Last summer, Volkswagen announced that they would no longer offer the only two wagon-style vehicles that are still manufactured in the United States. Both the VW Golf SportWagen and the VW Alltrack were selected as models that the German car manufacturer would cease producing after 2019.
Recently, many small vehicles from a bevy of manufacturers have found their way to the discontinued side of the market. For instance, models like the Ford Focus and the Chevrolet Cruze are no longer being manufactured. So, why are so many small car models failing instead of catching on?
Wagons and Smaller Cars
In the case of both wagons and smaller cars, it seems that the SUV and crossover market is booming in the United States. Americans are not buying wagons or smaller cars as much as they did, and are instead opting for SUVs and crossovers. The number of purchases for both SUVs and crossovers is on the rise across the country.
Much of what is happening with the car market nowadays has to do with supply and demand. What drives the market is whatever types of vehicles the consumers want to purchase at any given time. Wagons no longer are a standard trend for American car owners, although they were once upon a time.
Nowadays, SUVs and crossovers are what’s in style. So, because people were no longer buying wagons since they preferred SUVs, it seems the attraction to both the VW SportWagen and the VW Alltrack died out years ago with the wagon trend.
The SUV Trend
Volkswagen made changes to its lineup years ago to become well positioned for the SUV trend. VW debuted its first three-row SUV, the VW Atlas, as a 2018 model. Following that, VW spruced up its Tiguan crossover. These two models are trendy and sell like hotcakes.
As recently as two decades ago, we’d routinely see station wagons and minivans used as the typical family car. However, that was long before the inception of the SUV, and the introduction of the crossover. Once SUVs and crossovers hit the market, they became the staple cars for families. Both wagons and minivans are now dying automotive breeds.
Most car manufacturers, including Volkswagen, seem to have an ever-increasing list of SUV and crossover models because technology and marketing are allowing for ever more models.
Wagon sales were 0.6% of vehicle sales in 2018, a decrease from 0.9% in 2014.
Wagons are not selling, mainly because people prefer SUVs, so that’s the primary reason why the VW Alltrack was discontinued.
When wagons first appeared on the American car market, they originally were all the rage. People loved them because they were roomy, and they responded well. Although they were spacious cars, they were easy to drive. But SUVs and crossovers nowadays handle much better than wagons of the 60s, 70s and 80s, and are much more stylish. The demand for style and a car that handles well are now being met by SUVs and crossovers.