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The minivan is a product of the family home environment and will continue to still command an audience as long as hauling kids around town continues. It is easy to drive, easier on gas (than most sport utes) and is flexible to be a people hauler as well as furniture hauler.
Chrysler had the foresight and the balls to bring out a completely different vehicle as they were trying to avoid chapter 11. GM, Toyota, Honda, Mercedes-all of these companies were caught flat footed by the acceptance of Caravans.
There was an initial surge of buyers in the 80's, 90's and 00's of people who needed such a small van but were already had something. Now, the market is pretty saturated and the number of customers has stabilized.
So, what will be next? A cross over or the SUV? Or maybe a slightly heavier duty mini-van?
With OPEC rumbling, the SUV market will be hit a little (esp the bigger ones). All those people begging for a V-8 are going to be singing a different tune when the price of a gallon goes up. Then, maybe the mini's will be back in fashion.
Me? I'm looking for a small wagon with fwd that is very utilitarian. Something that is good on gas and can be driven around town and loaded up with whatever. My 89 Caravan is nearing its end-and I'd buy another if I could find another 89 in very good shape.
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