There’s nothing static about the new-vehicle business. With each coming model year, virtually all of a given automaker’s wares undergo some element of change. Sometimes this can be as subtle as one or two new color or wheel choices being offered, or a few additional items added to the options list. Or it can be as major as a full redesign or a brand-new vehicle being added to the lineup.
We’ve already posted information on the most significant all-new or completely revamped cars and trucks/SUVs for 2019, but here we turn our attention to several models that will be disappearing from dealers’ showrooms altogether.
Some of these models aren’t really going away, per se, as much as they are being renamed. For example, while the subcompact Mazda-built Toyota Yaris iA (previously known as the Scion iA) isn’t really being discontinued, its badge is being changed to the Yaris Sedan for 2019. Similarly, the vehicle previously known as the Toyota Corolla iM (and the Scion iM before that) is continuing with a full redesign and a new name, the Corolla Hatchback.
As part of the brand’s efforts to deep-six its confusing alphabet-soup nomenclature for actual model names, a redesigned version of its five-passenger midsize Lincoln MKX crossover will be rebadged as the Nautilus for 2019. Early next year, the new Aviator (itself a once-discontinued nameplate) will pick up where the discontinued Lincoln MKT three-row crossover leaves off.
Some vehicles aren’t going away altogether, but are losing some variants for the new model year. The hot-blooded Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe is being discontinued for 2019, but the roadster will continue in the lineup for perhaps the next few years. With only around 1,700 units sold in the U.S. since 2015, the 4C Coupe is almost certain to become a future collectible.
Though it probably won’t be as coveted by future enthusiasts, Cadillac is dropping its compact ATS Sedan from its stable for 2019 as it consolidates its lineup. The CTS and XTS will likely follow suit in a year or two. However, Caddy will keep the ATS Coupe – likely including the high-performance ATS-V two-door – in showrooms for at least another year.
Ford recently sent shock waves through the auto industry when it announced plans to drop almost all of its passenger cars and instead concentrate its efforts on selling trucks and SUVs. To that end, this fall the compact Ford Focus sedan and hatchback will be discontinued, but will return early next year morphed into a small crossover SUV-like tall wagon to be called the Focus Active.
Likewise, the subcompact Ford Fiesta and the full-size Taurus sedan will not return for the 2019 model year, with no replacements on tap. Though the Fiesta remains popular elsewhere in the world, sales of the smallest rides on the road have been faltering here in the U.S. Fiesta volume is expected to be absorbed by the recently introduced EcoSport subcompact crossover. And while the Taurus was once Ford’s high-volume car, sales of the largest cars on a dealer’s lot are likewise suffering these days. Even law enforcement agencies have turned away from big cars like the Taurus and are instead choosing burlier SUVs like Ford’s Explorer-based Police Interceptor.
Ford is also dropping the compact C-Max Hybrid and Energi models for 2019. The company sold only a little over 800 C-Max units in June, with sales down by 38.6% on the year, and that’s compared to a lackluster 2017. We expect the C-Max’s slot will eventually be filled by a new gas/electric-powered crossover. Moving forward, Ford also plans to drop the Fusion midsize sedan early next decade and replace it with a tall-wagon on the same platform to compete with the Subaru Outback. With the possible exception of the $300,000 GT ultra-sports car, that would leave the Mustang as Ford’s only conventional automobile.
Though no trucks are being axed this fall, dwindling sales are causing the small Chevrolet City Express commercial van to be axed for 2019. This Nissan-sourced model never caught on at Chevy, and has been far outpaced by its rival at Ford, the Transit Connect. Fewer than 30,000 City Express units have been delivered to customers since it went on sale near the end of 2014, while Transit Connect sales have averaged over 42,500 units annually.
Among SUVs, the sporty Nissan Juke is being discontinued for 2019. It debuted in 2011 as the first of what would later become a fleet of subcompact crossover SUVs, but its eccentric styling and too-high MSRP prevented it from becoming anything more than a niche model. It’s being replaced in the lineup by another subcompact crossover that’s designed to have youthful appeal, the less costly and more conservatively cast Nissan Kicks.
And while the luxurious midsize Volkswagen Touareg crossover SUV is being redesigned for sale elsewhere in the world, the model is being cancelled in the U.S. for 2019. A sky-high sticker price tended to limit its appeal, with its volume declining even as crossover sales explode elsewhere. The hard-to-pronounce Touareg is being replaced at Volkswagen dealerships here by the new three-row Atlas, which falls trippingly off the tongue.
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