"We want to continue to position Chrysler as a premium brand," says Bryan Zvibleman, Chrysler spokesman. "The Town & Country nameplate is prestigious and carries more weight than the Voyager nameplate."
Chrysler built its last Voyager minivan July 11 in the United States. The vehicle remains on sale in Europe.
As part of the Chrysler group's bid to remain the minivan volume leader, the Town & Country for the first time will be available in a short-wheelbase version in the 2004 model year. It carries a $23,395 base sticker, including destination charges.
The 2003 Chrysler Voyager is selling for less than the mainstream Dodge minivans, the Caravan and Grand Caravan, according to data from the Power Information Network, an affiliate of J.D. Power and Associates.
"Given that, it makes sense to discontinue the model," says Tom Libby, director of industry analysis for the Power Information Network.
The sales data are based on transaction prices supplied daily by participating dealerships to the Power network.
The Chrysler Voyager carried an average transaction price of $19,566, compared with $19,961 for the Dodge Caravan and $24,021 for the Grand Caravan. The figures are based on Power sales data compiled from May 1 through July 20, 2003.
Dropping the Voyager means the company can spend more time and money promoting the Town & Country, says Renee Guastella-Rosol, Chrysler brand direct marketing specialist and former Chrysler Voyager and Town & Country minivan brand manager.
"Customers say, 'I don't care what you call it, just make it available at my dealership in my price range,' " Guastella-Rosol says.