2016 was a great year for the auto industry as a whole; sales numbers soared to record numbers all across the board and nearly every car company in the U.S. and abroad reaped the benefits of a stronger economy and more consumer confidence in the companies that create cars, trucks, and other vehicles.
For Chrysler, however, 2016 was an especially great year, as sales figures show that the company’s minivan sales now surpass those of Toyota and Honda combined. What’s behind this stunning market victory? Let our Columbus Chrysler dealership break it down.
Chrysler Conquers the Minivan Market
Fiat-Chrysler wasn’t the only car manufacturing company to see a massive boost in minivan sales over the past year. Sales of minivans in the U.S. grew 8% overall, in the U.S., handily outpacing the growth of both the overall car market and pickup truck sales (which only grew 6%.
Chrysler’s minivan sales, in particular, however, were even more impressive. Over just one year, sales of Fiat-Chrysler minivans grew a whopping 25%, with the company’s market share of that sector of the automotive market in the U.S. reaching an overwhelming 45%––more than Toyota’s and Honda’s total minivan sales combined.
There are many reasons for Fiat-Chrysler’s current dominance of the minivan market, but one of the biggest reasons is the Chrysler Pacifica, which became available in the second quarter of 2016. In January of 2017, the Pacifica was awarded SUV/utility vehicle of the year by the U.S. journalist corps, and it has been gaining incredibly positive reviews and coverage.
Another reason for the surge in Chrysler’s minivan sales is the company’s partnership with Google. Earlier in the year, Chrysler announced that it would be equipping more than 100 of its minivans with the latest versions of Google’s autonomous driving hardware and software suite.
These self-driving Chrysler minivans went into use at the end of 2016, drawing even more positive attention to the brand’s line of minivans and solidifying the idea that the minivan market is the source of just as much exciting innovation as the car, truck, and SUV sectors of the automotive industry.
For many years, the minivan market hasn’t been taken seriously by enthusiasts and reporters; with Chrysler’s overwhelming success in this area, this trend might be coming to an end.
More Minivans Coming in 2017
2016 was a big year for Chrysler’s line of minivans, but the company isn’t ready to rest on its laurels just yet. The biggest innovations will once again be focused around the Pacifica. Starting in 2017, Chrysler began offering a plug-in hybrid version of the Pacifica minivan to dealerships across the country.
Featuring a 16 kWh battery, the Pacifica hybrid is yet another sign of how Chrysler’s minivan line is a source of exciting innovation in the U.S. car market, and that anyone who previously wrote off the minivan market as old-fashioned and out of step with the times needs to start rethinking their views.
Want to drive a Chrysler Pacifica for yourself? Schedule a test drive today by calling 765-342-5000.