You win some, you lose some. These are the car and truck models that won’t be returning next year because of poor sales. In alphabetical order –
Acura ZDX: This luxury hatchback never found its niche, even though its sibling Honda Crosstour sells reasonably well, and so does the similarly-looking and similarly sport performance driving BMW X6.
Cadillac Escalade EXT/Chevrolet Avalanche: There’s not much market for a luxury crew cab with a $63,060 base price even a fully loaded, leather-seated top-of-the-line Ford F-150 is more than $10,000 less. Maybe GM will have better luck with the new GMC Sierra Denali which goes on sale next year.
Nissan Altima coupe: The affordable Altima sedan is Nissan’s bread-and-butter model. The coupe version slid off the marketing plate. That’s why Toyota killed off the Solera coupe a few model years back.
Toyota Matrix: This affordable and spunky compact shared a platform with the Pontiac Vibe, so once GM killed Pontiac, Toyota struggled with production problems, not to mention competition from newer Toyota compacts and subcomacts including the Yaris, Venza and even the Prius c, the smaller version of the venrable Prius hybrid.
Volkswagen Routan: Not as good looking as the best-selling Chrysler Town & Country or Honda Odyssey minivans, plus an inscrutable name. Roo-tan? Row-tan? An embarrassing mistake from the company that gave us two automotive icons, the Beetle and the Microbus and the ever popular Jetta.
Volvo C30 and C70: Volvo buyers just didn’t buy a sporty hatchback or sporty convertible from a company known for its trend-setting safety technology, such as a collision avoidance automatic braking system. As USA Today wrote, the target audience stayed away like vegetarians walking away from the meatball stand at Ikea. Not even a modern non-Volvo-like lime green color could save it.
Let’s see what these automakers, and others, are introducing at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2014.