The Ford Taurus and Chevy Impala might die, and you can thank SUVs

Ford and General Motors may cut several sedans and small hatchbacks from their lineups, as Americans continue flocking to hotter-selling crossovers and SUVs.

A report in the Wall Street Journal cites sources at the two automakers saying they will discontinue certain models within a year or two. On the chopping block are large sedans like the Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Impala and subcompact sedans and hatches including the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic.

The automakers won’t speak on official record, but the news isn’t far-fetched. Crossovers and trucks typically account for more than 60 percent of U.S. light vehicle sales. According to WardsAuto, through March dealers stocked 34 percent of their inventories on just crossovers, compared to 29 percent a year ago. Traditional sedan buyers have instead switched to similarly-sized crossovers, lured by a higher seating position, more cargo space, and the wider availability of all-wheel drive.

Traditional sedan buyers have switched to similarly-sized crossovers, lured by a higher seating position, more cargo space, and the wider availability of all-wheel drive.

The Taurus hasn’t changed in any significant way since the 2010 model year, but the Chevrolet Impala completed a major makeover for 2014. Still, sales in 2017 were simply so-so. The Taurus, at 41,236 sold in 2017, is propped up by its popularity among police departments. It’s been on an annual decline since 2013, the peak of this generation’s sales, when Ford moved 79,960 units.

Save for a small bump in 2010, the Impala has been on a much longer decline, from a high of 311,128 cars in 2007 to just 75,877 last year. The Fiesta and Sonic have been crowded by other small crossovers in their own lineups, like the Ford EcoSport and Chevrolet Trax. Sonic sales dropped to 30,290 cars in 2017, a 68-percent drop from its all-time high three years earlier. The Fiesta, at 46,249 cars, has lost 27 percent of its volume in the same time.

But for savvy new-car buyers, seeking these less popular models is one sure way to strike a good deal.


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