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Ford, Chevrolet to drop four nameplates?

by Ronan Glon

If true, the report announces another blow to the passenger car segment.

The passenger car segment is about to take another punch to the gut, according to a recent report. Ford and Chevrolet will drop four nameplates in the coming years.

The casualties at Ford are the Fiesta and the Taurus, The Wall Street Journal reports. We've heard about the Fiesta's demise before; last July, the Blue Oval announced the model wouldn't return for the 2018 model year. It did, somewhat unexpectedly, but it carried over without any major modifications while the rest of the world got a comprehensively updated model.

Insiders now suggest production of the American-spec Fiesta will end early next year. As for the Taurus, the former best-seller won't return for a new generation when production of the current car ends. Sales dropped to 41,236 last year, down from 62,629 in 2014.

Over at Chevrolet, the Sonic and the Impala (pictured) are allegedly not long for this world. Sonic sales could end before the end of this year, while the Impala will soldier on until the planned end of its life cycle. Sonic sales dropped 21.5 percent this year compared to the same time period last year. Impala sales plummeted 36.1 percent.

Automotive News adds Chevrolet could send the Volt to the chopping block, too. The brand sold more examples of the Corvette than of its gasoline-electric Volt during the first three months of the year; buyers bought 4,457 and 3,478, respectively.

Both companies faintly denied the reports.

"Every car we have in our portfolio plays a role, every car's important and you know the only way we're going to stay the fastest-growing brand is to keep providing the vehicles that people want. So [the Impala and the Sonic] are a part of our portfolio and they're going to continue," Steve Majoros, the marketing director for Chevrolet's cars and crossovers, told reporters.

"As we have said, by 2020 trucks and utilities - including their electrified versions - are going to be almost 90 percent of our volume. Passenger cars, including Fiesta and Taurus, remain an important part of our lineup," Ford spokesman Mike Levine said.