End of an Era

Dodge Grand Caravan production ending, leaving brand minivan-less for first time since '83

The Dodge Grand Caravan has gone largely unchanged since 2011.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The first minivan rolled off the assembly line at FCA at Windsor Assembly on November 2, 1983. Since that Plymouth Voyager entered the world more than 15 million minivans have been sold. As of last year, FCA held a 54 percent share of minivan sales, selling twice as many minivans as any other manufacturer over more than 35 years.

The Dodge Caravan was introduced alongside that Plymouth and launched the same year. And now, Autoblog has received confirmation from FCA that the model, now known as the Dodge Grand Caravan, has reached the end of the road.

2020 Dodge Grand Caravan 15 millionDodge released this graphic in 2019 to celebrate the 15 millionth sale of a minivan.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Now in its fifth generation, the Grand Caravan is 12 model years into its that era. It was introduced in 2008 with exterior styling by now-Global President Product Design Ralph Gilles. Though it's received tweaks here and there over the past few years, the last major update to the Grand Caravan came in 2011. New trim levels and innovation changes have helped the model evolve over the last half-decade.

The fate of the Grand Caravan was sealed when FCA introduced the modern Chrysler Pacifica in 2016. The model, with its higher price point and fresh technologies (including a hybrid powertrain) were clearly the future. However, the Grand Caravan production was already paid for and selling the models was a bit like printing money. Without anything to replace it in the FCA lineup, the Grand Caravan production continued.

In 2019, because of its. involved powertrain, the model was outlawed from being sold in California, the number one vehicle market in the country.

Last summer, Chrysler introduced for the Voyager, a low cost version of the Pacifica. It was then that run of the Grand Caravan was clearly growing to a close.

There's till time to get a Grand Caravan if you're in the market. It's like that they'll will remain on dealer lots as the second half of the year draws to a close.

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The Hemi Orange package brings unqiue style to the Durango.

Dodge

The Dodge Durango isnt the newest or most refined SUV on the market, but it offers great comfort, good tech, and a handful of raucous powertrian options. The long-running family hauler is due for an update, but in the meantime, Dodge has given it a new Hemi Orange package with unique styling touches.

Dodge already offers the Hemi Orange package fo the Challenger and Charger, and now it's available for the three-row Durango. The package is available for the R/T trim, which comes with a 5.7-liter V8.

Dodge Durango Hemi OrangeDodge offers four exterior colors with the package. Dodge

Much of the Orange package's content comes on the outside, where Dodge adds orange and gunmetal hod stripes, black taillights, and grey/orange badging. The SUV rides on black 20-inch wheels, and Dodge offers different black "Lights Out" 20-inch wheels. Four exterior colors are available: Destroyer Grey, Diamond Black, Octane Red, and White Knuckle. Inside, the Durango gets orange sticthing and unique patterns in the upholstery. Dodge says the stitching extends throughout the interior, including to the gauge cluster, armrests, console lid, and steering wheel.

Two upgrades are available for the Hemi Orange Durango. The first is the Orange Plus Package, which adds a power sunroof, a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and a load of driver aids. The Tow N Go package is available for four-wheel drive models, and brings the 20-inch Lights Out wheels, orange brake calipers, and a Bilstein high-performance suspension system.

The Durango R/T Hemi Orange is available now. It carries a price tag of $1,995. The Orange Plus package costs $4,500 and the Tow N Go package costs $5,095.

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American muscle cars

Ford Mustang continues sales dominance

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has good reason to be proud of the Mustang. Now almost 60 years on from its introduction, Ford continues innovating with new versions and performance upgrades. It's all good news for buyers, as it's hard to find a "bad" Mustang in Ford's current catalog. The efforts have paid off, too, as the automaker just announced that the Mustang outsold its competition for the seventh year in a row.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Mustang continued outselling the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, and did so without help from the Shelby GT350, which was discontinued. The Mustang Mach 1, with its 5.0-liter V8, led the charge, but Ford notes the performance of its most powerful Mustang, the Shelby GT500.

Ford says Americans are the most prolific Mustang buyers, representing 76 percent of the car's worldwide sales. Mustang sales in New Zealand grew 54 percent and Brazil saw sales climb 37.3 percent, so the car is a global effort for Ford. The automaker notes that retail orders, where a customer places an order for a car instead of shopping for one off the lot, almost doubled last year.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Photo courtesy of Ted Fontenot

The 2022 Mustang may mark the last year of the car's current generation. Spy photographers have caught next-generation cars testing in the wild, and the current-gen cars have been on sale since 2015. Ford also expanded the Mustang name in 2021 with the addition of the new electric Mustang Mach-E, which was met with huge demand and several awards from around the auto industry.

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