Chrysler Group LLC pulled back the curtain on an exciting concept minivan at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Chrysler 700C sports rounded styling unlike anything previously seen in a consumer minivan. It is unclear whether it will be produced, however.
Chrysler and Fiat SpA head Sergio Marchionne said in 2011 that the king of minivans wanted to re-think what constitutes a minivan. The prediction at the time is that Chrysler would produce a new-age minivan as early as 2013. The Chrysler 700C could be that vision. Most minivans on the market are boxy, but the 700C’s fluid shape with elongated leaf windows departs radically.
Marchionne’s comments came while he was touring Chrysler’s assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario. Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan minivans are built at that location, leading some in the industry to speculate that whatever Chrysler’s new minivan will be, it will take the designs of the Town & Country and spin them into something new. Marchionne also mentioned that Chrysler had “big plans” for the factory, and would not be abandoning its plans to dominate the minivan segment of the market any time soon.
The king wants a facelift
Since the 1980s, Chrysler has held perhaps the key position in the market when it comes to the sale of minivans. Considering that there has been little change in minivans over the past 25 years – and the U.S. car-buying public has been sold on the utility of rugged SUVs and crossovers – the market for minivans has become somewhat stagnant.
By redesigning its bread and butter, possibly with the 700C, Chrysler hopes to recapture the magic.
Is Chrysler 700C the new Town & Country?
While speculations suggests it may be the case, Automotive News doesn’t believe that the lines of the 700C are suggestive of anything resembling Chrysler’s Town & Country minivan. At least one member of Chrysler’s communications team reportedly agrees. The Chrysler 700C may never see a sales floor, despite that the fact that Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was seen at the Detroit auto show requesting more information.