Ford’s recent announcement that it will be slashing its line of sedans to include only the Mustang and Focus Active models, led other OEs to address their positions on passenger cars.
GM appears committed to the sedan … for now. On a recent conference call, officials stated that because the company has already made the necessary production investments for current models, they remain too significant of a profit center to drop.
According to CEO Mary Barra, although sales of passenger cars are declining, they still represent an opportunity.
The key to these comments is that they reflect GM’s current opinions.
Perhaps the most significant example of GM’s potential disillusionment with the future of sedans is a recent announcement that it will be discontinuing the Chevy Impala. Some speculate that 2019 will be its last model year.
So, while Ford is out and GM is wavering, Volkswagen appears to still be a believer.
The automaker recently stated that it’s waiting to make key design and model decisions until more is understand on the electric vehicle front.
In an interview with Digital Trends, VW America’s Hinrich Woebcken stated that, “When you’re talking about electric cars, sedans have more advantages. We’ll maybe see a higher sedan share on full electric cars.”
VW is backing up these statements with the highly-touted development of their battery-powered I.D. Vizzion concept – a sedan that will serve as the flagbearer for the automaker’s line of EVs.
The company recently announced that it is investing $25 billion in supplier contracts for electric vehicles, with plans on unveiling as many as 50 battery-powered vehicles by 2030.
“The shift from sedans to SUVs is a permanent one,” stated Woebcken. He cited the negligible difference in fuel economy between SUVs and sedans, and the advantages of their higher seating position as reasons why.
Recent data from Autodata Corp. shows that in March truck and SUV sales increased by 16 percent, while car sales were down nine percent.