Answering Your Questions

What is the 2020 Chrysler Voyager and why does it matter?

The Voyager has made its return to the FCA lineup for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The Voyager has returned. In June, FCA quiet revealed the Voyager during a press event at their Chelsea Proving Grounds, immediately allowing first drives and answering questions.

What is the 2020 Chrysler Voyager and why does it matter?

First, let's take a step back. Way back. And overseas.

Up until 2001, Chrysler had never sold the Voyager in the U.S. Starting in 1988, it was sold in Europe, having been rebadged from the Dodge Caravan name in the U.S. The automaker also sold a variant of the Caravan to U.S. customers dubbed the Plymouth Voyager. When Plymouth folded in 2001, a short-wheelbase version of Plymouth's minivan was sold under the Chrysler Voyager name but after two model years, it gave up the ghost.

2005 Chrysler Town & Country The new 2005 Chrysler Town and Country Minivan with the new "Stow 'N Go" feature is shown to the media at DaimlerChrysler headquarters December 8, 2003 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The minivan-first feature allows owners to fold second and third-row seats into the floor with one-hand operation. Photo by Getty Images

There were then several evolutions in the minivan name and design, most notably the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country, which kept the minivan legacy started by the 1936 Stout Scarab alive.

Then Chrysler decided to switch things up and they ditched the Town & Country for the Pacifica, a completely different and thoroughly modern take on the minivan, starting in 2017. However, Dodge continued to sell its aging minivan, the Grand Caravan.

Since the Pacifica reveal, the Grand Caravan has been a mostly stagnant model. It doesn't have most of the safety features or high-tech equipment that the Pacifica has, nor is it as nice on the inside or fuel efficient.

Because it hasn't drastically changed in so long, FCA has not had to make significant investments to its production line to keep up with the evolution, or pay for things like new molds to be constructed. This makes the Grand Caravan relatively cheap to produce.

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan The Dodge Grand Caravan on the assembly line at the Chrysler Windsor Assembly plant January 18, 2011 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Getty Images

In turn, the model continues to be the cheapest minivan customers can buy. And they're still buying it. In droves. The Dodge Grand Caravan outsold the Honda Odyssey in the third quarter of 2019 with 27,456 units, sitting atop its segment in sales. Chrysler only sold 21,697 Pacificas during the same period.

However, these times they are a changing. FCA is looking to modernize its lineup without losing those Grand Caravan customers. That's where the 2020 Chrysler Voyager comes in.

On the outside and inside, the Voyager is really just a Pacifica with another name. However, this version is more downmarket than the traditional Pacifica, with more economical materials and finishes. It is still much, much nicer than the Grand Caravan, and has many of the modern safety features the Pacifica has that the Grand Caravan does not. Safety is a top concern for families when they're looking to purchase a new vehicle according to Cars.com research.

The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan starts at $27,040. The 2020 Chrysler Voyager undercuts that, coming in with a starting MSRP of $26,985. Chrysler sells the 2020 Pacifica with a starting price of $33,495.

2020 Chrysler Voyager

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The Chrysler Voyager is a new addition to the FCA lineup for the 2020 model year.


It's safe to say that the Voyager is designed to be on its way to replacing the Grand Caravan. That's why it matters. It's a Band-Aid solution that gets FCA out of having to invest in designing and producing a completely new vehicle while still driving customers to their dealerships.

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Jeep is offering custom graphics for its vehicles.

Jeep

Jeeps of all types are among the most customized vehicles on the planet, and it's just as common to see a completely tricked out Wrangler as it is to see one in factory fresh condition. To capitalize on the popularity of aftermarket parts, the automaker offers several upgrades and accessories through Mopar. To provide even more customization opportunities, Jeep announced the Jeep Graphic Studio, a program to create new graphics and appearance upgrades for its vehicles.

Jeep Graphic Studio A variety of products are available, including interior and exterior graphics.Jeep

Independent aftermarket suppliers have offered graphics packages and custom decals for years, but Jeep's program brings a 5- or 7-year guarantee against UV damage and peeling. The automaker says that every graphic ships with installation tools and video instructions to ensure proper and simple application. Each graphic is custom measured to fit Jeep vehicles. Textured graphics will also be offered, which Jeep says can show features such as topographic lines.

Jeep Graphic Studio Later this year, customers will be able to order custom names for the hood of their Wrangler or Gladiator.Jeep

Products from the Jeep Graphic Studio will start at $40 and climb to $165. The automaker says that the shop will sell 3D-printed shifter inserts, hood graphics, and fender inserts. Later this year, Wrangler and Gladiator owners will be able to order hood graphics that include custom names. If you're interested in getting a custom graphic for your Jeep, head here to check out the catalog.

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Biden will target 50 percent of all vehicle sales for EVs by 2030.

Ford

In the last several months, we've seen automakers from all corners of the globe commit to some degree of electrification by the end of the decade and beyond. That includes the American Big Three: Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, others). Today, President Joe Biden plans to throw his weight behind these efforts by signing an executive order that sets a goal of pushing the sales of zero-emissions vehicles to half of all vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030.

Biden's target is not legally binding, but the industry is already jumping on board. In a joint statement, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis confirmed that they aim to hit an EV sales volume of 40-50 percent annually. It's worth noting that the President's 50 percent goal and the automakers' sales targets also include plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use a traditional gasoline engine.


Jeep PHEV The target also includes plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use gas engines.Jeep


Auto unions and dealers are not opposed to the ambitious roadmaps laid out by the Big Three, but both have differing views on what is essential and how things will ultimately play out. While aware of the goals, the UAW is focused on wage growth and the preservation of jobs and benefits. It feels that an increase in EV production volume must happen here in the U.S. to include good-paying American union jobs.

Dealers, to a degree, are supportive of the goals but skeptical of their ultimate success. Some feel that electric vehicles do not present the earth-shattering shift in functionality and usability that other new products, such as smartphones, did in different industries. Regardless of concerns and skepticism, it appears that automakers are going all-in on the shift to electrification, so we're bound to see a wealth of new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the next few years.


GM battery facility rendering Automakers are pledging billions to increase EV and PHEV production volume.GM

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