These 10 cars were discontinued in 2020: Chevrolet, Toyota, Honda cars going away
There may have been true love there, but it wasn't enough to keep the relationship going for long.
Americans who fell in love with small cars like the Honda Fit, Chevrolet Sonic, and Toyota Yaris had something real for a while. Still, passenger cars have fallen out of favor with most people, resulting in an ugly breakup. The Fit, Sonic and Yaris are among a number of cars discontinued by automakers in 2020.
While some will be available on dealer lots well into 2021, every vehicle on this year's phase-out list has either ceased production in 2020 or announced its decline in 2020.
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With very few exceptions, they are all passenger cars - a sign of the times, as around 3 out of 4 vehicles sold are now SUVs or pickups.
"Cars are disappearing - surprise, surprise - slowly but surely from our new automotive market," said Karl Brauer, executive analyst on the vehicle shopping website iSeeCars. "If you're a car fanatic or nostalgic for cars it's a little depressing, but the reality of market demand just can't be denied."
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The 2020 Dodge Journey Crossroad. Fiat Chrysler has discontinued the Dodge Journey.
Vehicles discontinued in 2020 saw sales of nearly 559,000 units in 2019, which is less than one in 20 models sold in the U.S., according to Edmunds Car Research. That was a decrease from 1.02 million in 2013.
"These were actually important vehicles at some point," said Edmund's senior manager of insights Ivan Drury.
Here are some of the key vehicles that were discontinued in 2020:
When it first came out nearly a decade ago, the Chevy Sonic was billed as an example of Detroit's ability to make small and teenage cars.
GM showed the small car in a 2012 Super Bowl commercial in a parachute jump stunt based on the song "We Are Young" by the band Fun.
Backed by youth-centric marketing efforts, the Sonic attracted a base of millennial buyers when gasoline prices were so high that Americans were interested in smaller vehicles.
But like most small cars, its body style is incompatible with the preferences of the average new car buyer. It didn't help that gas prices fell from their high of more than $ 4 when the Sonic soared.
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Both the hatchback and sedan versions of the Toyota Yaris will disappear after the 2020 model year.
Toyota continues to be committed to more popular passenger vehicles such as the midsize Camry and the compact Corolla. But Toyota has been scaling back its line of small cars for several years. The company retired its Scion brand in 2016 and recently retired the Prius C, a smaller version of the Prius main hybrid.
Sales of the Yaris were closely correlated with gas prices, Drury said. As gas prices fell, so did the Yaris.
Talk about the night fading. The Honda Fit has often been hailed as a symbol of Honda's ability to appeal to younger buyers. But the car was shut down quietly in 2020 and placed in the same boat as the Yaris and Sonic.
They're simply the latest in a line of small cars that have been eliminated in recent years, including the Ford Fiesta and Fiat 500.
Honda is trying to turn Fit buyers into the HR-V, a compact crossover. But some fans were disappointed.
"It has an iconic following," said Drury.
Small cars aren't the only bodywork that is fading. Big cars have problems too.
Luxury buyers are flocking to SUVs, and that was bad news for the Cadillac CT6, which, despite strong reviews, never gained traction. The CT6 was "super well executed," said Brauer.
General Motors was so proud of the CT6 that it selected the vehicle for the first use of its Super Cruise semi-automatic highway driving system. This system will survive the CT6.
The Continental, a direct competitor of the CT6, faces an identical fate.
When Ford, which makes the Lincoln brand, decided to revive the Continental, fans of the old nameplate hoped it would regain a foothold in the luxury market.
"That was the backbone of their car line," said Brauer.
But a special version with so-called "suicide doors" was the only variant of this big car that had much success, said Drury.
GM announced the demise of the Impala as well as the discontinuation of other vehicles such as the Chevy Volt and Chevy Cruze in 2018. However, Impala production continued until early 2020.
This large sedan once occupied prime real estate in the American auto landscape. Despite a critically acclaimed redesign earlier this decade, the decline of the full-size auto segment could not be overcome.
One of its only competitors, the Ford Taurus, was also recently discontinued.
Dodge Grand Caravan
The minivan is not dead. But it is losing territory to SUVs.
That means there isn't as much space left for latecomers as the Grand Caravan, which hasn't been redesigned in years. Fiat Chrysler, which made the model, made a strategic decision a few years ago to turn its attention to the new Chrysler Pacifica.
It kept the Grand Caravan as a bargain in the market for a few more years. But his days are finally over.
Long gone are the days when Dodge could offer something to virtually everyone - from small cars to family SUVs like the Journey. Fiat Chrysler has turned the brand to focus on performance models like the Challenger.
That left little room for the more family-oriented trip, said Brauer.
The death of the Ford Fusion was announced years ago, but it wasn't officially stopped until 2020.
The Fusion had a successful run in competition with other midsize cars such as the Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. However, sales have declined in recent years as the passenger car market dried up and Ford turned its attention to SUVs and pickups.
"It's been a great seller for a long time," said Drury. "They paint it out if they have to."
This car is a warning to automakers: being a luxury brand is not enough to be successful in electric vehicles.
The BMW i8 has its fans, also because of its bizarre style. But quirky might not be what BMW buyers are looking for. And Tesla has largely cornered the luxury electric vehicle market, at least so far.
BMW "hoped to create more buzz with the i8," said Drury.
Other key models that were discontinued in 2020 are:
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 / GT350R
Honda Civic Coupe
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.
This item originally appeared in the US TODAY: 2020 Discontinued Cars: Chevrolet, Honda, and Toyota Trench Models
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