Minivan sales in the US are up 5% in the first quarter of 2021, which trails the overall market, up 12%, even though four of the five players in the segment were renewed, replaced or updated last year. The problem for the class is that the biggest seller of recent years has been taken out of production. Minivans now accounts for just 2.2% of the overall car market, down from 2.3% in Q1 of last year, but up from 1.9% in all of 2020.
Production of the old timer Dodge Grand Caravan ended last August, and the model sold just 1,700 units in the first quarter, indicating stocks are drying up and sales will slow to a trickle later this year. Its stablemate Chrysler Pacifica has taken over segment leadership, also helped by the low-budget version Chrysler Voyager. The couple of two nameplates for the same vehicle already took the title of best performing minivan of 2020 and continues on that strong performance with sales up 40% in the first quarter. The Toyota Sienna is actually the best performing model in the class with sales more than doubling thanks to the new generation. That leaves the Honda Odyssey down to third place with sales up just 22%, although that means all three top players in the minivan segment beat the overall US car market. Kia has just renewed its minivan and renamed it from Sedona to Carnival, the name it already has been using for the model in most other markets in the world. The model changeover causes the model to struggle in the beginning of the year, with sales down 29%.
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