The car market has undergone significant changes over the last few years. Every week it seems like a new compact SUV is being introduced, while more traditional models face a rapid decline in popularity. Although we haven’t said farewell to 2020 just yet, many auto manufacturers have already announced the changes they’ll be making to their 2021 lineups.
Take a closer look at which makes and models will be exiting the market in due time and the reasons why these vehicles did not survive the most painstaking year yet:
The RLX sedan has struggled for quite awhile among a sea of luxury sedans. Between yearly recalls and falling short of luxury standards, the Acura RLX has lost the interest of many car buyers. Perhaps the high price tag and low sales figures were the driving force behind Acura’s discontinuation of this vehicle.
Chris Naughton of Acura PR issued an official statement confirming the following:
“Today, we informed Acura dealers of our plan to discontinue sales of the RLX sedan in North America at the conclusion of the 2020 model year, as we make significant investments in the core models that represent Acura’s future.”
Like many automakers, Acura is taking the initiative to eliminate vehicles that are not volume leaders. With a consumer market that is mainly concerned with compact to midsize SUVs, the RLX fails to stand out as a preferred buy, even with its Honda manufacturing.
Another luxury brand sedan has lost its spot on the market. The Cadillac CT6 delivers the sophistication of a classic Cadillac without the high-end luxury that consumers expect. Although beautiful on the outside, the interior leaves much to be desired. The product simply does not match its lavish price tag.
In truth, Cadillac has been in the talks of discontinuing this model for years now. Unfortunately its declining sales prompted GM to decrease production in 2018, although some manufacturing facilities had high hopes of importing a fleet from China. Enter: coronavirus. And that plan got put to an abrupt stop.
Chevy Impala to join the discontinued vehicles pack
The first generation Chevrolet Impala appeared in 1957 as a sleek, full size sedan. Adorned by families and muscle heads alike, this sedan became a staple of American manufacturing despite its wavering interest over the years. To this day, car enthusiasts take great pride in restoring and maintaining earlier models.
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With its lengthy lifespan in American automotive history, we can only wonder what led to this year’s discontinuation of the Chevy Impala? Mainly, its exterior appeal lost its charm, becoming too interchangeable with other sedans on the market. For the last twenty years, GM has delivered a less than desirable replica of the past, leading many buyers to appreciate the old with little attention to the new.
With that said, don’t be surprised if the Impala makes a comeback down the road — this isn’t the first time it’s been cut off the market. Who knows, maybe it will have an electric rebirth like the 2021 Toyota Venza.
Dodge Grand Caravan
The Grand Caravan’s simplistic interior and plastic surfaces have made this minivan an easy sell for parents. It’s durability became a sought after feature if kids were the driving force behind any car-making decision. More importantly, the fair market price made it an attractive buy for families of varied incomes. Since the 80’s, the Grand Caravan has remained one of the most notable minivans on the road.
As styles have changed, its boxy exterior and archaic safety features have made the Grand Caravan a thing of the past. It was only a matter of time before more superior options outperformed this model. After ranking the best and worst minivans on the market, it’s particularly clear that Chrysler and Honda have become the leading contributors to minivan production.
Discontinued vehicles for 2021 include the Dodge Journey
Another Dodge model biting the dust in 2021. The Dodge Journey has faced some serious setbacks, specifically in its emission production. The current model is restricted from being sold in California due to clean-air standards. On top of that, it’s competing in an overly saturated SUV market — ranking low in favorability. The Journey has mediocre driving dynamics and excludes most of the driver-assist technologies that consumers expect as a standard in 2020.
It doesn’t take much searching online to find out how Dodge Journey owners really feel about their purchase.
I have a Dodge Journey and I hate everything about it, except that it's paid off. So don't get one unless it's free.
— Nola Barrett (@nolab123) June 21, 2020
By no means do we intend to hate on Dodge. But with today’s amazing technologies, manufacturers must stay up to speed with safety and performance standards.
Next stop for discontinued vehicles: the automotive graveyard
Although we’ll say adieu to these aforementioned vehicles in 2021, the automotive graveyard is known for its rebirth. Just look at the 2021 Ford Bronco, a beloved staple of the late 90’s making its way back into the hearts of car buyers. The times have brought us closer to a fully electric future, but that doesn’t mean some of these models won’t make a triumph return down the road.
The point is this: car manufacturing is in a constant state of renewal and restoration. While some models adapt and perform well, others lag behind due to changing tastes and rising competition. For now, we’ll follow the philosophy of Marie Kondo, expressing our sincerest gratitude to the Acura RLX, Cadillac CT6, Chevy Impala, Dodge Grand Caravan and Dodge Journey, while saying an official goodbye to these discontinued vehicles that no longer spark joy.