its launch in 2006, the Lucerne harkened to the days when droves of buyers
sought out that freeway-cushioning ride of a stately GM Sedan driven by a
Buick V-6 with its roots in the 1960s.
Ford’s Crown Victoria
final Crown Victoria rolled off a Canadian assembly line in August, bound for
Saudi Arabia. The favorite vehicle of police departments and taxi cabs for
years, the Crown Vic was still selling well, but Ford Motor would have needed
to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to update the decades-old Panther
platform. Ford does not have a V8-powered sedan for sale in the United States
for the first time since 1932.
is long due for a departure; its mostly seen as a limo/hearse alternative to
the Town car while it and the STS will give way to a new top-of-the-line
Cadillac XTS, due early next year.
initial success with the famous PT Cruiser, GM copied Chrysler's play step by
step — hiring the PT Cruiser's designer to draw a body meant to evoke the Suburban
era and using the chassis of the compact Chevy Cobalt sedan. Imitation may
be flattery at its most sincere, but GM didn't copy Chrysler's sales; the HHR
was big and cheap but thirsty, and like the PT never received enough updates to
Dodge’s Dakota and Ford’s Ranger
stripped full-size pickups regularly priced below $20,000 after incentives, the
market for compact pickups has shrunk rapidly. The Dakota, which Chrysler once
marketed as a "midsize" pickup with an optional V-8, suffered the
most; why buy four-fifths of a Dodge Ram pickup when the real deal was the same
price, or even cheaper slightly used? The Ranger may be the most popular
vehicle shutting down this year; it outsold the Ford Taurus, Mustang and Ford
Fiesta in September, and is on track to rack up 60,000 buyers this year.
Ford has a brand-new Ranger it's launching around the world — except in the
experiment that boomed at first and then faded, the Honda Element drew a loyal
following with its rubberized interior and fold-away seats, but many buyers
were given pause by quality issues and styling that suggested a body by Lego.
After moving nearly 70,000 vehicles when it debuted in 2003, Honda sold just
16,000 Elements last year despite a total refresh on the design.
Other vehicles stepping aside include Lotus’s
Elise, Mazda’s RX8, Mitsubishi’s Eclipse/Endeavour, and the popular Volvo S40’s
and V50’s. One fact remains the same. The American culture demands change
and desires better quality. All of those models listed above have been “traded
in” for more up to date models that consumers can embrace. Whether it be for
superior gas mileage or the latest Hybrid craze, there are still plenty of
models for consumers to choose from. Look around and find the model that best
fits your needs. Happy motoring to you!