Vehicles are like friendships; they come, and they go. Unfortunately, it’s not until they disappear that one understands their purpose. The following automobiles are getting the boot, and some brand fanatics suffer a devastating loss, but only time will tell if the incoming fleet can ever compete with its fallen predecessors.
Chrysler Town & Country
As one of the oldest runs in vehicle history, it’s hard to lay this one to rest. Since the 1940s, this vehicle has transformed from a wagon, into a sedan, and now into a minivan with impressive options like stow away seating. After transporting thousands of families, this minivan will be replaced by the Chrysler Pacifica. For those brand loyal families who have owned several generations of Town & Country vehicles, this will be a hard hit, but the luxuries of the Pacifica will ease the burden.
A feline name would fit this vehicle more accurately since it has managed to sustain many deaths just to resurface stronger. Originally designed to be a modern-day Cobra, the Viper inception included a focus on innovation. In 2007, the Viper was sold to Cerberus Capital Management, causing a brief lapse in production.
After a complete overhaul in 2008, the economy collapsed, and so did the desire for luxury cars. Dodge CEO Ralph Gilles stated 2010 would be the Viper’s last year, but Chrysler Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne brought the hot rod back three years later. If history repeats itself, this car might rise up once again.
This car released in 2010 without a solid category to fall into. Consumers looking for fuel economy and style lean more toward a Toyota Prius with the increased cargo space and better miles-per-gallon rating. Others who prefer an entertaining coupe with a quick pick-up complain that the hybrid engine lacks oomph. Honda straddled the fence with this vehicle until finally only a little over 3,000 cars were sold off the lot last year.
The 2011 model stood its ground against the Lexus LS460L, but updates did not compete in the tough large sedan market. The 2012 Equus increased the size of its engine by .6-liters to gain more power instead of investing in a more efficient turbocharged option. In addition, the Equus offers few perks that other cars in the category don’t. The G90 replaces the sedan under the Genesis brand, which Hyundai recently decided will stand on its own to compete in the luxury market.
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
With gas prices so low, people are not turning in their gas-guzzlers for more fuel-efficient vehicles as much as they once did. The three remaining turbocharged Jetta engines include a 1.4-liter, 1.8-liter, and a 2.0-liter. This is the only hybrid Volkswagen offers, so customers dedicated to reducing greenhouse emissions will have to trade brands or change their driving habits.
Whether these automobiles have run a long race or just started on their abbreviated journey, their failures — and successes — have contributed to the automotive industry in one fashion or another. They at least deserve a moment of silence for that.