Monday, August 24, 2015

The Grim Reaper Report

By K2 Mystery Car  -- Goodbye.
Every year I like to make a list of the car models that are disappearing. Often, they create an opportunity for savvy car shoppers to work with dealers looking to unload undesirable cars they no longer want.
Some of these cars still exist as other variants or rebadged models, some are just on a hiatus, while many are down and out for a permanent dirt nap (cue Monty Python skit here).


Here they are in all their deathly glory; may they rest in peace...or pieces.
Audi RS5
Audi S3 cabriolet
Audi TTS roadster
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport/Vitesse

Ferrari LaFerrari

Ferrari 458 Italia/Speciale/Speciale A/Spider
Honda Accord plug-in hybrid
Honda Civic natural gas/hybrid
Honda Crosstour

Infiniti Q40
Infiniti Q60
Infiniti Q60 hybrid
Jaguar XK

Land Rover LR2
Lexus IS C
Mazda Mazda2
Mazda Mazda5

McLaren P1
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
Mini Coupe

Mini Roadster
Nissan Pathfinder hybrid
Nissan Rogue Select
Nissan Xterra

Porsche 918 Spyder

Ram Cargo Van
Scion iQ
Scion xB

Toyota Prius plug-in
Toyota Venza


Volkswagen Touareg hybrid
Volvo S80
Volvo V70
Will you buy the last one of these cars, which ones will you miss most and which are you most glad are finally gone? tips@dailyturismo.com
Pics from around the web via creative commons.

36 comments:

  1. Wow, great list Grim K2.
    Nice work!

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  2. The big surprise for me was the V70. I thought they'd pulled the plug a long time ago.

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  3. The Scion xB: A study in what's wrong.

    The xB sold 60,000+ units in 2006 in its first-generation form. Then they redesigned it and basically removed every single design element that made it great. They made it fatter, they made the engine bigger and it got less MPG, they removed the boxy styling that, while not for everyone, was what set it apart. They made it cost $5000 more. Now they are selling 15,000 units per year, pulling the plug on the model, and replacing it with the iM, which is an ordinary looking little wagon, leaving the Kia Soul as the last little box one can buy.

    Nice work, Scion.
    (Disclaimer: I am a former owner of a first-gen xB and it was a fantastic little car. It promised so little and delivered so damn much.)

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    1. Yeah, kinda like what Mini's doing these days with all their decidedly un-Mini Minis.

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    2. Thanks for your comments, needthat. Always good to hear from someone who has actually owned a particular model. It doesn't surprise me that you didn't like the second gen but it got me wondering enough to see what the numbers ended up being. Interesting.

      1st Gen (03-06) = 169,292 US sales
      2nd Gen (07-15) = 208,115 US sales

      I think it's dreadful that Toyota took a GM approach with the xB, instead of updating it. Your mention of the Soul is also interesting in comparison, with 337,000 sold in the US from 2010 through roughly the first half of 2013. I don't believe those are accurate numbers but they work okay for this discussion I think. So, they wupped the xB's sales with their funky styling, killer warranties and non-butt-spelunking hamsters.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/7VFG29R.jpg?1[/img]

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    3. Did you clear that joke with Stan beforehand?

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    4. No, sadly. I should have. I didn't even check with his mother. My bad.

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    5. You are absolutely correct on the Scion XB. It was far and away the flagship of the Scion brand and much loved by it's owners and car fans. The most disappointing thing is that it could have been updated and still kept it's charm, profile and fan base. (I always thought a 4x4 or AWD version would be popular...). But the updated XB was bulbous, ugly like a pig wearing lipstick and lacked the perceived promise and simplicity of the first generation. Truly heartbreaking.

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    6. The second gen xB was probably designed by focus group and customer clinic.

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  4. I'm a little disappointed that the Xterra is gone. It was a real truck based SUV with off road capability to back up its looks.

    For the "good riddance" category, I'm going to say MINI Coupe. They cooked up far, far too many body styles on that thing.

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    1. I was going to say that was one ugly misshapen beast that Mini "Coupe".......I saw one this week and almost threw up.....I am very sensitive

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  5. I find it very interesting both Honda and Toyota are pulling recently developed hybrids...especially the prius plug in, I'm surprised. I thought they had a California mandate to keep intact?

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    1. Some of the models listed are just nameplate-juggling, like what Nissan's been doing with the Infiniti line prying the badges off one model and sticking it on another. I've given up trying to keep track of what they're doing, as it makes no sense.

      Sometimes - BMW does this oftentimes when introducing a new platform, the M-version will disappear for a year - a model just takes a break for a year due to reengineering. So it is with the Prius plug-in, the current one has so little battery-only capability that it probably doesn't get them enough ZEV credit to bother with.

      The Accord plug-in was another one engineered down to the minimum battery-only range they could get away with, and the pricing difference made sure they didn't exactly fly out of the showrooms.

      The Crosstour on the other hand, hopefully it and its Acura brandmate are going bye-bye forever.

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  6. Nice work K2.

    I think VW is taking the Eos out behind the shed as well.

    [img]http://images.thecarconnection.com/med/2012-volkswagen-eos_100385187_m.jpg[/img]

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    1. Thank you sir! I believe you are correct - no more Portugese Captain Eos any longer. Nearly a quarter of a million sold over a nine year period was not enough for Der VW. Surely it couldn't have had anything to do with the invisible facelift that they gave it that absolutely nobody noticed. But that White Night Edition...that was the bomb-diggety! Who wouldn't go nuts over that! Fanbloodytastic and surely a future collectible. Sort of like belly button lint.

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  7. Bummer, I guess I will have to buy a used Veyron. I hate used cars.

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    1. No more new car smell!

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/WrwqTq6.jpg?1[/img]

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/0Uk3CuN.jpg?1[/img]

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  8. Another car that got canceled this year that didn't make my list was the Dodge La Femme (I kid). The reason given to the press was that they were having a hard time fitting it with airbags. Here's a picture of the design the engineers came up with (am I kidding?).

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/rc7UJ0u.jpg?1[/img]

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    1. You're like a sane madman. It's hard to tell where one joke starts and another ends. Thanks for that?

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    2. You're welcome! I aims to please...or at least disorient.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/9uSIzOB.jpg?1[/img]

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    3. I prefer Tata jokes instead.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/ROW6YeQ.png?1[/img]

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  9. It's interesting that you chose a mitsubishi logo for the picture in this article but then didn't mention the mitsubishi Evolution in your list of discontinued vehicles….

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    1. True! The last I read about the Evo was that it would be cancelled at the end of this year. But then I've heard rumors that the story may change. We'll see. I have the feeling you're right erik202.

      I chose Mitsu because they're lineup is moribund in this country, the union problems they've been having and the sales have been very low, though not as low as some; Jaguar comes quickly to mind but they've got new product on deck so that could turn around. Mitsu sold 49K+ in the first half of this year, Jag ~8K, MINI and Volvo 30K, Porsche and Scion ~25K, Land Rover ~32K. None of those numbers are good but if you look at most of those companies, it's easy to see them surviving because they're connected to bigger companies. Mitsu is also, but not really another car company...

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    2. Are those world wide sales numbers? I always thought that Mitsubishi just sold enough cars outside of North America to keep the lights on here in hopes that they would catch on. I'm also puzzled by the decision to cut the Evo, especially if you think of it as sort of a marketing tool that you also make money on, like how many young customers see the Evo, think they want that car, go down to a mitsubishi dealership, find out it costs $50k, and leave with something cheaper, like yeah maybe the margins and sales numbers for Evos aren't great but i think there are probably other benefits to having a car like that in their lineup. It's also possible that they feel as though some of the shine has worn off the Evo and the sales really aren't there enough to justify it's continued existence, the hype certainly isn't there like it was when they brought that model to North America but I'm not a Mitsubishi exec so i couldn't say for sure.

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    3. Those are US sales numbers. I think you're probably right about the rest but unless something changes quickly for them, we're most likely witnessing the end of days for Mitsubishi cars here.

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    4. Thank your lucky stars you're not a Mitsubishi exec right now.

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    5. I think you're right. I am honored to be part of the Mitsu-poke-it-with-a-stick and make-sure-it's-dead committee. As someone that's entrusted a Mitsu to 145 mph on public roads, possibly not too far from whatever Pennsylvania town I speculate you're from, I will live on as a witness to all the glory that the diamond star badge once represented. In God we trust. Amen.

      (mandatory legalese)
      (All roadcar testing, both implied and expressed, was carried out on closed roads** by a professional driver*)

      (* Professional driver could not show up on that day, so a substitution was provided in the form of an unprofessional driver)
      (** Any similarity between the closed road and any of the state highways of Pennsylvania are purely co-incidental)

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  10. hey, K2 - how about that "stick a spork in it" badge? - that's new, for you - on account of an excellent post needing embellishment - although you can see El Jefe liked it so much he's already used it again

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    1. You are correct sir. It is indeed most awesome. Another fine, fine job on your part. Huzzah!

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  11. Speaking of the xB, I think the Nissan Cube ceased getting imported last year. Some people think it is ugly, but I will take risky styling over the usual bland offerings from Nissan. By bland, I mean GT-R, not Juke.

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    1. I agree, Andrew. It's not pretty but at least it's quirky. The fact that it's different on one side from the other is marvelous, just as it is on other cars that "feature" a similar design ethos. I believe it was killed officially in 2014.

      Another interesting thing about my list are the cars that aren't on there. Several models were predicted to have been axed in 2014 and 2015...weren't, in the end. The 200-Series Toyota Land Cruiser, for example; sales of that model have not exceeded 4,000 units per year, with 2011 seeing only 1,662 lumbering off dealer lots. Sales have doubled since then but even that's terrible for a Toyota. The LX 570 doesn't sell significantly much better. I'm sure the only reason why they're still selling them is because it's all profit at this point but if I were a dealer I'd want to get rid of them and never stock them again. The following SUVs sold worse than the Land Bruiser (for obvious reasons); sales number for the first half of 2015 are in parenthesis.

      Land Rover Discovery Sport (899)
      Mini Paceman (838)
      Fiat 500X (332)
      Toyota FJ Cruiser (218)
      Land Rover LR2 (69)
      Chevrolet Captiva Sport (53)
      Acura ZDX (2)

      Buy a ZDX and get a car rarer than a LaFerrari! Expect all of those SUVs to be axed any second, as they should have been long ago. Most already have been and these are just the dregs.

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  12. Add to the list (most likely); all diesel four-cylinder VWs and Audi A3. I'm sure they'll be back, once the brouhaha has blown over but in the meantime and by reports I've been hearing, you can't buy a new (or used one, apparently) from a dealer lot right now and you probably won't be able to get one in 2016, either.

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