ELKHART LAKE, WI – Chrysler will sell both the ʾ16 Town & Country and ʼ17 Pacifica minivans until it sells down its inventory of about 10,000 T&C vans, says Bruce Velisek, Chrysler brand director-FCA US.

“We figure we have about a 60 days’ supply of Town & Country and (are) ramping up for about a 60 days’ supply of Pacifica,” Velisek says during an interview at the Midwest Automobile Media Assn. spring rally here.

Velisek refuses to provide either a production or sales estimate on the Pacifica replacement for the Town & Country, which will be expanded later this year with a plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid claiming more than 500-mile (805-km) range in combined battery/gasoline mode.

Pacifica comes out at a time when Velisek describes the van segment as flat.

“It used to be a million-sales-a-year segment and now it’s down to half of that at 500,000 units, but there still is a solid core of buyers who want a van because it makes life easier for them,” he says.

While the all-new Pacifica boasts 37 features previously not offered, one item was left out: an all-wheel-drive option.

“Only Toyota offers AWD in its van but it’s not a big volume seller,” Velisek says. “We offer (front-wheel drive) and stability control and feel that works very well. However, we will continue to monitor AWD vans and will consider it in the future.”

While AWD isn’t available in the Pacifica, Velisek notes the minivan will offer 8-passenger seating while its T&C predecessor seated seven.

Why? “Because Toyota and Honda both offer 8-passenger seating,” he says.