Sedans are in trouble


#1

I read an article this morning in USA Today about six GM sedans, mostly large, that may be on the way out. These include Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala, Calillac XTS, Cadillac CT-6, Chevrolet Sonic, and Chevrolet Volt. The XTS was scheduled to be replaced by the CT-6 anyway and the Volt may be replaced by a hybrid crossover. IMO, it would be a shame to stop production of the Impala and CT-6. Both are well regarded by car testers. CR calls the Impala the top full size sedan on the market today. I’ve driven the Impala and CT-6, and both are excellent cars. Cadillac said there are no plans to replace the CT-6, and sales are up 178% over 2016 sales. As you probably know, crossovers, SUVS, and pickups are the sales leaders. These sedans are some of the models that may have trouble continuing production.


#2

Agree! Cars are partly fashion items, partly transportation. SUVs are replacing both the minivan and the large sedan.

Strangely, this leaves an opportunity for the Japanese and Koreans to fill the gap. Kia, Hyundai, Toyota and Honda all have briskly selling minivans at a time when the Dodge Grand Caravan is being discontinued.

The Hyundai Genesis and Toyota Avalon have an opportunity to fill the sedan gap. These cars have a world wide market as taxis and corporate cars.


#3

I think the hatchback versions are just so practical that fewer people want sedans anymore. I have a hard time even imagining going to some of the places I go to with all my gear using the sedan version of my Toyota Yaris.


#4

Too bad the seat backs aren’t more comfortable for me in the Avalon. Other than that, it’s a terrific car. I am glad I took a long test drive and found out about the seat back.

Edit: Hyundai said last month that they would stop building their full size sedan, the Azera, for US consumption. I don’t know about other markets.


#5

The Chrysler Pacifica looks like a minivan (complete with sliding doors) in all but name.


#6

My guess is that this is exactly what will happen.


#7

Except that Hyundai is already discontinuing their large sedan. Don’t be surprised if they announce the end of Kia Cadenza production, too. If Hyundai drops one full size sedan, why not both?

Toyota already has the Avalon well entrenched as a large sedan. I doubt that they will add another product in this down segment. BTW, GM did not announce the end of production. The article said they were thinking about it. This may be strategic planning, where management considers doing something, but isn’t ready to tKe the step. I know of one satellite manufacturing facility where rumors it will close have been around for 30 years. It’s still in business. I have a friend that participated in those meetings, and she said they talked about a lot of stuff during strategic planning, and most will never happen. Back to GM. The Hamtramck plant builds the large sedans in question. If it converts to another product, production could be moved or curtailed in some way. Might happen, might not. The big sedan with significant sales losses is the LaCrosse. The others sell well.


#8

I wonder if USA veries from area to area. Could not find the article. Only car article was NASCAR thinking about moving the Indianapolis 400 to September.


#9

The Chrysler Pacifica has outsold all other minivans this year (Jan.-May) except for the Grand Caravan. Hyundai no longer offers a minivan and Kias sales volume is very low, that might be the next minivan to be discontinued. Production of the Grand Caravan is expected to end after 2019.


#10

Here ya go.


#11

Interesting. That’s the second time this week I’ve heard new car sales are on the way down. I heard it first in the context that Wells Fargo bank is curtailing it’s car loan business somewhat, due to slow new car sales. By the looks of the cars on the road, buyers do seem to like the bigger, taller vehicles. I don’t exactly understand why, that type is harder to maneuver & park. I have the sense that American car companies seem to listen a little more to the dealership sales force, and a little less to the company’s design engineers than Asian & European car companies. So that might have something to do with it. GM may be thinking … ‘no harm to stop production on some cars and start up on others now, as if that turns out to be wrong, we can switch the product line again then, no worries, we’ll just give the customers what they want at the time’. hmmm … I wonder how many Impala’s Chevy makes each year, compared to Corolla’s Toyota?


#12

According to an article I read, the Chrysler Pacifica is replacing the Grand Caravan. Note: this is not to be confused with the prior Chrysler Pacifica of about 10 years ago, which was a cross-over type vehicle.


#13

Thank you for the link, I was looking at the print addition.


#14

You should compare the Malibu to the Camry and the Avalon to the Impala.

Edit: I looked up US sales for Avalon and Impala. Chevrolet sold more than twice the Impalas than Toyota sold Avalons in 2016.


#15

But people are buying SUVs and car companies are making money off them. I looked at the Chevy Volt a couple of years ago, because the technology seems very interesting, but the car was big outside and small inside, with poor outward vision and seating for four with little extra room inside for much of anything.

Toyota sells lots of their Prius, and that’s a much smaller car than the Volt, but with much more usable space. And, a reasonably well outfitted RAV4 or CR-V is very comfortable, very roomy and easy enough to park with the cameras and warning systems they have.

Mid size family sedans are fading in popularity, because other shapes are considered better choices. People vote with their dollars.


#16

Why should I buy an suv if I don’t need or even want one . . . ?

Just because “everybody” else is doing so . . . ?

A mid-sized sedan serves my needs and wants just fine, and unless circumstances drastically change, it will continue to do so

I see no reason why my next car shouldn’t also be a mid-sized sedan


#17

As I like to say, an SUV or a crossover can do everything that a sedan can do, but a sedan can’t do everything that an SUV or crossover can do. They are both capable of carrying passengers in comfort, but when you need to haul gardening supplies or home-building materials, or when you need to bring a large flat screen TV home from the store, a sedan is just not going to cut it.

I only own one vehicle at a time, so that vehicle has to be able to do everything that I need it to do, and without an SUV, or a crossover (or, at least a station wagon), I simply couldn’t take care of certain tasks. Yes, the sedan will probably always have somewhat of a fuel economy advantage over the more boxy vehicles, but if I am going to own only one vehicle at a time, as a homeowner I need an SUV/crossover/station wagon.

If a sedan meets all of your needs, then–more power to you and your choice of vehicle. However, a sedan just wouldn’t work for me.


#18

I agree with VDC. about 20 years ago, I bought a station wagon, after struggling with carrying large items in previous sedans. Never looked back.

Next car was a small SUV, basically a station wagon.


#19

I actually got a 48" LED flat screen home in my old Solara once.


#20

I prefer a sedan for cargo security and handling. It has a lower center of gravity than any SUV. I can lock almost anything in my trunk and no one will know what’s in there. That is not the case with a SUV or crossover. If I had just one vehicle, I might think differently. We have a minivan for the big stuff and two sedans.

Another thing: When I rent a car for business, I always insist on a sedan unless I’m going somewhere I trust or where I am sure I won’t need to keep cargo in the back for extended periods when I am out of the car. I don’t want anyone poking around my backpack when I’m not around. Hey, 5 gigs of my brain are in there!