U.S. Car Makers Ditch Sedans as Consumers Favor SUVs, Crossovers, and Light Trucks
General Motors may face criticism over its announced plant closings and layoffs of up to 14,700 factory and white-collar workers. But investors loved the restructuring, with shares up 4.8% Monday.
It comes down to dropping sedans, whose sales are sinking, according to Reuters. Instead, U.S. consumers have turned to SUVs, crossovers, and light trucks. And it’s not just GM. All of the American big three auto makers have taken an axe to their lineups.
GM is dropping multiple cars. On the list are the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt; the Chevrolet Cruze, a compact sedan that was once the company’s best-selling car; the large sedan Impala, which has been around since the 1950s; the Cadillac CT6 and XTS; and Buick LaCrosse, which launched in 2004 and redesigned in 2010, doubling in sales as it attracted a crowd during the recession.
Ford has cut every model except for two to save $25.5 billion by 2022. The cars that remain are the Mustang and Focus Active crossover. The company also plans an autonomous ride-share vehicle for a new service it will offer, but that would be considered a commercial, not consumer, car.
Fiat Chrysler, meanwhile, will turn its attention to Jeep, Ram trucks, and the Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands over the next five years, according to USA Today. Some Chrysler brands such as the Pacifica minivan, 300 sedan, and Charger and Challenger muscle cars may be safe—for now.
But there’s a potential complication stemming from President Donald Trump’s import tariffs. Larger cars use more metal. If prices increase too much because of higher materials costs, fickle consumers might turn again to smaller cars, which would mean sedans from the likes of Hyundai, Honda, and Toyota.