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The Minivan: Reinvented

December 10, 2003|By Newstream

Move over, SUVs - the vehicle which first became a phenomenon in the early eighties is making a comeback.

Minivans were an instant hit when they were first introduced 20 years ago - they were practical and versatile, able to seat seven with a comfortable car-like ride, as well as able to carry large amounts of cargo. But the rise of SUVs affected sales - industry analysts estimate that 25 percent of minivan customers have been migrating to sport utility vehicles. Now analysts expect many families to come back to the minivan for its versatility.

Nearly all major auto manufacturers have recently or are about to roll out restyled vans. General Motors is going a step further, rolling out its first Crossover Sport Vans - vans with sliding doors and other minivan features, but also with SUV styling. The Buick Terraza and the Saturn RELAY - the first passenger vans in either brands' lineup - will debut this month at the L.A. Auto Show and will begin production in the Fall of 2004.

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