The Minivan Goes Hybrid


It’s been more than 30 years since the invention of one of the world’s biggest transportation adventures. Can you guess what it is? No, it’s not space travel, or hoverboards, or autonomous cars. It’s the 33rd anniversary of the classic minivan!

No matter whether you loved or hated them, the minivan was a game-changer for the world. It was useful, roomy, family-friendly, and (usually) not very attractive, but it changed how families travelled around the world. The minivan quickly replaced station wagons in American households, selling a peak level of 1.37 million vehicles in 2000. However, once crossover vehicles such as SUVs came onto the market, minivan sales took a big hit and several companies ceased manufacturing them.

In 2017, the new Chrysler Pacifica will be unveiled as the first plug-in hybrid minivan. It aims to challenge SUVs with a sleeker body, sitting lower to the ground, with bigger wheels, and looks more luxurious than your parent’s old minivan.

Will it take sales from SUVs? Are we there yet?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who had minivans? What did they like and dislike about the vehicles?
  2. Show the video:
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team research a minivan model online.
  4. Then, challenge each team to develop a marketing campaign for their minivan. Make sure each team develops a clear target market and value proposition.
  5. How can their programs increase sales and switch consumers from SUV models?

Source: CNN Money, Manufacturing Business Technology


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