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Industry News: Full Size Cars Becoming An Endangered Species


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#1

William Maley

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 07:33 AM

William Maley
Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
May 31, 2012

Despite the fullsize car getting a kick in the pants with vehicles like the Chevrolet Impala, Toyota Avalon, and Ford Taurus, the fullsize car is becoming an endangered species.

R.L. Polk & Co reports that the fullsize sedan market has seen its relevance halved. Fullsize sedans have seen their market share drop from slightly above 5% of all vehicles sold in 2006 to just 2.3% in the first three months of this year. Also, the number of full-size vehicles on sale has dropped from fifteen to seven.

R.L. Polk & Co points to rising gas prices, the discontinuation of makes (i.e. Pontiac, Mercury) and certain models (Crown Victoria), and the rise of mid-size vehicles as factors to the decline of the fullsize.

Polk believes if more consumers opt for mid-size vehicles and gas prices keep rising, then automakers will not do anymore fullsize sedans.

Source: Kicking Tires, R.L. Polk & Co

Click here to view the article
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#2

Drew Dowdell

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:28 AM

Chrysler 300? Dodge Charger? Hyundai Azera?

Even the Honda Accord. It's grown so much that when ordered without a sunroof, it is technically a full sized car based on volume. I think what has changed are the definitions of "full size". The Fusion is a mid-size car, yet it has the same exterior dimensions as the original Taurus... which is considered full size by today's standards.
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#3

avant1963

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:33 AM

The RL Polk article is bullshit. They are playing with "non-luxury" here so they count the Nissan Maxima as a fullsize (190.6 long, 73.2 wide, 109 WB 96cu ft pass vol) but ignore the cheaper Buick LaCrosse (196.9 long, 73.1 wide 112 wb 102cu ft pass vol) which is bigger in every category except .1 inch in width. They are looking for a story where there is none. Yes there's no more Panther cars - we get it. Without their livery sales, the fullsize market has contracted.
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#4

Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:42 AM

And of course rental car companies have arbitrary definitions of full size...the Alamo area for full size at O'Hare last week was full of mid size Malibus...were only two Impalas left when I got there Friday afternoon, was lucky to snag one.
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#5

NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:43 AM

Sad day indeed....It is so obvious this is what has happened. Most cars on the road are now these midsized Euro-Asian sedans. If it is not that, it is some suv or truck or some crossover. If not that some compact car. People are more concerned with fuel economy now and GM and Ford have globalized their lineups. I just do not like how to stay competitive, they had to make their cars Euro-Asian looking and sized them as such. Everything looks like everything else in the world. I cannot believe some of the cars these two articles above said were fullsized cars. I noticed the Buick La Crosse was not mentioned. I have said that car is not large. This is the very reason I have to hold on to what I have. I remember back in the day all these cars would be classified as midsized. The Ford Taurus even at over 200 inches long is not any bigger than a midsized car on the interior.
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#6

regfootball

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:51 AM

there are a lot more full sizers than people think. cars are pretty large, and for people stepping down from huge SUV's there will always be a need.

Even cars like the Mazda6 are huge. A 4 cyl midsizer is gonna get the same mpg whether it has 4 more inches of wheelbase and rear legroom.......

the case can be argued that with a small / efficient engine bay and a long wheelbase, the large cars and large midsizers are actually economy cars.
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#7

Drew Dowdell

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:59 AM

Passat?
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#8

dfelt

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 09:16 AM

Keep in mind, Full Size Cars have been replaced by Full Size SUV's, Full Size CUV's and the so called Mini Van that holds 7 or 8 people.

Our Life styles have dictated this change, not all like sitting on the ground in traditional cars and more important is the change from large families to smaller ones and to a variety of activities. Traditional large cars do not cut it when you Ski, Hike, Camp, boat, etc. The variety of life activities has shown why the auto's have changed.
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#9

regfootball

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:29 PM

Passat?


yup
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#10

balthazar

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:34 PM

I'm holding out hope that the talked about 'footprint' thing results in some actual full-size cars for a change. I miss 'em.
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#11

A Horse With No Name

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 06:39 PM

I'm holding out hope that the talked about 'footprint' thing results in some actual full-size cars for a change. I miss 'em.


I miss them also...

And I own a MINI Cooper S and MIata...a 65 Impala SS would look like an aircraft carrier in the driveway next to them....

But yeah, a fullsize American car with style....

Agree with 98 regency's post. He pretty much sums it up.
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#12

Sixty8panther

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 07:48 PM

Yeah, I miss the days when Cadillac and Lincoln offered cars that dwarfed an S-class Mercedes Benz. Now it's the other way around.
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#13

dfelt

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 07:56 PM

Yeah, I miss the days when Cadillac and Lincoln offered cars that dwarfed an S-class Mercedes Benz. Now it's the other way around.


Cadillac does offer an auto that dwarfs the S class, Escalade :D it also dwarfs any SUV/CUV MB or BMW puts out. This is America's Full size car now. :P
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#14

balthazar

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:31 PM

Was taking some band pics yesterday, and I piled them into the '60 Bonneville I have out back. You should've heard them (5 of them) raving about how comfortable it was inside. One of them offered to pay me to get it back running so he could drive it (not remotely financially practical).

True full-size, not marketing spin from rental companies or head-up-its-arse Gov't agencies.
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#15

Sixty8panther

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:47 PM

The Escalade is an awesome vehicle but it's a TRUCK. I will never have the grace of a big, long, low, wide American land yacht.
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#16

riviera74

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 07:48 AM

I think the real issue is that Baby Boomers (as opposed to their elders) for the most part hate full-size cars, so the market has shrunken dramatically. (Also BOF cars died everywhere by 1997, Panthers excluded.) This is the same generation that embraced minivans and SUVs and CUVs instead of full size cars over the past 30 years. To them, a Fusion or Malibu is big enough, unless they go CUV. The difference between 1980 and now is that size has gone vertical, which is what Baby Boomers want. I actually like my 99 Park Avenue Ultra (most of the time) for what it is, and I would get a Chrysler 300 if I were buying brand new for two simple reasons: full size and RWD. The new Chevy SS cannot come soon enough. Because Baby Boomers are where the money is for the car market, automakers have to appeal to them, hence the Japanification of the midsize car and the dramatic shrinkage (and near-extinction) of full sized cars. How GM considers the new LaCrosse fullsize when the Lucerne is actually bigger is beyond me. I personally think that if GM is going to make big cars, make them fully sized insde and out. We may never return to 207" Park Avenues, but don't insult our intelligence by claiming the LaCrosse is full size when it feels like a midsizer once you get in.
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#17

dfelt

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 12:46 PM

I think the real issue is that Baby Boomers (as opposed to their elders) for the most part hate full-size cars, so the market has shrunken dramatically. (Also BOF cars died everywhere by 1997, Panthers excluded.) This is the same generation that embraced minivans and SUVs and CUVs instead of full size cars over the past 30 years. To them, a Fusion or Malibu is big enough, unless they go CUV. The difference between 1980 and now is that size has gone vertical, which is what Baby Boomers want. I actually like my 99 Park Avenue Ultra (most of the time) for what it is, and I would get a Chrysler 300 if I were buying brand new for two simple reasons: full size and RWD. The new Chevy SS cannot come soon enough. Because Baby Boomers are where the money is for the car market, automakers have to appeal to them, hence the Japanification of the midsize car and the dramatic shrinkage (and near-extinction) of full sized cars. How GM considers the new LaCrosse fullsize when the Lucerne is actually bigger is beyond me. I personally think that if GM is going to make big cars, make them fully sized insde and out. We may never return to 207" Park Avenues, but don't insult our intelligence by claiming the LaCrosse is full size when it feels like a midsizer once you get in.


Hate to say it, but I think you got this ALL WRONG. Baby Boomers love their full size cars. It is the folks these baby boomers breed that love all things small or vertical. All my baby boomer grand parents and parents love their big boat cars and most still have them. It seems the folks born late 50's to 70's seem to love their mini cars and or suv's.
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#18

balthazar

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 01:27 PM

I hate generalizations, especially demonizing ones. I'm Gen X, but I fully acknowledge I fall 'off the charts' as far as 'normal' goes.
I like cars built before I was born (my current Average Year Owned is older than I am, over 21 vehicles) and real full-size ones at that.
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#19

riviera74

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:40 AM

Dfelt, your timing on generations is probably much more accurate than mine. Apologies.
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