The mostly-fleet Grand Caravan is going on vacation.
Dodge is mysteriously suspending production of its Grand Caravan minivan for four months starting in mid-August.
Although you might be surprised to hear that Dodge is still producing the Grand Caravan — especially considering Chrysler's next-generation Pacifica minivan has been on the market for the last year — the long-in-the-tooth people carrier is slated to soldier on into 2019. But that extended production run will take a short break in August when Dodge plans to shut down the Grand Caravan production line until sometime in December.
Automotive News reached out to Dodge to get an explanation for the halt in production, but FCA spokespeople declined to give a response.
Despite being a lame-duck model, the Dodge Grand Caravan handily outsells the newer Chrysler Pacifica. So far this year Dodge has delivered 63,657 Grand Caravans, while Chrysler has delivered 47,199 Pacificas. In fact, Dodge had just a 22-day supply of Grand Caravans on hand at the beginning of June, making it FCA's scarcest vehicle.
The reason for those strong sales can be attributed to the Grand Caravan's value pricing scheme. With a starting price of just $27,090, the Grand Caravan is $3,000 cheaper than the Pacifica. Moreover, more than 60 percent of all Grand Caravans start out life in some kind of fleet operation, so demand is fairly strong from month to month.
Once production resumes, the 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan is slated to arrive sometime in January.