As SUVs grow in popularity, small and large sedans are losing market share.
Automakers are constantly adding and removing models to cater to what's popular in the market. In 2018, SUVs and crossovers continued to dominate while compacts and full-size sedans peter out. Automakers that still sell compact models and large sedans are starting to feel pressure to discontinue them, as Wall Street Journal reports. WSJ claims two American automakers, Ford and GM, are both considering cutting several models from their respective lineups.
According to the report, the domestic automakers are struggling to match the Japanese competitor's appeal to “budget-minded or young customers.” Even Honda, Nissan, and Toyota have realized SUVs and trucks are more profitable than passenger cars. Ford has already been rumored to kill off the Fiesta in the U.S. market, and the Taurus could be next on the chopping block. Ford is working on its new CD6 platform for the 2020 Explorer, which will also be used on the Lincoln Aviator. The CD6 platform has applications for FWD, RWD, and AWD, so it could be used for a Taurus replacement, but it appears Ford has given up on the sedan market. GM may be a different story.
In the GM portfolio, the Sonic was rumored to be replaced with an all-electric vehicle and the Impala could be replaced or discontinued. The Impala still has some importance as a fleet vehicle, so it will likely be replaced in some capacity. A contradictory report from Detroit News claims GM isn't done building sedans. In fact, Alan Batey, GM’s executive vice president and president of North America said, “With these car segments, yeah, we’ve seen a decrease, but you’ve also seen an industry that’s growing, and these (car) segments are still worth 2 million vehicles. A 2-million-vehicle midsize car market in the U.S. is not a segment that you don’t want to be part of.”
Ford may be giving up on the sedan, but GM will stay committed to the market. Only time will tell which of the two automakers is making the better decision.