Town & Country is poised to top Odyssey as top-selling U.S. minivan

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News.
With two months to go, the Chrysler Town & Country is poised to upset the Honda Odyssey as the year's top-selling minivan.

If the Town & Country succeeds, the victory will be celebrated for a warmed-over minivan vs. redesigned minivans from Honda and Toyota.

Honda has been the top-selling minivan for the past two years.

Back in May I wrote that Chrysler might be headed for the minivan sales title.

At that time, the Town & County was No. 1. The Odyssey had fallen to No. 2. The Dodge Grand Caravan trailed at No. 3, and the Toyota Sienna was a solid fourth.

Since then the minivans have remained in the same sales positions. Through October, the Town & Country had captured 95,952 sales; Odyssey, 89,230; Dodge Grand Caravan, 83,158; and Toyota Sienna, 81,384.

The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country has been re-engineered to reduce interior noise and improve ride and handling Chrysler says.
The Town & County and Grand Caravan receive new powertrains and redesigned interiors for the 2011 model year. The exteriors receive mild styling changes that nearly require a trained eye to note the differences.

Forgetting about price, logic would suggest that most minivan buyers would want something fresh, something new. The redesigned 2011 Sienna went on sale early this year. Sales for the redesigned 2011 Odyssey ramped up in the fall.

As I mentioned in May, some buyers might be reluctant to buy either minivan.

The new Odyssey's styling is polarizing. Who wants to explain why they purchased that minivan?

Toyota is still in the news over potential safety problems. News headlines and videos might be on a buyer's mind while shopping for a vehicle to carry the kids.

Neither issue is good for sales -- meaning Chrysler just might capture the minivan sales crown.