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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Rumorpile: Good-Bye Sonic

      What happens to Orion Assembly?

    A new report from the Wall Street Journal says the Chevrolet Sonic could be no more as early as of the end of this year. According to sources, the decision comes down to consumers veering more towards trucks and utility vehicles, and declining sales. So far in 2018, sales of the Sonic have dropped 21.5 percent. Overall volume has dropped by over two-thirds when compared to the Sonic's best sales of 93,518 units in 2014.

    This could be more bad news for GM's Orion plant, home to the Chevrolet Sonic and Bolt. The plant already lost production of the Buick Verano in late 2016.

    The report also notes that Ford will be axing both the Taurus and Fiesta according to sources close to discussions.

    Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)



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    I can't blame them, it really is in some ways too small to be a safe commuter vehicle here in the states.  That being said, my mother is giving her me very low mileage Aveo.  She is keeping Dad's 2018 Outback.  I feel very protective of her little Chevy...and will kind of miss the Sonic.

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    The Spark I was in was a base trim, and it was horrific.
    The Sonic in the driveway here is an LTZ, and it's a pretty nice teeny car; I know which one I've vote to discontinue between the 2.
    Plus, I'm surprised Chevy doesn't keep it for CAFE purposes.

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    Sonic, Fiesta and Taurus are as good as dead.  I love when these PR types from car companies say they have no knowledge of them getting the axe, which means they are either lying or they are very bad at their job because we all know come 2020 none of those 3 will be around.

    I could see the Spark going too, that is imported from Korea, unless the manufacturering cost is crazy low on it, I think it will he killed off.   GM is stubborn so they may try to keep the Impala alive.  

    I think the Fusion will survive because they can sell it as cop cars, but if the new Focus that is revealed next week is “roomier, larger and better equipped” then o think Fusion is dead too.

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    The Taurus is the police car, not the Fusion.

    As for the Sonic, I suspect that the real reason is lack of sales and very tough competition from the Yaris and Fit and Rio and Accent and the Mazda 3 more than anything else.

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    6 hours ago, balthazar said:

    The Spark I was in was a base trim, and it was horrific.
    The Sonic in the driveway here is an LTZ, and it's a pretty nice teeny car; I know which one I've vote to discontinue between the 2.
    Plus, I'm surprised Chevy doesn't keep it for CAFE purposes.

    Why should they if the Sonic does not sell? 

    Maybe the Orion assembly plant should be used for better selling cars and pull production out of Mexico or Canada.  That will go very well with the current administration.

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    5 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    The Taurus is the police car, not the Fusion.

    Image result for ford fusion police 

     

    And the reason why a Fusion might surplant the Taurus as a SEDAN cop car (as the Explorer is doing a fine job as a police interceptor model really the one to replace the Taurus) is that the Fusion Interceptor is sold as a hybrid.

    Image result for ford fusion police

    Image result for ford fusion police

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    23 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

     

    As for the Sonic, I suspect that the real reason is lack of sales and very tough competition from the Yaris and Fit and Rio and Accent and the Mazda 3 more than anything else.

    That...and just maybe...the Sonic is simply just...a shytty car! 

    Is a Mazda 2 a shytier car?

    Quite possibly.

    Is a Nissan Micra an equal pile of...?

    I dunno. Maybe the Sonic is a good little car, all I know I wouldnt be caught dead seen in one let alone me buying one. 

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    The Sonic is the nicest car in its class.  It has a lot of heart, character and style.  And it rides quieter than a lot of its competitors.

    Over onto the social media, whenever Chevy posts a promotional photo of the Sonic, ppl cry that it has lost some of its mojo with the MCE.  This could also be a reason for its sales decline.  I really like the new look of the car, but I guess I'm in the minority.

    I have this feeling that GM purposely sabotaged the car with the MCE knowing there would be an outcry from the faithful.  They want to sell more Trax at a higher price... but they needed to "build out" more Sonics to get their money out of the tooling... so they "wounded" it.  Mortally.  But its death had to be eventual, not immediate.

    Now if only the dowdy Trax had anywhere near the fun spirit of the Sonic...  a replacement for the Trax cannot come soon enough.  And it needs to be good.

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    21 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    I can't blame them, it really is in some ways too small to be a safe commuter vehicle here in the states.  That being said, my mother is giving her me very low mileage Aveo.  She is keeping Dad's 2018 Outback.  I feel very protective of her little Chevy...and will kind of miss the Sonic.

    Sorry, but your statement about Sonic safety is rubbish.  Sonic was one of the earliest small cars to get top crash test ratings. Indeed the gamma platform gets great ratings across the board. The crash test ratings for our Encore were a selling point for us.

    Sonic is built in the US at US wages and sells at a low price.

    Trax is built in Korea at Korean wages and sells at a higher price.

    Aside from the AWD available in the Trax, they are the same vehicle in terms of material costs yet there is a $5k spread in base price to the Trax's advantage.

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    36 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Sorry, but your statement about Sonic safety is rubbish.  Sonic was one of the earliest small cars to get top crash test ratings. Indeed the gamma platform gets great ratings across the board. The crash test ratings for our Encore were a selling point for us.

    Sonic is built in he US at US wages and sells at a low price.

    Trax is built in Korea at Korean wages and sells at a higher price.

    Aside from the AWD available in the Trax, they are the same vehicle in terms of material costs yet there is a $5k spread in base price to the Trax's advantage.

    Let me re phrase that...I would not feel safe driving a Sonic in heavy traffic in a major city. 

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    1 minute ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Let me re phrase that...I would not feel safe driving a Sonic in heavy traffic in a major city. 

    Not sure why.  My Encore is great around town. I sit in heavy city traffic in the Encore nearly every day.  I had it in Manhattan last week.  Sonic is one of the few small cars I would feel comfortable in and is also comfortable for long trips. 

    Fiesta and Versa are the ones that make me nervous.

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    Just now, Drew Dowdell said:

    Not sure why.  My Encore is great around town. I sit in heavy city traffic in the Encore nearly every day.  I had it in Manhattan last week.  Sonic is one of the few small cars I would feel comfortable in and is also comfortable for long trips. 

    Fiesta and Versa are the ones that make me nervous.

    Versa would make me nervous.  This is actually a really helpful conversation because I have two children getting ready to drive/buy first cars. Sonic is a VERY attractive buy from a price/fuel economy/reliability standpoint.

    Thought about buying a Fiesta ST when we bought the Beetle but the small size of the Fiesta made me nervous.  Kid (Jeff) in my pic here took out a large telephone pole with his Fiesta ST, totaled the car but he lived.

    But seriously...even Encore felt a little small to me.  Really liked it when we looked at it.

    Oddly never felt unsafe in the Miata, but I think that was just the testosterone poisoning of "I can avoid anything, I am superman" playing as a script in my head.

    Interesting also from the article above...Ford getting rid of Taurus and Fiesta. That would leave Ford with the Mustang, (sports car obviously) and the Focus (small sedan/wagon.) They would then be very similar to Subaru, with mostly SUV vehicles. 

    legacy sells in fairly small numbers wonder if it will go away like the Taurus?

     

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    8 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Versa would make me nervous.  This is actually a really helpful conversation because I have two children getting ready to drive/buy first cars. Sonic is a VERY attractive buy from a price/fuel economy/reliability standpoint.

    Thought about buying a Fiesta ST when we bought the Beetle but the small size of the Fiesta made me nervous.  Kid (Jeff) in my pic here took out a large telephone pole with his Fiesta ST, totaled the car but he lived.

    But seriously...even Encore felt a little small to me.  Really liked it when we looked at it.

    Oddly never felt unsafe in the Miata, but I think that was just the testosterone poisoning of "I can avoid anything, I am superman" playing as a script in my head.

    This is one of the few areas where size doesn't matter as long as you do it right.  A SMART can take out the front third of an E-Class in a frontal offset collision and the passenger compartment of the SMART will survive enough that the doors will still open.  GM got the Gamma platform very very right in regards to crash safety.  While the Sonic, Fiesta, Versa are all in the same size class, driving them back to back should put to bed any doubts you have as to which is the more solid vehicle. The Fiesta and Versa feel like thinly built cheap vehicles... which they largely are.  The Sonic feels more like a cut down Malibu.  It has a mass to it that the other two do not have. 

    Get yourself a Sonic with the RS package and the 1.4T, it has a sportier gearing and while not need for speed fast it won't be slow either. 

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    22 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    This is one of the few areas where size doesn't matter as long as you do it right.  A SMART can take out the front third of an E-Class in a frontal offset collision and the passenger compartment of the SMART will survive enough that the doors will still open.  GM got the Gamma platform very very right in regards to crash safety.  While the Sonic, Fiesta, Versa are all in the same size class, driving them back to back should put to bed any doubts you have as to which is the more solid vehicle. The Fiesta and Versa feel like thinly built cheap vehicles... which they largely are.  The Sonic feels more like a cut down Malibu.  It has a mass to it that the other two do not have. 

    Get yourself a Sonic with the RS package and the 1.4T, it has a sportier gearing and while not need for speed fast it won't be slow either. 

    Honestly probably the most helpful thing I have read here in the last 3 months.  Sold the MINI Cooper S awhile back and have not replaced it.  Do not want another convertible (Miata, Ohio weather) or RWD (FRS, Ohio weather) or German (BMW parts prices and reliability, Cooper S) for next daily driver.  Still want a little bit of a go kart of a car. Will check this out, seriously.

    https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=477930635&zip=43209&referrer=%2Fcars-for-sale%2Fsearchresults.xhtml%3Fzip%3D43209%26startYear%3D1981%26sortBy%3Drelevance%26incremental%3Dall%26firstRecord%3D0%26endYear%3D2019%26modelCodeList%3DSONIC%26makeCodeList%3DCHEV%26searchRadius%3D25&startYear=1981&numRecords=25&firstRecord=0&endYear=2019&modelCodeList=SONIC&makeCodeList=CHEV&searchRadius=25&makeCode1=CHEV&modelCode1=SONIC

     

    HMMMM....

     

    • cb3937870353435bad3ebb6c7cb02e7d.jpg

    RS model to boot....!

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    1 minute ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Honestly probably the most helpful thing I have read here in the last 3 months.  Sold the MINI Cooper S awhile back and have not replaced it.  Do not want another convertible (Miata, Ohio weather) or RWD (FRS, Ohio weather) or German (BMW parts prices and reliability, Cooper S) for next daily driver.  Still want a little bit of a go kart of a car. Will check this out, seriously.

    Since I know you like manuals, the RS is also available with a 6-speed row your own.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.  IT's also one of the better/best/easiest to drive manual transmission setups anywhere close to the class.   A BMW or Mini may do it better, but you'll also pay 50% to 100% more. 

    Good luck trying to find one in that setup though. 

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    It surprises me they are getting rid of the Sonic and not the smaller Spark. 

    I was looking at the Sonic RS before I bought my Focus and I just couldn't get over the size of the car. I'm all for smaller vehicles(I drive a Focus!) but it's just too small for me. They'd be perfect for a new driver though. I would definitely look at one if I was buying one for a high school kid. 

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    17 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    That is a fantastic price for that lil runabout. 

    Yeah, and my Tax return check will be here in about 4 days, electronically filed about two weeks ago. Biggest thing now is I am trying to save every freaking penny because my son (younger son) is in college and would like to spend part of his Junior year abroad.

    17 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    It surprises me they are getting rid of the Sonic and not the smaller Spark. 

    I was looking at the Sonic RS before I bought my Focus and I just couldn't get over the size of the car. I'm all for smaller vehicles(I drive a Focus!) but it's just too small for me. They'd be perfect for a new driver though. I would definitely look at one if I was buying one for a high school kid. 

    The above mentioned 19 year old son and my 17 year old daughter will both need cars.

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    16 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    It surprises me they are getting rid of the Sonic and not the smaller Spark. 

    I was looking at the Sonic RS before I bought my Focus and I just couldn't get over the size of the car. I'm all for smaller vehicles(I drive a Focus!) but it's just too small for me. They'd be perfect for a new driver though. I would definitely look at one if I was buying one for a high school kid. 

    Sonic is more expensive to build because it is built in the US.   I would have like to see them move it to Lordstown with Cruze... Lordstown definitely has the capacity.  If not there, then Korea to be built with the other Gammas.... but GM is fighting with the Korean unions at the moment.  Maybe they want to bring Trax and Encore to Orion?

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    54 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Sonic is more expensive to build because it is built in the US.   I would have like to see them move it to Lordstown with Cruze... Lordstown definitely has the capacity.  If not there, then Korea to be built with the other Gammas.... but GM is fighting with the Korean unions at the moment.  Maybe they want to bring Trax and Encore to Orion?

    I would love to see that.

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    On 4/4/2018 at 2:11 PM, balthazar said:

    The Spark I was in was a base trim, and it was horrific.
    The Sonic in the driveway here is an LTZ, and it's a pretty nice teeny car; I know which one I've vote to discontinue between the 2.
    Plus, I'm surprised Chevy doesn't keep it for CAFE purposes.

    My gut tells me that the BOLT and VOLT Platforms will be used to make up CAFE what the Sonic and Spark cover, thought the Spark will probably be kept around a bit longer for entry level price point.

    4 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Let me re phrase that...I would not feel safe driving a Sonic in heavy traffic in a major city. 

    In a City with full size SUV / Trucks, I would not feel safe in a Sonic or Spark either.

    Pass on them.

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    47 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    My gut tells me that the BOLT and VOLT Platforms will be used to make up CAFE what the Sonic and Spark cover, thought the Spark will probably be kept around a bit longer for entry level price point.

    In a City with full size SUV / Trucks, I would not feel safe in a Sonic or Spark either.

    Pass on them.

    My daughter who works as a claims adjuster lost it emotionally when she found out her mother and I were thinking about a car that small.

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    After totaling my 2011 Fiesta in August of 2011, I swore at that time I would never buy another car that small.  But the Chevy Sonic feels so much more solid and secure, I would bend that vow.

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    59 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

    After totaling my 2011 Fiesta in August of 2011, I swore at that time I would never buy another car that small.  But the Chevy Sonic feels so much more solid and secure, I would bend that vow.

    I would hope that you would stay with something bigger. I would hate to have you get hurt in such a small auto. 

    Yes I know it is rated well for crash testing, but the facts still remain the same, small auto's are not as safe as being in something bigger.

    SmartCarCrash.jpg

    Your Life to me is worth more than the MPG they give.

    SmartCar between two trucks.

    Chevy Sonic Accident

    See the source image

    I would hate for anyone on this Forum to be in an accident in a compact or especially subcompact car.

    I cherish everyone here.

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    1 hour ago, ocnblu said:

    After totaling my 2011 Fiesta in August of 2011, I swore at that time I would never buy another car that small.  But the Chevy Sonic feels so much more solid and secure, I would bend that vow.

    After driving the Fusion hybrid on a recent road trip both comfort and safety would probably push me to something larger.

    I still really like the Sonic though.

    2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    I would hope that you would stay with something bigger. I would hate to have you get hurt in such a small auto. 

    Yes I know it is rated well for crash testing, but the facts still remain the same, small auto's are not as safe as being in something bigger.

    SmartCarCrash.jpg

    Your Life to me is worth more than the MPG they give.

    SmartCar between two trucks.

    Chevy Sonic Accident

    See the source image

    I would hate for anyone on this Forum to be in an accident in a compact or especially subcompact car.

    I cherish everyone here.

    Having driven by and even witnesed fatal accidents. In my years of driving I might well agree.

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    Well, it's certainly not a surprise, but GM never let this car reach it's potential. It had a nice chassis, quirky styling, a nice size, but was always just a few steps away from being fully baked. The RS model should have had another 40hp. 

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    43 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    Well, it's certainly not a surprise, but GM never let this car reach it's potential. It had a nice chassis, quirky styling, a nice size, but was always just a few steps away from being fully baked. The RS model should have had another 40hp. 

    Pretty much most GM products for at least 40 years. 

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    IMO the Sonic's issue was price.. It is not much cheaper than compact cars like the Elantra, Forte, Cruze etc.

     

     

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    39 minutes ago, frogger said:

    IMO the Sonic's issue was price.. It is not much cheaper than compact cars like the Elantra, Forte, Cruze etc.

     

     

    That and the styling of the sedan.  The 5-door I thought looked great, the sedan was awkward looking. People tend not to buy hatchbacks though. 

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    Too bad.....with too many small cars the writing was on the wall......

     

    It's too bad though...I really like how the sonic drives! But I want nothing smaller than my Cobalt at this point in my life...

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    Dropping it is a bit short-sighted.  If gas prices spike and the market shifts to small cars, GM is going to be in caught empty handed. 

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