states and canada have a 15 amp 110 volt outlet in their garages. And the NEC mandates new homes have a dedicated 20 amp outlet at each stall. SO, a 3 car garage now must be built with 3 – 20 amp circuits, in addition to the normal circuit the garage would have for lighting and the openers; and it would also apply to newly constructed garages on an existing house. If chrysler had a phev minivan, a prospective customer could buy the thing TODAY and start using it by plugging into this outlet. In the future, since new garages from now on will have an outlet per stall, a 4 car / 4 stall garaged family can have 4 electric cars, with, for this house, no added electrical work being done since ALL garages from here on in will be built this way. If Chrysler, Honda, and Toyota refuse to build these vehicles, other companies will because at that time it will be so easily used by a customer… A customer will figure, why should I buy a vehicle with 22 mpg when I can get 70,… Read more »

I know its going to be a hit but I can`t back FCA

I had a Chrysler minivan and it was by far the worst car I ever owned. I wouldn’t buy another Chrysler product no matter what it was. The styling is fine, but the quality sucks.