The current calendar year still has a few weeks left in it, but for the auto sector, the 2023 model year is already in full swing.
And that means the end of the line for vehicle models whose makers have decided to go in a different direction moving forward.
USA Today recently outlined nine cars whose 2022 versions will be their last. They include two each from General Motors, Honda and Toyota, and one each from Ford, Hyundai and Volkswagen.
The American automakers, in particular, are set to continue the longstanding trend of shifting to larger vehicles.
One of the cuts by GM was documented much earlier in the year: the U.S.’s largest automaker axed the Chevrolet Spark, a subcompact car known for being one of the least-expensive new cars on the market. Although it certainly wasn’t much of a money-maker, it did help fill an increasingly crucial niche at a time of soaring vehicle prices and constantly growing customer demand for larger SUVs and trucks.
Another GM subcompact is also on its way out this year: the Buick Encore, which ends a nine-year run in favor of the similar Encore GX.
Ford, meanwhile, will lose its own subcompact, the EcoSport, amid sliding sales.
Among overseas automakers, Honda is also ousting two smaller models, but they’ll be replaced by similar sedans: the Insight, which will give way to a new Civic Hybrid, and the ILX from its Acura luxury division will be succeeded by a revamped Integra.
Fellow Japanese auto giant Toyota is dropping the Avalon sedan after nearly three decades in favor of the Crown, which is described as a “semi-luxury full-size sedan.” And its Lexus luxury brand is losing the three-row RX L version of its RX SUV.
Hyundai and Volkswagen are also focusing on SUVs at the expense of current sedans. The Hyundai Accent, the Korean automaker’s most affordable vehicle, will be supplanted by the Venue small SUV.
VW, meanwhile, was set to pull the plug on its Passat heading into the previous model year, but it saw a limited run for a final production year in 2022. There will reportedly be no encore in 2023.
Industry forecasts expect vehicle sales to remain stagnant in the coming year. Although analysts expect persistent supply chain problems to ease somewhat, demand could lag amid uncertain economic conditions.