Traditionally marginalized as the soccer mom’s auto pick, minivans seem to be ready for a resurgence in the near future – even as analysts and executives brag about the rising sales of SUVs and trucks.
According to Kelley Blue Book analyst, Karl Brauer, the segment – depending on how you define it – has been surging between five and 10% over the first nine months of the year. This rising interest is mostly attributed to new, semi-commercial models that have made the transition into the segment in the past few years, but the truth is that minivans have a long way to climb back to the popularity of their days of stardom. Over the past decade the sales continued to degenerate, before leveling out and now starting to rise again.
On the other hand, the segment is also a daunting challenge to many automakers – just four models control around 60% of the US minivan market, with a huge jump from first-tier to the second-roster. One of the entries in the latter category is Kia’s Sedona. The model has been on the US market for 12 years and it hit its 61,000-unit peak a decade ago. Last year it sold just around 7,000, a stark difference to the segment leaders’ 120,000 plus units.
But, just as the segment is on its way to a resurgence, so is the all-new 2015 Sedona, taking features that should please both traditional minivan customers, but also snatch some buyers from passenger cars and SUVs.