It’s the end of the line for a number of popular car models.
From muscle cars like Dodge’s Charger and Challenger to electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt, a handful of models are being discontinued for 2024.
The reason for many of these models’ end? The shift to electric vehicles, according to Will Kaufman, news editor at car research site Edmunds.
“This is really this first big sort of changing of the guard moment for an established mainstream brand,” Kaufman said. “As more and more (electric cars) come out, the question is going to start being less if other nameplates are going to be discontinued to make more room for them, but when those are going to be discontinued.”
Dodge Charger and Challenger
Dodge will stop making Chargers and Challengers – two popular muscle cars – before the end of the year, according to a recent statement from parent company Stellantis.
The models had experienced enormous success over the years, with the Challenger named the No. 1 muscle car in the country in 2021. Dodge brand chief executive officer Tim Kuniskis said the end of the cars’ run signals “the start of a bright new electrified future” as Stellanis aims to have 50% of its passenger car and light-duty truck sales in the U.S. come from electric vehicles by 2030.
“This is a really sort of big moment. It’s a pretty famous American muscle car that’s making the leap from gas to electric,” Kaufman said.
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Audi R8 and TT
Audi’s R8 and TT are also heading out the door as Audi works toward becoming a fully electric company by 2033.
The R8, which was unveiled in 2006, will no longer be available in the U.S. at the end of the year, according to Audi of America spokesperson Mark Dahncke. There is no electric successor to the car, but Dahncke said Audi is “investigating options of what that could be.”
“For now, the RS e-tron GT fully electric performance car is the halo of our e-tron line-up but it is not a replacement for the R8,” Dahncke said.
The TT, which premiered in 1998, will be phased out by the end of the year as the compact two-door coupe and roadster segments shrink worldwide.
“In some markets, particularly where demand for all-electric models already exceeds that of combustion engines, we are already no longer offering the Audi TT,” Dahncke said in an emailed statement. “In the coming years, we want to focus our Technical Development and Audi Design capacities entirely on expanding the battery electric and hybrid models.”
Kia will end production of the Stinger, a fastback sedan first introduced in the U.S. as a 2019 model, after the 2023 model. More than 65,0000 Stinger sedans have since been sold in the country.
“While it may be the end of the road for Stinger, its legacy lives on through our innovative products, both current and forthcoming,” Kia America Chief Operating Officer Steven Center said in an April release.
Forty-two years after its debut, Nissan is halting production of the Maxima in mid-2023.
Spokesperson Ashli Bobo said the decision comes from Nissan’s decision to prioritize electric vehicles, with 40% of Nissan vehicle sales expected to be fully electric by 2030.
“It makes sense for them to focus more on electric SUVs at the moment,” Kaufman said. “The Maxima wasn’t selling very well, the Altima and Sentra handily outsold it. Large sedans on the whole have been disappearing as buyers gravitate towards SUVs.”
Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV
One of the most well-known electric car brands is on its way out. Surprisingly, it’s because of the industry’s increased focus on EVs, Kaufman said.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra in April confirmed that the company would end the production of the Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV at the end of 2023 after record sales in the first quarter.
Kaufman noted that GM may be trying to speed up production for some of its other EV offerings by axing the Bolt models from its lineup.
“They need they need to focus on building these battery packs for these other segments, the larger SUVs and the trucks that need bigger battery packs,” Kaufman said. “Ironically, an electric car is the victim of the transition to electric cars.”
Discontinued models among luxury brands
High-end automakers are also discontinuing car models for 2024.
McLaren ended the production of its 720S supercar last year to make room for the 750s, with customer deliveries scheduled for the fourth quarter.
And Mercedes-Benz is axing a whole slew of vehicles. The company will end the lifecycle of its CLS nameplate in August and is also cutting off production for the C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet and the E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet this summer.
“In their place, we will continue our long tradition of sporty, elegant dream cars with a new, independent model series – the Mercedes-Benz CLE,” spokesperson Andrew Brudnicki said, noting that the new CLE Coupe and CLE Cabriolet will deliver more space, dynamism and sportiness.