8 Good Cars That Will Get Cancelled
While some say that car sales are picking up around the world, the recession is busy taking names and beating up stragglers in the automotive marketplace. Manufacturers are keen on cutting models that are underperforming in terms of sales, either because demand has subsided or because they were niche models in the first place. Here is a list of eight good cars that have either been confirmed for cancellation soon or have rumours circling in the media about their demise.
Status: Rumoured. The barebones Xterra was landmark product for offroad enthusiasts who wanted a practical 4×4 with none of the luxuries. Sadly, that is what’s killing it in the market, after brisk initial sales. Competing with the Pathfinder doesn’t help either. But if Jeep can keep the Wrangler alive, this one still has a chance.
Status: Confirmed. The attractively-packaged Armada was marked for deletion as soon as the recession started killing car sales. Originally designed to compete with large American SUVs, the scare of increasing fuel prices decimated the market for family trucks, although the Americans themselves are not quitting. It is slated for execution by the end of 2010.
Status: Rumoured. With slow U.S. sales for the same reasons as the Armada, the Sequoia got a new lease on life in the Middle East, although industry rumours suggest it will be cancelled for good by 2012. Toyota has vaguely denied this, but aren’t exactly promising a replacement.
Status: Rumoured. The Legend is an absolutely amazing car wrapped in the body of a generic midsizer. For that reason, it hasn’t sold well in years. The American Acura-badged version is said to be killed off soon due to slow sales. And if you haven’t noticed, it was quietly cancelled last year in the GCC after only two years in its current form.
Status: Rumoured. As “cool” as the Flex is portrayed to be, it was targeted at the most boring end of the market, namely soccer moms who’d have trouble piloting something that big. Hell, we steered clear of testing one due to its unmanageable size. Add to that a goofy TV campaign, a high price at launch and competition from Ford’s own SUVs, reports are already swirling of its early demise within a couple of years.
Status: Confirmed. The STS luxury-sports sedan has maybe a year to live at most. A car that is barely fullsize with a midsize interior, its performance credentials were thus overlooked, straddling the Cadillac line-up between the sportier CTS and the spacious DTS. Its replacement will be the XTS, which doesn’t seem nearly as sporting as the long-running STS.
Honda Civic Type-R
Status: Confirmed. The Civic Type-R, made available in the GCC only this year, is built in England. Ironically, it has just been cancelled in Europe due to stricter emissions regulations there, and there are no plans to bring the Type-R back anytime soon when the new Civic debuts in 2012. Until then, Honda will continue to build the Type-R for “export” markets such as the UAE.
Toyota FJ Cruiser
Status: Rumoured. A U.S. report in 2008 suggested that Toyota’s long-term plans do not include the FJ Cruiser, and it will be cancelled after a few years once the current production run ends. This unique 4×4 is a niche product that is consistently outsold by Prados and 4Runners, so it is possibly not “mass-market” enough for Toyota to keep it alive. So far, it is still going strong, but it is unknown for how long.