In recent decades, manufacturers have not been able to bring enough different car models to market. Now the trend is turning around and some categories are disappearing.
In view of the continuing flood of new SUVs and their derivatives, it may be hard to believe – but the trend in the auto industry is toward downsizing the model range. Ford has already announced particularly massive plans, Nissan also wants to focus more strongly on core models in the future, and at Daimler even the works council recently called for a red pencil for the proliferating portfolio. Further examples could be found easily. The background is usually cost issues or problems with CO2 emissions. The cutbacks are likely to be particularly severe in the following five vehicle classes.
Subcompact cars: The unloved stepchildren
The low-priced cars of the 10.000-euro class have always been the unloved stepchildren of manufacturers, they yielded comparatively little profit. In the course of the upcoming CO2 penalties in the EU, they even threaten to become loss-makers in the future. Because, contrary to what one might expect, they often have a rather negative impact on the fleet consumption of a manufacturer. Because expensive fuel-saving technology is hardly worthwhile with them, whereby the consumption is quite high relative to larger models.
An efficiency upgrade would be too expensive, also in view of new EU regulations for safety equipment, which are also likely to cause price increases from 2022 onwards. Against this backdrop, microcars have a chance of survival especially as electric cars for city traffic. With the Smart Fortwo EQ and the technology triplets VW E-Up, Skoda Citigo E and Seat Mii Electric, the first corresponding models are already announcing themselves. In the 10.But none of them are in the € 000 league any more.
Vans and minivans are being replaced by SUVs
Minivans and vans, once coveted as practical family transporters, have almost disappeared in the past five years has become a discontinued model. According to figures from the analysis institute Jato Dynamics, 419 microcars were still sold in Germany in 2013.000 vehicles of the caliber of a VW Sharan, Renault Espace or Ford S-Max sold. Last year there were only 346.000.
Vans have been replaced by SUVs and crossovers, which score points with more coolness and less diaper odor. The Death of the family utility vehicle is likely to continue in the future. Ford has already announced that it will soon no longer offer the Galaxy van and its S-Max model brother. In its place: a crossover.
Convertibles are not worthwhile for manufacturers
Shortly after the turn of the millennium, convertibles had another boom the weatherproof tin roof brought the topless idea into the middle of the automotive society, suddenly there were corresponding models across all classes. The boom with far more than 100.000 annual new registrations lasted however only briefly. Last year there were just 75.500 units new on the road Tendency to continue to fall. Have the Germans lost the desire to drive fresh air? Probably not.
Rather, the manufacturers lack commitment- they have recently cut back their model range considerably. The reason is probably of an economic natureCabriolets are mainly popular in Germany and Great Britain. In important markets like China, however, no one would voluntarily do without a roof- too hot the sun is shining and the air is too dirty.
For the more and more international operating manufacturers it is worth to take the Development and certification of a convertible therefore less and less. Only the premium and luxury manufacturers still afford numerous corresponding models, even in the sports car class the supply remains relatively constant.
Real off-road vehicles must make way for SUVs
That SUVs, which may soon be banned from cities, would have to capitulate at the first sign of mud and debris is a nasty rumor. That they are not driven off paved roads, is rather due to the concern about paint and rims than a general off-road incapacity. But the crossover still can’t compete with real off-road vehicles.
With the Mercedes G, the Jeep Wrangler and the Land Rover Defender, there are currently only three of these rugged beasts still available. Other longtime companions like Nissan Patrol or Mitsubishi Pajero have long since disappeared. The Suzuki Jimny is hardly available in this country, the Lada Niva will soon no longer be officially imported. With the exception of the new Defender, there is not likely to be much new blood in the segment in the near future. If you want more from your four-wheel drive car than a beefy look, you’ll probably have to go for a pick-up in the future.
Cars with manual transmission
Still the manual transmission is not dead, as could be seen recently by the public outcry, which followed announcements by the Federal Ministry of Transport, in the future to fully recognize the driver’s license test with automatic cars. But that the proposal existed at all indicates that the manual gearbox is getting into trouble. This has several reasons. One of these is the electric car, which generally does not need any changeable gears at all because the electric motor revs up smoothly from a standstill to maximum speed.
In addition, automatic transmissions have become faster and, above all, more economical in recent years. In the USA or Asia they have conquered the market long ago, meanwhile vehicles with manual transmission are expensive exotics there. In Germany, on the other hand, the price advantage is currently still with the stick-and-clutch system, which should secure the manual transmission a niche in the budget segment for the foreseeable future. But it will probably not be more than that.