Every generation has its’ family friendly vehicle. For the baby boomers, it was the station wagon. Our generation X folks probably remember the station wagon becoming the minivan. For generation Y, sales numbers and increased popularity amongst new mothers dictate that the Crossover is the new family vehicle.
In 2011, crossovers beat out minivans in sales 5 to 1 overall. On a model to model basis, crossovers sold twice as many units or more than their minivan counter parts. For example, the top selling crossover sold over 70 thousand units. While the top selling minivan only moved 34 thousand units.
Many analysts in the automotive industry speculate that the social stigma surrounding the minivan led to its’ downfall. Everyone has heard the suburban stereotype about the soccer mom in the minivan. Newer generations don’t like to see themselves as ‘old’ or becoming as ‘uncool’ as their parents.
Chrysler is known for making quality and popular minivans. They have released statements earlier in the year that they have no plans of stopping production on minivans. Last week, however, CEO of Chrysler Sergio Marchionne announced that there would be no 2014 Chrysler minivans. In fact, Chrysler will be replacing its’ minivan line with a new crossover series.
Chrysler abandoning the minivan in favor of the crossover certainly drives the point home. As if sales numbers, social stigmas and the consumer voice were not enough. But it does beg the question “Won’t the crossover inevitably be usurped in the next generation?” Of course it will.
Crossovers range in style and price. Families from most income brackets could potentially own one that fits their lifestyle, from the bare-bones Kia Sorrento to the sporty luxury of the Porsche Cayenne.