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US automakers reportedly dropping car models

General Motors and the Ford Motor Company are reportedly planning to discontinue two car models apiece.

The Chevrolet Sonic could be dropped as early as this year, and the Chevrolet Impala in the next few years, the Wall Street Journal reported citing individuals familiar with the matter.

Moreover, the Ford Fiesta is seen being discontinued for the US market as early as next year, in addition to the Ford Taurus which was once a top-selling car in the country, the report said.

However, according to Chevrolet marketing director Steve Majoros, the company is committed to the Sonic and Impala, as well as the Volt hybrid. “They are part of our portfolio today and will be part of our portfolio here [the U.S.] in the future,” Majoros told reporters on Wednesday (Apr 4).

“The Fiesta and Taurus remain an important part of our lineup,” added Ford spokesperson Mike Levine.


2018 Ford Taurus (SOURCE: Ford)

Ford, however, has announced that it will start focusing more on light trucks, SUVs, hybrids, and full-electric vehicles and that by 2020, these should make up about 90% of the company's portfolio.

So far this year, sales of the Impala, Sonic and Taurus are down 36%, 21%, and 25% year-over-year, respectively. Electric vehicles sales, on the other hand, are on the rise. A total of 199,732 units were sold in the U.S. last year, up 25.7% from 2016. Tesla was the leading brand with 55,120 units sold. 

Besides the growing interest in electric vehicles, U.S. consumers are increasingly shunning sedans and coupes in favor of crossovers, pickups and SUVs.

Used car market

Meanwhile, according to Cox Automotive ‘s 2018 Used Car Market Report & Outlook, a strong and stable residual value performance in the used car market is expected in 2018, thanks to a robust U.S. economy.

The report sees the used car market reaching 39.5mn in sales this year, slightly up from the 39.3mn reported in 2017. See more here.

Authored by: Daniel Bland