A report in the news last week said Ford and General Motors were both considering dropping non-premium sedans from their model line ups. The move is in response to lower sedan sales in favour of crossovers. Both automakers have allegedly said they are considering the move.
According to The Detroit News, both Ford and GM are actively looking at the market and whether sedans have a place within it. The North American market is definitely shifting towards crossovers and SUVs which leaves a lot of sedans sitting in dealerships.
Ford is apparently considering dropping the Taurus altogether by the end of 2018 and the Ford Fiesta by the end of 2019. The Ford C-Max is also being considered for the axe by 2019.
General Motors is also supposed to be considering dropping the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Sonic, Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and the Cadillac XTS and CT6. Their potential end of life is 2020. GM is also apparently looking into the Cruze too but at a later date.
“The passenger car business is extremely difficult because it has been declining for several years and we are seeing competitors resort to strategies that we think are unsustainable,” GM spokesman Jim Cain said, referring to large incentives and a reliance on the rental car market.
Neither automaker would confirm or deny the newspaper report but it isn’t difficult to see how it could be true. There is a definite shift towards more practical body shapes and with some excellent crossovers available from both these brands and others, cutting the less successful models makes perfect sense.
Dodge have already dropped the Dart and Chrysler 200 and other automakers will likely follow. With the auto industry having to run leaner than ever before, there is simply no room to support products that don’t provide a return. With a definite shift in buyer habits, automakers have to respond.
North Americans buy more SUVs and trucks than anywhere else and crossovers are gaining popularity the world over. As our habits shift, we demand products that meet those habits. It is simple supply and demand. Plus, as we all know, there is more margin in crossovers, SUVs and trucks than there is in sedans so it isn't as though the automakers will be suffering any hardship.
As long as customers get what they want at a price they can afford, this shift in policy can only be seen as a good thing. At least the industry is now giving us what we want instead of what they want us to have!
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