Last post on Oct 23, 2006 at 1:11 AM
You are in the Chrysler/Plymouth Voyager, Dodge Caravan
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Voyager, Plymouth Voyager, Chrysler Town and Country, Van
#998 of 4276 Out of Warranty 167 miles, Check Engine Light is on!!!
Jan 05, 2002 (6:06 pm)
Well, I tried to give Chrysler a fair shake. I bought a 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport new in '99. The trans had to be rebuilt under warranty at 32,000 miles last September. It currently has 36,167 mile on it. I had it to the dealer last week to cover concerns I had under the warranty before it expired at 36,000 miles. Today the wife comes home and the check engine light is on. What kind of crap is that? I am now over warranty by 167 miles. Will the dealer cover whatever is wrong?
Oh, I also bought a 2001 Dakota last spring. I think I need to dump both for a Ford or GM Product, which I was buying for the last 20 years. Never had these problems before.
#999 of 4276 Comments
Jan 05, 2002 (6:54 pm)
Chrysler has had at least one critically-acclaimed car in the past 5 years: the 300M. As I recall, wasn't it Motor Trend's COTY?
Also, here is one veteran owner of two Caravans over the past 10 years who will be looking elsewhere when my '99 GCS lease is up in 2004. By then, Honda and Toyota should have new generations of their vans out, Mazda's next-gen MPV may be out by the fall, a new Windstar should be available, and Nissan's new Quest might be ready (just saw an artist's conception of the showcar version of it in C/D, and it's one slick looking van). I'll also check out all the mid-sized SUVs and maybe some wagons. I'll still consider the Caravan in the mix, but it will still be the current generation, which I already know is not that much better IMO than my '99 GCS.
#1000 of 4276 What you are all missing
Jan 05, 2002 (7:39 pm)
in this great minivan market share debate is that the ENTIRE SEGMENT is melting away, a NATURAL occurance, not the result of what you think about DC. The minivan is a classic textbook product lifecycle in automotive history. An exciting new segment created and brought to market by a small innovative group of automotive industrialists who became associated with the product and benefited disproportionately as any inventor and innovator should. Of course Chrysler's market share has been slipping over the years, but not for the reasons stated by eneth et.al. Once a new, successful market niche is create, guess what?, it attracts competition. In the case of the minivan, the competition was incompetent in its early competitive efforts. How many pathetic, dead models have come and gone since 1984 from GM, Ford, Toyota etc. in their billion dollar effort to wrest share away from Chrysler? What the manufacturers are starting to realize is that the popularity of the minivan segment is NOT permanent, it is melting away as do all automotive trends. Remember the station wagon?
The first sign of the fall of the minivan market was the rising popularity of SUVs (didn't exist a few years ago). Now, the manufacturers are rushing to market with all kinds of new "cross-over" vehicles hoping against hope that they will hit on the next home run segment. They only wish that they could be as successful as Chrysler has been with the minivan idea. As far as DC's future, it cannot be based on the minivan because the market for this vehicle will erode and diffuse into new mutations, trends and fads. Do you think todays twenty-somethings want to drive minivans when they grow up? NEVER! The minivan will forever be associated with the late 20th Century and will be a thing of the past in another 10-15 years. So bring on the PT Cruisers, Crossfires, Neon SRT's. The company with the best CURRENT ideas will thrive in the future.
#1002 of 4276 Minivans: reports of its death may be premature
Jan 05, 2002 (9:05 pm)
I doubt if the minivan concept will die entirely. There is no other vehicle that is as versatile as the minivan: seating for 7-8 in comfort, great cargo volume, compact size (for their interior room), better fuel economy than large SUVs, available 4WD (at least in the DC minivans), easier entry/exit than SUVs, and so on. They are still incredibly popular today, even with all the competition from SUVs.
Even the minivan's popularity should wane, it could come back. Remember the death of the convertible, circa 1976? Now they're back again. Likewise 5-door hatchbacks--suddenly they are all the rage again, after being nearly wiped off the face of the earth (with the exception of Saab). Even station wagons are making a comeback.
#1003 of 4276 I don't buy it either, indydriver
Jan 05, 2002 (9:49 pm)
While I don't think minivans will be fadding away in terms of popularity or numbers anytime in the near future, I agree that the entire minivan market is maturing as time moves on. Whether you hate or love Chrysler, you have to give them credit for selling so many minivans over the last 15 something years. I think the number is now well over 9 million if I am correct.
I am 16 years old and I can figure out why Chrysler is loosing market share in the minivan segment. ITS COMPETITION, just as indydriver pointed out. Its so simple and I don't understand why so many Odyssey owners don't get this. Or maybe it's because they don't want to aknowledge this. The more competitors you have in any given market, regardless of the quality of the product, the sales leader in that area will slowly loose profit to these many new competitors.
As for Chrysler and needing rebates to sell all of it's vans, there is an easy response to that as well. Do you think that if Chrysler produced such a limited quantity of vans as Honda, they would need to offer rebates to move them off the lot? Of course not. That's simple logic too.
Now, I don't know what's up about the master of doom and gloom otherwise known as eneth who continues to make the picture look as horrible as possible for Chrysler, which it isnt. It is obvious they are in trouble, and need some serious restructuring, but they are not on an endless pathway to complete destruction as you might want us to believe. And if they are gone in another 5-10 years, oh well. I was wrong. But only time can prove whether I am right or wrong and not someone who bashes DC minvians at any chance he gets.
Jan 06, 2002 (6:55 am)
Sorry - but if you check the overall sales, you'll see that while the minivan market isn't growing, it isn't significantly shrinking, either. Yes, wagons are making a comeback and probably taking sales from the smaller minivans - and note that only the Mercedes arm of DaimlerChrysler competes there, unless you consider the PT Cruiser, which really isn't a wagon, but rather a 4-door hatchback version of the Neon.
Rebates and zero interest financing? Honda hasn't had to use those on the Accord, which isn't production-constrained (and is the best-selling car of 2001, despite that).
300M? Yes, it was critically acclaimed - but it hasn't sold accordingly. DaimlerChrysler needs at least one - and probably more - category buster, a car that will sell in large numbers, and that will draw attention to its other products. It had its best chance with the current generation minivans and blew it big time - overselling the previous model, overpricing the new ones, and overequipping those it produced. There's no question that DaimlerChrysler improved the vans quality wise, but everyone else has improved as well - the differences just aren't there to make a compelling reason to purchase a DaimlerChrysler van over an Odyssey or other model.
I don't think Chrysler is on a pathway to complete destruction - there will always be Dodge trucks and Jeeps, along with probably minivans. However, Chrysler is assuming the same role in the DaimlerChrysler organization that AMC assumed in Renault (and then Chrysler) - it's competitive in trucks, but not in cars. One of the first acts Lee Iacocca took after buying AMC was to axe its non-competitive car lines, which is something I suspect is coming for Chrysler Group as well. Almost every platform now sold will be replaced from outside - the Neon/Stratus-Sebring by Mitsubishi/Hyundai, and the LH models by Mercedes-derived units. The coupe versions of the Stratus-Sebring are already Mitsubishi-based, and the next PT Cruiser will likely end up on a Mitsubishi chassis. That leaves the above models for Chrysler Group.
Although fans of the old Chrysler Corporation would no doubt love to see it independent again, that will never happen - things have changed too much, and Chrysler Group is no longer a standalone automaker - it is part of DaimlerChrysler, and could no more stand alone than AMC could have after Renault decided to divest itself of that automaker.
#1006 of 4276 Once more disagree with eneth
Jan 06, 2002 (4:17 pm)
And specifically with this statement:
"....There's no question that DaimlerChrysler improved the vans quality wise, but everyone else has improved as well - the differences just aren't there to make a compelling reason to purchase a DaimlerChrysler van over an Odyssey or other model....".
We have looked closely at all minivans and will be able to do it once more in a few weeks at the Annual Auto Show where all vehicles can be closely compared under one roof. Our choice is narrowed down to Odyssey LX, GC eL or T&C eL.
We have compared the GC eL $24,165 and Odd LX $24,690. The Odyssey has more power, a 5 speed AT, and the Magic Seat. On the other hand, the GC eL has Triple Zone Temp Control, Complete Overhead Console with compass/outside temp/ trip computer, Remote Keyless Entry, heating coils at base of windshield, and padded armrests on the front doors.
The great reliability of dozens of DC minivans owned by people we know is far more important to me than the few problems that are repeated over and over here in the Town Hall by disgruntled former owners of DC minivans.
Jan 06, 2002 (6:50 pm)
Conversely, the poor reliability experienced by myself and my family and friends is plenty to suggest that the Odyssey would be a better purchase - despite the constant repetition of claims by others to the contrary.
Everyone's entitled to express their own opinions - and should be able to do so free from denegration by others.