Minivan competition intensifies as segment keeps shrinking

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There’s still loyalty in the minivan segment for automakers to tap into. A study last year showed that 46 percent of minivan owners said they planned to replace one minivan with another.

Alison Anziska, vice president of marketing and analytics at Edmunds, has owned three Honda Odysseys over the past decade. She has five children and said the Odyssey’s comfortable seating and ample cargo space make it great for road trips.

But the Sienna’s hybrid powertrain is appealing, she said, so whether she remains with Honda will depend on how the Odyssey evolves. Her youngest child is 4, so she plans to stick with minivans for a while but sees herself moving on at some point.

“I don’t see the minivan as a permanent car decision,” Anziska told Automotive News. “I think there comes a point in time when that level of practicality is not needed on a daily basis and you can switch back to a nice luxury SUV for the same price.

“But I still consider myself [in] those prime years. You’re in the minivan market for, like, 15 years, and then you’re ready to move on when you’re not lugging all that sports equipment and children’s backpacks and stuff.”

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Saurabh Shukla

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