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Now that GM has followed Chrysler and Ford in killing their sedans because there is supposedly no demand for sedans, we come to the question of why the demand for sedans has collapsed. I have zero interest in an SUV and even less in a truck, as in I wouldn't drive a truck even if you paid me to do it, and I can't imagine that I'm really alone in that feeling. As a counterpoint to the supposed no demand for sedans look at the Model 3, Tesla is selling 5000 a week and that's without a fully national service network.

I appears to me that the lack of demand for sedans from the big three was deliberately manufactured by them. The fact is that they haven't invested in anything but trucks and SUVs for over well over a decade and it shows. If it wasn't for the Volt I never would have considered a GM product. When I went into a Chevy showroom in 2016 I wasn't looking for an EV, it hadn't even occurred to me, I was looking for an AWD sedan. Chevy doesn't make AWD sedans, AWD was only available in SUVs. If I hadn't seen a giant Volt poster on the wall I would have left the Chevy dealership about a minute after I entered it but the Volt peaked my curiosity so I asked to test drive it not expecting much. But as soon as I started to drive the Volt I realized it was a game changer and that pure ICE cars were obsolete so after testing a few more conventional cars I bought one even though it doesn't have AWD. However if Chevy hadn't had the Volt then there was no way GM would have sold me anything. The Chevy ICE sedans were uninteresting and the Cadillac that I drove didn't measure up to the Audi that I also test drove.

My thought is that the big three deliberately killed the demand for sedans by producing bad sedans but now they've convinced themselves that the lack of demand is organic and so they have stopped producing them altogether. However I think there strategy is going to blow up in their faces when the shift to EVs happens. It's a lot easier to build a long range sedan than a long range SUV. When the onslaught of EVs comes in the next three years all GM will have are SUVs but because of their size they won't have anymore range than the Bolt has now which means that when people buy their first EV it's going to be from somebody else.
 

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I agree with the premise of this assertion. When you only advertise for SUVs and trucks, and make this your company focus due to higher margins, it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy. The majority of vehicles in the parking lot for my company are cars/sedans. However most are not from GM. Honda and Toyota are selling well in this market space. The Prius sells well, and it's a POS in comparison to the Volt.

Why Chevy is discontinuing models which they make money on is nonsensical. There is enough room in a product portfolio to satisfy both types of customers, instead of trying to push one side into a product they don't want.

I have zero interest in an SUV, and would never even consider one.
 

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You are correct. SUVs are just too bulky and displace too much air to be efficient. They will require bigger batteries with more capacity and longer charging times to get the equivalent mileage of EV sedans.

Some day people will wake up and realize that wasting energy and dumping carbon into the atmosphere is not a good idea. But it may take losing a few coastal cities to the ocean to arouse them from sleep.

Luckily, my wife likes small cars. So the Volt (or old MG or Mazda Miata) appeals to her. I like all three cars because they are all fun to drive.
 

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I think there is still strong demand for sedans. Look at Camry, Accord, Civic, Tesla, Mercedes, Audi, etc. Lots of sedans are selling, just not from Detroit. Ford/GM want to capitalize on the Truck and SUV part of the market where they can compete better.

But it is definitely true that more and more Americans are buying SUVs and Trucks as personal vehicles each year. I think it is because gas is cheap, they are roomy and versatile, and there is a sort of arms race on the road. Few people want to be in the smallest, lowest thing on the road that can't see and isn't safe in a collision. When everyone else has a truck, a sedan just doesn't cut it any more for lots of people. Plus there is something undeniably macho about a truck/SUV that you can't get from a car. Image sells.
 

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Few people want to be in the smallest, lowest thing on the road that can't see and isn't safe in a collision.
The safety argument may be real, but is questionable. But size/visibility is definitely an issue. It used to be easy to see down the road through the windows of the cars ahead of you. Today, unless you are high up you can't see anything.

If you need a big SUV, great. As for the pint sized SUVs, I think they all look like fuggly bugs. Heck I could jack my Volt up 2 inches and call it a VX (you have to have an X somewhere in all SUV names).
 

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I think there's not one single reason, but many factors coming together. For the Big 3, it's all about margins. The smaller the vehicle, generally the lower the price, and lower the margin. People will pay outrageous sums for SUVs and trucks.

However, despite my lack of interest in them, the big 3 investment has paid off. They are much more "car like" (in terms of driving dynamics) than they used to be, and have lots of perceived benefits.

We should also remember that the generation which normally drives smaller cars/sedans (generally those under 30) are NOT buying cars in the same way. Those buying vehicles now are those with families, in the suburbs, and are not interested at all in station wagons anymore.
 

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I'll offer family examples. My younger sister, who's not quite so young anymore, flipped from a Malibu to an Equinox. Easier to get in and out of, easier to load/unload the larger cargo space, better visibility, gas mileage for practical purposes is the same. She lives in Long Beach. Her other family car is an older CRV inherited from my mom. That was what my parents bought to replace their sedan. Easier to get in and out of...... etc.
Only cars I'm interested in are ones where the horsepower number starts with at least a 6. The Bolt is technically a station wagon but to me it's an almost CUV.
 

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I would blame demographics along with low gas prices. Young couples with small kids and a huge army of us graying retirees find the ease of entry and upright seating to be really nice. Those between these two categories are a minority. Add in truck fans and you leave sedans way short on profitable volume.(I remember 55-'57 Chevies, 1,000,000 + per year)
My Gen 2 is not easy to enter or exit. I go in butt-first and hang on the outer roof rail to lift myself out. (this may change when I get my new hip....) But once I'm seated there is nothing else like it, at least when you own only one car.
I don't like G.M.'s FIFO EV strategy, but after Europe, Japan and Korea firm up the EV market they'll be back and Voltec is here to stay in some form. A battery breakthrough may just be in the works, which would change the game overnight.
 

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I'm with Voltenrock, a lot of things combined to make sedans less attractive to build.
• lots of non-US companies make good sedans. More competition leads to a less attractive market.
• sedans are not as profitable as SUVs and trucks.
• American prefer larger vehicles for a variety of reasons: better viz, safer feeling, more room for stuff, lots of cupholders, etc., etc., etc.
• gas is cheap. Did I point out gas is cheap?

As for the transition to EV, I don't think it's any harder to build a LR SUV than a LR sedan, you just have to put a bigger battery in it, which makes it cost more, just like SUVs now. Bigger ones cost more than the small ones. The trick is to put in superfast charging, and then build out the superfast charging infrastructure.
 

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Now that GM has followed Chrysler and Ford in killing their sedans because there is supposedly no demand for sedans, we come to the question of why the demand for sedans has collapsed. I have zero interest in an SUV and even less in a truck, as in I wouldn't drive a truck even if you paid me to do it, and I can't imagine that I'm really alone in that feeling. As a counterpoint to the supposed no demand for sedans look at the Model 3, Tesla is selling 5000 a week and that's without a fully national service network.

I appears to me that the lack of demand for sedans from the big three was deliberately manufactured by them. The fact is that they haven't invested in anything but trucks and SUVs for over well over a decade and it shows. If it wasn't for the Volt I never would have considered a GM product. When I went into a Chevy showroom in 2016 I wasn't looking for an EV, it hadn't even occurred to me, I was looking for an AWD sedan. Chevy doesn't make AWD sedans, AWD was only available in SUVs. If I hadn't seen a giant Volt poster on the wall I would have left the Chevy dealership about a minute after I entered it but the Volt peaked my curiosity so I asked to test drive it not expecting much. But as soon as I started to drive the Volt I realized it was a game changer and that pure ICE cars were obsolete so after testing a few more conventional cars I bought one even though it doesn't have AWD. However if Chevy hadn't had the Volt then there was no way GM would have sold me anything. The Chevy ICE sedans were uninteresting and the Cadillac that I drove didn't measure up to the Audi that I also test drove.

My thought is that the big three deliberately killed the demand for sedans by producing bad sedans but now they've convinced themselves that the lack of demand is organic and so they have stopped producing them altogether. However I think there strategy is going to blow up in their faces when the shift to EVs happens. It's a lot easier to build a long range sedan than a long range SUV. When the onslaught of EVs comes in the next three years all GM will have are SUVs but because of their size they won't have anymore range than the Bolt has now which means that when people buy their first EV it's going to be from somebody else.

Sedans Aren’t Dead. American Sedans Are.

Bloomberg Business came to basically the same conclusion.

Tesla Model 3 is a sedan and Tesla can't make enough to meet demand right!?:confused:
 

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I disagree.

CUVs got much better and reduced the trade-off between a car and a truck. Many Americans like the higher driving stance and as more and more drivers have SUVs people feel they need to get one to be safe or see properly.

GM has put in a good effort on cars. The second gen Cruze was very well reviewed. It had a hard time shaking off years of neglect on the Chevy brand from the aging cavalier and to a lesser extent colbalt.

The new Buick Regal is a great car. Marketing, incentives are a bit off and some of that is GMs fault with the Opel split. The Lacrosse and XTS are good big sedans that cater to and older clientele and prioritize comfort. On the small car side the Spark (technically hatch only) and Sonic provide a lot of tech (Android auto and apple car play standard) for a segment focused on price.

Product wise, GM has a great product lineup on the sedan side with competitive vehicles up and down the lineup. Ford has an aging lineup with the fiesta and focus on a new generation internationally.

Sedan sales and the sedan segment has shrunk. The all new Camry has seen sales fall.

GM gave it a good try and I won't blame the demise of the sedan market on them. GM for now will still have the Sonic, Malibu, Regal + Cadillac offerings in the sedan market.
 

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I disagree.

CUVs got much better and reduced the trade-off between a car and a truck. Many Americans like the higher driving stance and as more and more drivers have SUVs people feel they need to get one to be safe or see properly.

GM has put in a good effort on cars. The second gen Cruze was very well reviewed. It had a hard time shaking off years of neglect on the Chevy brand from the aging cavalier and to a lesser extent colbalt.

The new Buick Regal is a great car. Marketing, incentives are a bit off and some of that is GMs fault with the Opel split. The Lacrosse and XTS are good big sedans that cater to and older clientele and prioritize comfort. On the small car side the Spark (technically hatch only) and Sonic provide a lot of tech (Android auto and apple car play standard) for a segment focused on price.

Product wise, GM has a great product lineup on the sedan side with competitive vehicles up and down the lineup. Ford has an aging lineup with the fiesta and focus on a new generation internationally.

Sedan sales and the sedan segment has shrunk. The all new Camry has seen sales fall.

GM gave it a good try and I won't blame the demise of the sedan market on them. GM for now will still have the Sonic, Malibu, Regal + Cadillac offerings in the sedan market.
I agree with this.

My 2011 Cruze Eco 6MT has been an excellent car.!

When it came out, it had the best highway gas mileage (42) of any car sold in the US that was not a hybrid or diesel. The Volt engineers tweaked the Eco for better gas mileage. I laugh every time I see a so called "Smart Car" or Yaris, and realize I'm getting better gas mileage.

And yet it has decent performance, with Car and Driver reporting 0-60 in 7.5 seconds, and it drives like a mid size car with excellent and stable handling.

It also had among the best crash test results compared to other compacts, and more airbags (10) than any other car in it's class.

So many people just have it in their heads that GM, Ford and Chrysler can't build a good sedan, especially a small one.

They don't even bother to compare.

Oh and since the warranty ended on my 2011 Cruze, I've spent all of $28 on repairs. At 80k miles it still drives like a new car too. It's what I drive when my wife has the Volt.



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While the Volt and Bolt have had a steady but low sales volume. It just doesn’t make sense to take the Volt out of production till the Other new EV /Plugin platforms are in production In 2-3 years. They wouldn’t need to do anything to it besides minor MY cosmetic tweaks.
It would be a gap filler. All they really need to do is advertise it. I See the Chevy Ads that focus on the Chevy family of Vehicles and they deliberately leave out Volt and Bolt. I guaranty If people were encouraged to take one for a test drive. It would be an Eye opener.

When I had the chance to drive a 2018 Volt Premier with Safety packages but no ACC for few days as a loaner. I was blown away at the feature improvements from the Gen 1. Active Lane keep assist (nudges Steering wheel), blind spot detection in the Side mirrors, no more wind buffeting, excellent EV only range and ICE mileage. Paddle Regen. More comfortable seats, Heated Steering wheel, quieter running ICE, Etc.


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Agree with most of the above comments. My take on the dying sedan is that Americans are getting large and it's too difficult for many of them to get in and out of a sedan. They can kinda of 'roll' out of a CUV or SUV and gravity assists.

The Korean manufacturers have also changed the game by being able to import and sell cars for less than domestic manufacturers can. (Even with all the exporting of jobs to Mexico)

The only reason that trucks are still an American mainstay is the 1963 Chicken Tax (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tax) which is essentially a 25% tariff on foreign made trucks that is still in force today. (Why do you think Toyota makes trucks here??) If that tariff is ever renegotiated Ford, GM, and Ram may be in trouble.
 

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I appears to me that the lack of demand for sedans from the big three was deliberately manufactured by them.
It is true that the larger more expensive vehicles are more profitable and therefor they would prefer to sell these over the cheaper sedan options.
This move represents to me getting rid of a lot of cheaper, entry level options for buyers.
There was a day when I heard that the marketing strategy was to get new buyers into entry level vehicles, and to make those with great quality that run really well so that the buyer would like the vehicle, and adopt brand loyalty. Then at a later date, when the buyer moved up to more expensive vehicles, they could reap the benefits of increased profits.

So I have to ask, has that strategy gone completely out the window? They keep talking about ride sharing and a lack of ownership for people in the future, is that what is going on? they see a future with a lot less individual car ownership? Or something else?
In the meantime all the domestic brands dropping sedans will now be offering more expensive vehicles, and less affordable entry level vehicles for buyers.
 

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I'm with Voltenrock, a lot of things combined to make sedans less attractive to build.
• lots of non-US companies make good sedans. More competition leads to a less attractive market.
• sedans are not as profitable as SUVs and trucks.
• American prefer larger vehicles for a variety of reasons: better viz, safer feeling, more room for stuff, lots of cupholders, etc., etc., etc.
• gas is cheap. Did I point out gas is cheap?

As for the transition to EV, I don't think it's any harder to build a LR SUV than a LR sedan, you just have to put a bigger battery in it, which makes it cost more, just like SUVs now. Bigger ones cost more than the small ones. The trick is to put in superfast charging, and then build out the superfast charging infrastructure.
Cheap gas is the underlying culprit in the demise of the sedan in the United States. While all of KenC's other observations are valid, sedan sales have a direct inverse correlation with gas prices.

And finally, someone else here who understands that the charging infrastructure is why we don't see EV adoption in the bulk of the US. All the members here who pounce on me when I say this live in an area with a reasonably robust charging infrastructure.
 

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It is true that the larger more expensive vehicles are more profitable and therefor they would prefer to sell these over the cheaper sedan options.
This move represents to me getting rid of a lot of cheaper, entry level options for buyers.
There was a day when I heard that the marketing strategy was to get new buyers into entry level vehicles, and to make those with great quality that run really well so that the buyer would like the vehicle, and adopt brand loyalty. Then at a later date, when the buyer moved up to more expensive vehicles, they could reap the benefits of increased profits.

So I have to ask, has that strategy gone completely out the window? They keep talking about ride sharing and a lack of ownership for people in the future, is that what is going on? they see a future with a lot less individual car ownership? Or something else?
In the meantime all the domestic brands dropping sedans will now be offering more expensive vehicles, and less affordable entry level vehicles for buyers.
If that strategy has been abandoned I suspect GM and Ford will fold in 10 to 20 years. Chrysler has already folded in that it's no longer an American owned company. People get used to how a brand's feels and don't like changing to another brand of car.
 

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Any type of vehicle that you willing purchase is a lifestyle choice. I agree that the gas mileage argument is a red herring when it comes to crossovers and small SUVs. A gas spike might make some consider a car over and CUV or small SUV due to their cheaper price but those that really want one will still get one.

Honestly the Crossover market is the best protection for the Automakers against a gas spike. They still have vehicles the get good gas mileage and are more profitable per unit than sedans and won't suffer as much when full-size truck sales fall of a cliff.

The sedan market is definitely shrinking but nowhere near dead. At some point there will be equilibrium with sedan sales. We'll definitely see some trimming of sedan offerings and refreshes, now and in the future.
 

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I tend to blame CAFE. By the late 1980s, it started forcing cars to become "too small" for many families. It pretty much forced the move to three-row minivans and SUVs in the early 1990s. The automakers responded by making the minivans and SUVs more 'car like', and the rest is history.

We bought a full-boat '96 Suburban back when my three kids were small. Considered other options, but am glad I went that direction. Over the years there were plenty of times I was glad to have the extra row of seating and the extra space. We also bought a '02 Buick Rendezvous CXL - which also has third row seating. Again, it has been great for hauling kids and "stuff" around over the years. (Need to downsize by combining the two into one newer vehicle sometime soon. But not sure what to get.)
 

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You can't deny the versatility of a SUV. I've only had 1 truck (Ford F-150) for a couple of years when I traded in two Beatles for it and $400. It came in handy a few times. I did a lot of hauling in my '71 Javelin including a trunk full of mahogany tongue and groove still out the back that almost had the front wheels off the road. Since then they have all been hatch backs (is my '88 Tercel a hatchback, a wagon, or a SUV?) I guess you could call my TR7 a "sedan" although when I park it in a parking lot of compact cars, it always surprises me how small it looks as I have a hard time finding it in the mix of "small" cars. My preference is SUV or hatchback with sedan or truck a distant third.
 
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