40 years ago, on November 2, 1983, the first MPV model, the Dodge Caravan, rolled off the Chrysler production line. MPV is a designation for a multi-purpose car (from the English multi-purpose vehicle), which is similar in shape to a van.
Such cars are often referred to as minivans or minivans. In the English-speaking countries of Europe and India, the term MPV is used, in East Asia these cars are referred to as MUVs.
The Dodge Caravan was sold mainly in the United States and Canada, in Europe and other international markets it was sold mainly under the Chrysler brand – either as the Chrysler Voyager or the Chrysler Caravan.
The founders and pioneers of MPV cars were Hal Sperlich and Lee Iacocca, who also created the legendary Ford Mustang. Their joint idea was a car that was officially called the Mini-Maxi. This name expressed everything needed – small dimensions of the car and a large interior space. It was introduced in November 1983, a year earlier than the Renault Espace, which Europeans like to refer to as the pioneer of the MPV category. It immediately became a sales hit, appreciated mainly by families looking for space and comfort.
Chrysler minivans (now Stellantis), including the Dodge Caravan model, were produced in the American St. Louis and Canadian Windsor. The Dodge Caravan was produced by Chrysler from 1983-2020, in 1987 the long-wheelbase Dodge Grand Caravan was introduced. A total of five generations of the Dodge Caravan were produced. Production ended in August 2020.
Since its launch in late 1983, more than 14.6 million Chrysler minivans have been sold worldwide.