In the midst of exploding demand for crossovers, SUVs, and trucks, GM and Ford are reportedly planning to drop smaller, less popular models.
American manufacturers are shifting their priorities away from traditional cars toward SUVs and trucks. As demand continues to boom, ordinary sedans and hatchbacks have been lift withering in their wake. Now, we’re possibly on the verge of losing three such cars, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The report claims that those close to Ford and General Motors know the Ford Fiesta, Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Sonic aren’t long for this world. While some may be sad those nameplates – particularly the long-running Taurus – are going away, it’s not particularly surprising.
In an age where fuel is cheaper, people are gravitating toward larger, thirstier vehicles. The Sonic and Fiesta came right after the global recession, when prices were hovering around $4.00 a gallon. Now that prices have fallen, the incentive to buy small, fuel-thrifty vehicles has begun to collapse. As a result, sales of cars like the Fiesta and Sonic, which used to be among the most popular in their respective brands, are dying.
Ford already released a new generation of the Fiesta, but we never saw it here. now, it’s incredibly likely we never well. This news comes on the heels of events like Ford’s recent “Ford Uncovered” in Michigan. When we were there, we couldn’t help but notice that the news on what’s coming up was surprisingly light on cars. Since then, we are fairly confident we’ll see a new Focus soon. However, the Fusion only received a mild update. It appears the Fiesta and Taurus, however, are going away, as is the Chevrolet Sonic.
Giving the people what they want
Of course, Ford and GM are taking steps to match what the customers want. On that basis, the customers have absolutely shown automakers that they want SUVs and trucks, not just ordinary cars. To that end, sales of the Fiesta, Taurus, and Sonic have slowed down significantly. Small cars already run on razor-thin profit margins, so it doesn’t make fiscal sense to keep the nameplates around. The Taurus has seen its share of ups and downs, from its extraordinary success in the 1980s and 1990s, to its initial discontinuation and revival in the late 2000s. As we prepare to enter the next decade, it seems crossovers and trucks could well kill the Taurus nameplate as we know it for good.
And these three models are hardly alone. Thanks to slumping sales, Fiat-Chrysler may consider dropping the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger. That latter bit of news will likely anger a lot of the Charger’s enthusiasts. But the times are changing, and Ford, GM, and FCA have all shifted toward crossovers. That’s why, in the main, Jeep is immensely popular. On the other hand, brands like Chrysler and Dodge – both without strong crossover offerings – are struggling.
The end of days for sedans
Some marques have been able to keep their sales up, like Camry and Accord. Nissan’s also refusing to give up on sedans, as it just unveiled their new Altima at the New York Auto Show. Nevertheless, as gas prices stay cheap, American automakers will shift their focus away from cars. Back in 2012, sedans accounted for more than half of new car sales. Now, sedans and coupes accounted for just 37 percent of total sales. That’s a trend not likely to change in the near future either, as the current administration relaxes restrictions on emissions and fuel economy standards.
What do you think about the possible discontinuation of the Sonic, Fiesta and Taurus? What do you think of the market shifting toward crossovers and trucks? Let us know in the comments! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for more videos on your favorite new models. If you enjoy our content, please consider donating to TFL through our Patreon page.