According to The Wall Street Journal, the Sonic will be killed off due to shrinking demand for passenger cars and low profit margins on smaller vehicles. American automakers would much rather divert resources to building more crossovers, SUVs and pickups, which are not only in higher demand than small cars, but are also more profit heavy.
It’s not just small cars that may be on the chopping block. GM is also looking at killing off the Chevrolet Impala, another comparably slow-selling product with smaller profit margins than something like the Chevrolet Traverse.
GM isn’t alone. Ford won’t bring the new Fiesta to the United States once the current model is discontinued within the next year, and is also allegedly planning to end production of the Taurus sedan. The Fusion may also go the way of the DoDo Bird, but executives have yet to make a decision.
The Trump Administration’s plan to roll back certain fuel economy standards in the United States may give GM and Ford even more reason to focus on larger vehicles. Previously, American automakers found themselves in a tough situation if gas prices spiked and customers were left with little choice in regards fuel-efficient cars. Now that’s less of a worry, so they can truly focus on profitable products like the Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150.
The Sonic, offered in both hatchback and sedan bodystyles, is built at GM’s Orion Assembly plant in Michigan. The site also builds the Chevrolet Bolt EV, but the electric hatch is barely a drop in the GM sales bucket, so it seems as though jobs there may still be in jeopardy.