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Chrysler Officially Puts Second Foot in Grave With "Man Van"


If this "macho" version of the Dodge Grand Caravan doesn't spell doom for the automaker, nothing does.


According to reports, Chrysler is attempting to "macho up" the minivan in a bid to appeal to male drivers.

America, get ready to meet the "man van" -- a Dodge Grand Caravan with what the Wall Street Journal calls "a slightly sportier look on the outside, possibly finished off with a black-and-gray interior trimmed with hot-colored stitching on the seats and steering wheel."

Take a look at the Grand Caravan in its present state:

How in God's name could the decision-makers at Chrysler possibly believe that a "black-and-gray trimmed interior" and "hot-colored stitching on the seats and steering wheel" would make a vehicle such as the Grand Caravan -- complete with juice-box holders for the kids -- more…anything? And why would a company that is at best, marginally still in business, squander the time, money, and effort to do so?

This, friends, is a "man van":

As is this:

And this:

Can Chrysler really be so ridiculously misguided in its flaccid attempt to stimulate minivan sales -- which have dropped over 50% since 2005 -- to a total of 424,007 last year?

Darren McKeage, VP of design at Motive Industries, an automotive design firm in Alberta, Canada, tells Minyanville:

There's been a trend with minivans lately to kind of sport them up with rims and spoilers, like the Honda (HMC) Odyssey and even the Toyota (TM) Sienna. But I think Chrysler's "man van" is likely too little, too late, and the Caravan already looks dated, as it is. There's really not much you can do to a minivan to change its image. Minivans are meant to be what they are -- practical, functional; as far as giving them sex appeal, well, that's pretty tough. It's incredibly difficult to design around that platform; it compromises what a minivan is built for in the first place. You can make cosmetic changes to a degree, but you don't want to end up with another Pontiac Aztek, which was a big flop, because they tried to include everything, like it was designed by committee.

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