03 August 2019

Plymouth USA Sales : 1980's

The Reliant, this time at a baseball game. Was it home run? I'd say yes

The lower end brand for Chrysler had started the 70's strongly but was struggling by the end of the decade. Could the 80's see a reversal of that? Initially the answer was no, as sales remained constant. The Reliant K-Car gave things was a boost for the brand but otherwise it was uneventful.

The Import Arrow model finished and the Champ name was replaced by Colt (Mitsubishi Mirage). There was also a Colt Vista, which was a Mitsubishi Chariot MPV just to confuse. The Conquest (Mitsubishi Starion) replaced the Sapporo but this sports car sold in tiny numbers.

The Caravelle was a mid-sized car that was introduced into the US in 1985 to replace the Chrysler E-Class which hadn't been a success. The model switched divisions to what was considered its more appropriate place as a Plymouth.

What the data hasn't been showing so far is the full sized Voyager van, which was sold from 1974 to 1983. It was a light commercial vehicle anyway. Then the model became a 'minivan' which was built on the K platform and came out in late 1983. I cannot get specific sales data for it but I estimate that 10,000 were sold in 1983 and 100,000 in 1984. That really was a massive success for Plymouth and Chrysler as it created a huge segment of which they were the market leaders.

Model 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980
Reliant/Volaré 138,154 157,247 146,762 196,997 104,836
Horizon 78,298 56,763 46,907 75,377 78,823
Turismo/TC3 47,109 36,497 39,704 51,815 53,971
Colt/Champ 32,819 34,513 37,129 42,128 47,853
Gran Fury 16,609 15,101 18,255 9,312 13,682
Caravelle 9,074

Vista 7,465 1,992

Conquest/Sappo 3,344 11,571 13,068 13,326 10,003

Total US Sales 332,872 313,684 301,825 388,955 315,802

With the Voyager proving such a success, sales were looking much better. The Acclaim replaced the Reliant and the fastback Turismo was succeeded by the sporty Sundance hatchback. The conquest sports car soon went and the large Gran Fury came to an end without replacement as the Conquest also. The Laser did take over from the latter.

The slow selling Caravelle also finished its life, the similar sized Acclaim was already doing that job for Plymouth. In 1989, the Laser sports coupé model was introduced, it being a joint venture arrangement with Mitsubishi. The latter brand sold their car as the Eclipse. 

Model 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985
Voyager 184,943 192,273 140,799 110,083 106,492
Acclaim/Reliant 124,721 113,366 105,919 130,043 138,833
Sundance/Turismo 84,335 90,333 92,874 65,082 52,817
Horizon 39,315 61,142 46,460 111,092 84,500
Colt 28,259 37,554 37,580 45,094 36,491
Laser 21,098
Colt Vista 6,257 9,249 14,044 16,995 11,588
Gran Fury 1,443 13,315 7,782 17,443 17,627
Caravelle 733 12,903 36,077 39,138 35,954

139 2,181 2,671
Total US Sales 491,104 530,135 481,674 537,151 486,973

Summary: The Voyager was a vital model for Chrysler and Plymouth, along with the K Platform that spawned this model. Sales were healthy but a heavy reliance on the minivan segment wasn't ideal.

To see the first in the series (the 70's), simply click here.
To see the next in the series (the 90's), simply click here.

The Voyager could carry the kids & their friends too. Scary thought

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