The Ford Mustang is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, but where are the Pontiac Firebird, Plymouth Barracuda, or AMC Javelin? Long-lived car models are a rarity, and the changes coming with the beginning of the 2015 model are particularly bumpy.
When a nameplate is discontinued, multiple explanations are invoked: Its platform may have become obsolete, rendering future upgrades uneconomic (the reason Ford offered when it took the original Taurus out of production in 2007); Its body style may have fallen from fashion (such as full-size two-doors like the Chevy Monte Carlo); Or it may simply not have caught on with buyers (like the Honda Element).
Then there’s a CEO like Fiat Chrysler’s CEO Sergio Marchionne who likes to shuffle the deck–no nameplate is safe. His use of multiple brands combined with his insistence that FCA products be sold under only one brand apiece has caused him to eliminate many of the badge-engineered models that used to keep Chrysler and Dodge dealers afloat.
The following is list of models that have been declared defunct or are on the endangered list from FCA and a number of other automakers. They’ve suffered from a variety of ills, but they all share one thing in common: You won’t see them for sale in new car showrooms much longer.
• Jaguar XK
• Chevrolet SS
• Ford Flex
• Dodge Durango
• Dodge Grand Caravan
• Chrysler 200 convertible
• Dodge Avenger
• Acura TL
• Mini Cooper Paceman, Coupe, and Roadster
• McLaren MP4-12C