Auto manufacturers giving buyers what they want


Car buyers are trending toward vehicles with more space, higher profiles and a smaller carbon foot print than the traditional sedans.

Manufacturers have responded to the trend by placing more emphasis on the vehicles that the public has been buying. Visitors to the San Francisco International Auto Show at Moscone Center will have the opportunity to learn from brand experts what the future holds.

“We will have a very diverse passenger car business,” said Ford executive Jim Farley in 2018 when he announced the company’s intention to limit its production to the Mustang, the Focus Active, SUVs and its iconic trucks after 2019.

But those passenger cars won’t be the traditional sedan that Farley said tends to be “commoditized”—meaning they all look a lot alike.


The Fiesta, Fusion and Taurus will be phased out of Ford showrooms over the next few years as the vehicles’ shelf life winds down.

Ford’s Lincoln MKC will be reinvented as the Corsair, but the 2019 model of the MKT will be the last of its kind.

Ford will concentrate on vehicles that give people the space they seem to favor now, observed automotive writer Jim Gorzelany in a Forbes Magazine article.

“With passenger cars and sedans phased out, Ford anticipated that trucks and sports utility vehicles will make up 90% of their volume by the beginning of the next decade,” wrote Gorzelany.

General Motors Co. wasn’t far behind Ford in announcing its decision to discontinue some of its products. Buick’s Cascada convertible is among the vehicles GM will no longer produce. The Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac’s XTS also will be dropped from the lineup.

Cadillac’s XCT6 and Chevrolet’s Impala will continue to be manufactured—at least until January 2020. The move was made to meet demand, GM announced.

GM’s decision to pull the plug on the hybrid Volt may give the environmentally sensitive a jolt, but they may be comforted by the possibility it will be reborn as a crossover SUV.

Chevrolet’s Cruze has already been discontinued.

Fiat Chrysler beat its competitors in discontinuing production of traditional passenger cars. Detroit sources announced in 2016 the company’s plan to stop production of the 200 T and Dodge Dart, in order to concentrate on its RAM and Jeep brands.

Visitors to the show will have the opportunity to test for themselves some of the new models, by signing up for an available ride and drive on city streets.

Among the vehicles expected to be available for test drives are the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Dodge Durango SRT, Fiat 124 Spider, Ram 1500 Rebel, Jeep Cherokee, Gladiator and Wrangler and Toyota 2020 Corolla Hybrid, 2019 Camry, Prius and RAV 4.

“The International Auto Show showcases more than 600 vehicles,” said Kevin Diamond, director of the show.

“The exhibits include the SUVS and crossovers that are trending now, as well as some old favorites, for the public to see up close, gather information in a pressure free non-sales environment and compare the ones they are most interested in.”


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