Dodge aims to build a "Man's Van"
Minivans, no matter how you look at them, will never match the machismo that's almost inherent in pickups, some SUVs, or the late, lamented HUMMER. So we were more than a bit surprised when Dodge recently announced it was attempting to beef up the traditional "soccer mom-mobile" for the rougher sex. In a recent meeting with dealers, Dodge CEO Ralph Gilles discussed plans for a "man van" that would shake off stereotypes of a mom-mobile. According to The Wall Street Journal, production of such a minivan variant would help give the brand a more masculine image, hearkening back to ad campaigns of recent years. According to the Journal, one dealer said, "A man van won't generate huge sales, but it's one of those vehicles that gets people talking and heads turning." Similar to the Dodge Grand Caravan R/T concept from the 2008 SEMA show, interior and exterior enhancements would help to differentiate dad's van from mom's. Sources hint that the interior would feature bespoke stitching on the seats and steering wheel, while body trim is still to be decided. This news comes on the heels of two recently introduced minivans which have highlighted family-friendliness as major selling points. Honda's recently introduced 2011 Odyssey features 15 cupholders and an integrated trash bag among its amenities for families, and Toyota is marketing its new 2011 Sienna with a series of "Mommy Like" commercials. If the "man van" gets the green light, we can expect them in dealerships within a few months. Source: The Wall Street Journal, courtesy of Automobile Magazine
If you're in the market for an inexpensive hybrid in the next few years, you may want to give Honda a serious...