Minivan sales plunge as SUV sales boom

USA Today: More than a dozen minivan models disappeared in past 15 years

By Roxy Tyler - Web producer
From Toyota

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - If you think you're seeing fewer minivans on the road, you're right. A new report by USA Today shows the minivan market share has plunged as SUV sales boomed. At least a dozen minivan models are no longer being manufactured in the last decade and a half, according to the report.

Many young couples who are expanding their families are choosing SUV's over minivans due to the stigma that some people still associate with the body style.

"Minivans have always had the stigma of the soccer mom image even though they’re incredibly practical," said Michelle Krebs, an analyst at the Autotrader car-buying site.

Sales of minivans as a percentage of the entire U.S. auto industry dropped from 4% in 2009 to 2.6% in the first quarter of 2019, according to research.

Many experts say the main factor hurting minivan sales is the nation's love for SUVs which have soared. Another reason for the decline in sales is a movement toward city life and declining birth rates in the U.S.

Minivans have lost 35% of their market share over the past ten years while SUVs now account for about half of all U.S. vehicle sales, up from about 31% in 2009, according to USA Today.

Recent three-row SUVs being introduced into the market have been soaring in popularity while about a dozen minivans have been discontinued over the past 15 years.

There are only five left still in production: the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan. But Fiat Chrysler is expected to discontinue the Caravan sometime in the coming years, according to USA Today.

On the flip side, that doesn't mean minivans will disappear altogether in the immediate future.

Fiat Chrysler, for example, sold 151,927 Grand Caravans in 2018, although analysts say the vehicle is largely sold to fleet buyers, not consumers. And the automaker's Chrysler Pacifica, introduced in 2017, has impressed reviewers with its design and technology, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid options. 

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