Chrysler Caravan

A few years ago it would have been very hard to walk though a neighborhood or an elementary school parking lot and not find a hand full or so Caravans. This model reached markets far and wide, and was for lack of any better description, a ridiculous seller. The Caravan was manufactured by DaimlerChrysler, but up until 1998 they were sold by the Chrysler Corporation. The Caravan made its debut in 1983 as a 1994 model. It was released alongside its sister model, the Plymouth Voyager, which was later renamed the Chrysler Voyager. The Caravan can really be given accolades for creating the entire market segment for these vehicles. Yet, it really only rushed to the market a few months ahead of the Renault Espace, another minivan offered in Europe. It seems that sometimes it is very good to be at the forefront of a revolution because the Chrysler minivans have been the best-selling minivans in the United States. To really understand the magnitude of market saturation made by the Caravan, imagine that since the beginning of production, over 11 million Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth minivans have been sold as of mid-2005. The population of San Francisco has neared around one million people, now imagine everyone in San Francisco owning a Caravan and then imagine that 11 times over. The brilliant idea of a minivan was the concept created by both Lee Iacocca and Hal Sperlich while they worked for the Ford Motor Company. Legend has is that Henry Ford II denied Iacocca's and Sperlich's idea back in 1974. Had Mr. Ford taken the idea and run with it at the time, sales could be nearing half a billion. Nevertheless, minivans have actually gone out of style and many soccer moms and dads are now choosing Sports Utility Vehicles instead. However, the success of the minivan cannot be discredited, and although it isn't sliced bread, in the automotive industry it is pretty close.