Chrysler’s minivan, long a staple of the automaker’s business, has been referred to as the Town & Country since 1990. It’s for this reason we assumed the next-generation Chrysler minivan, set to be unveiled Monday at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, would also be called Town & Country, but we may have been wrong in doing so.
According to sources close to the matter, the 2017 Chrysler minivan will not be called Town & Country. It’s still not entirely clear which nameplate the automaker has picked to replace Town & Country, however we are able to make reasonable assumptions based on trademark filings the automaker has applied for recently.
In December, Chrysler trademarked the name ‘Aspen’ for use on passenger automobiles. The name was previously used on the Durango-based SUV, discontinued following the 2009 model year, leading us to believe FCA trademarked it for possible use on a future full-size SUV, not a minivan.
But before the Aspen name was filed for Chrysler filed to trademark the ‘Pacifica’ name. Similar to Aspen, Pacifica is a nameplate Chrysler has used in the past, it being utilized on the mid-size crossover built from the 2004-2008 model years. What’s interesting is that the Pacifica shared the Town & Country’s ‘CS’ platform and was also built alongside the van at Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario assembly plant. It was a minivan in a crossover costume, basically.
Is that enough to confidently say the 2017 Chrysler minivan will actually be called Pacifica? No. But with Town & Country off the table, were having trouble thinking of another name in the Chrysler archives they could effectively utilize. Luckily we’ll soon have to speculate no longer, with Chrysler set to debut the new minivan early Monday morning at NAIAS.