Ford Motor Company made headlines around the motoring world in April when it announced that it would soon stop selling sedan models like the Fiesta, Fusion and Taurus in its America, Canada and Mexico markets.
As a cost cutting measure, the blue oval stated that it would focus on the Focus crossover, which we hope will also make its way to SA, and the Mustang to supplement its ever fruitful bakkie or pickup range and its family of SUVs.
According to US newspaper Chicago Times, Ford’s decision to cut its sedan range was prompted by a drastic decline in the demand for sedans in the Americas, a market previously renowned for its affection for big cars, including sedans.
But this is not a uniquely American phenomenon. Besides the German trio of Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz, and the UBER fleet of Toyota Corollas, car dealers in SA are not moving sedans off the showroom floor as fast as they did a few years ago. This was the reason Ford discontinued the mid-sized Fusion sedan in Mzansi. Despite its generous specification levels, easy-on-the-eye looks and competitive pricing, the Fusion, which was also a finalist and runner-up in the 2016 SA Car of the Year competition, was never a sales success in South Africa and lasted no longer than two years.
So, will we see other car makers follow Ford’s example and dropping sedans in favour of SUVs, which car buyers can’t seem to get enough of? Only time will tell. But it is fair to say that the writing is on the wall.