12 Car Models Discontinued for 2017 Number 7 Will Make You Cry!
We are ok seeing most of these go but wouldn’t mind a few staying
It’s an annual dance that automotive manufacturers go through trying to determine what in their lineup will yield the most profit and what is dragging them down. Actually it’s not even that clear cut.
The ultimate objective is to maximize profit and the easiest part of that is to dump a dog. However there are riskier decisions that may involve discontinuing a solid performer in order to promote a newcomer with great potential or dropping an up and comer from the brand altogether to give it a chance to stand on its own. These are mega dollar decisions and the reason for so many empty Maalox bottles in the executive suites.
So what’s it mean for you? Well it could mean a real buy on one of the discontinued models. Dealers will be having fire sales to clear their lots and make room for new inventory. Here are a dozen to keep your eye out for.
12. Volkswagen Eos
If you have your heart set on driving a VW with the top down your only choice will be the VW Beetle Cabriolet in 2017. The folding hardtop Eos is destined for the scrap pile. Interest in affordable convertibles in general and folding hardtops specifically has dropped off across the industry and the Eos’ anemic sales reflected that change.
11. Scion FR-S
No surprise here since Toyota announced it has given the axe to the youth oriented Scion brand. That said, many of the models including the sporty FR-5 will return to the market wearing Toyota badges. If you had your heart set on FR-S, look for a Toyota 86 at your local Toyota dealer in 2017. Keeping the cars would seem to indicate Toyota thinks the problem at Scion was one of management and marketing rather than the vehicles themselves.
10. Scion tC
This little coupe is one Scion that will not be making the transition to Toyota. Actually Scion cut the legs out from under the tC when it introduced the racier, sportier FR-S. Competition from its own lineup and a market trend towards compact SUVs in general doomed the tC’s marketability.
9. Lincoln MKS
It’s not everyday that a brand dumps its flagship model but let’s face it, the MKS is a dog and never really had much appeal. Lincoln touts its upscale image and then pinned a Lincoln badge on to what is essentially a Ford Taurus (they share the same platform and are both assembled at the same plant). The only legitimate Lincoln characteristic the MKS has is the sticker price. Lincoln plans to resurrect the Continental name as the replacement and there is much buzz about it hitting the sales floor sometime in 2017. Until then, dealers are faced with getting rid of existing MKS inventory and may be offering big discounts to get the job done. If your grandma needs a new ride you might want to keep an eye on MKS pricing.
8. Hyundai Geneses
Hyundai isn’t discontinuing the Geneses so much as giving it a new, cushier home. Toyota has Lexus, Nissan has Infinity and Honda has Acura; now Korean based Hyundai has its own luxury brand…Genesis. Toyota was the first to figure out that when you build your brand on offering disposable cars at rock bottom prices you’re going to have a tough time competing in the luxury market. For Toyota (and everybody else) the answer was to create a whole new upscale brand and that’s the lesson Hyundai is putting to play in 2017. The Geneses will be its own brand and like most luxury models there will be no memorable names attached to its models but rather an alphanumeric designation. The Equus becomes the G90 and the Geneses becomes the G80.
7. Honda CR-Z
The CR-Z was a car that really didn’t know who it was supposed to appeal to. It truly is a stylish design but its hybrid powertrain was weak and when you smashed the accelerator to the floor you lost any fuel efficiency that the hybrid system could deliver. Was it supposed to be green or sporty? It was small but it wasn’t nimble and it certainly didn’t handle the way its design suggested. Rumor has it that the CR-Z may come back in 2018 as a Civic dumping the hybrid design for a 290 hp turbocharged 4 cylinder engine.
6. Dodge Viper
This is a heartbreaker for many auto enthusiasts. The Viper is a hot racer that first hit the pavement 25 years ago. It has set records and is still competitive today but…when you only sell 700 a year it’s impossible to justify keeping it around. The Viper was discontinued in 2011 as a financial fix for the strapped manufacturer but brought back in 2013 with hopes of building sales by offering discounted prices and a special website where you could customize every part of your order. Nothing worked and the 5 anniversary models that are on sale now will be the last we will see of the snake for some time.
5. FCA Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country
Soccer Moms and car pool drivers are going to have to find another mode of transport when their existing Caravans and Town and Country vans need to be replaced. These seven passenger minivans with not so great fuel efficiency are the victims of a general reduction in demand and FCA’s shrinking share of the market that is there. The hope is that the redesigned 2017 Chrysler Pacifica will fill the minivan needs of both Dodge and Chrysler customers.
4. FCA Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200
Another 2-fer from the folks at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The Dart is a decent selling compact and the midsized Chrysler is also a good competitor in its class. In fact in a recent review both vehicles ranked 16th in their class, just about in the middle. So why would FCA dump models that sell? The answer revolves around two issues. First FCA sees the trend for SUVs and crossovers continuing for at least 5 years. FCA’s Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Durango are both hot sellers and they would like to manufacture more but they don’t have the factory capacity. That brings us to issue number two. FCA can increase capacity without building a new plant if they free up a line by dumping a lesser selling model or two. Goodbye Dart and Chrysler 200.
3. Cadillac SRX
The SRX was Cadillac’s first car based SUV in 2010 and arguably the best in its class. Sales were steady despite the fact that the SRX really didn’t get a serious makeover in the 6 years since its introduction. Well the time for a makeover is…over. The SPX will disappear from the lineup to be replaced by another luxury SUV offering from Cadillac called the XT5. Look for discounts on the SRX as dealers try to clear their inventory.
2. Jaguar XK
If you are going to hold yourself out as a luxury sport scar even when your ride is oversized and a bit soft and cushy, then do not introduce a smaller, tighter, sportier and significantly cheaper model to compete with it. The F-Type Jaguar coupe and convertible are both blowing the socks off the XK. As a result the old sports car will be relegated to Jaguar’s history book to make room for what the people want.
1. Cadillac ELR
Just because your badge is upscale does not mean you can take a low end vehicle, dress it up, slap a badge on it and make it an upscale vehicle that people will buy. Unfortunately that’s what Cadillac did with its version of the Chevy Volt. Not only was the all-electric poorly conceived, it was launched when Tesla introduced its spectacularly successful Model S. The $75,000 price tag for the ELR put a real blanket on potential sales. On the plus side, so few were manufactured that they may become a collectable based on rarity.
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