23 October 2014

Are traditional family cars a dying breed?

Is it the beginning of the end for the D-segment family car?

HONDA has recently announced that they will be axing the Accord next year come 2015. The Japanese manufacturer will be withdrawing it from the UK and other markets in Europe. It has been confirmed by Honda UK that there will be no replacement for the Accord in the near future. 

The trends and buying patterns for family cars have changed a lot over the years. Firstly, there's the growth in popularity of crossover SUVs and MPVs, of which people will buy and invest with their own money. 

Companies and fleets are more image conscious these days, so they're more likely to have a BMW 3-Series or Audi A4 being the repmobile of choice - but also for private buyers too. Along with MPVs and crossovers, they've stolen sales from traditional family saloons and estates. Altogether, the popularity of traditional family saloons, like the Accord, have slumped as a result.

Honda isn't the first manufacturer of having their traditional D-segment family car discontinued from their line-up. Renault have pulled the plug on the Laguna on the same basis. Nissan have done the same with Primera.

It's easy to see the logic behind their decision. Of which they believe is a waste of time and money, in making and trying to sell this type of car. Facing up to the fact that traditional family saloons and estates just don't sell in the numbers like they used to.

Despite Honda, Renault and Nissan throwing in the towel of their D-segment family cars. Other manufacturers are still continuing to make theirs, and still believe that there is a market for them. They will go the extra mile to try and lure fleets out of their German saloons. Mazda has recently launched the new 6; as have Volkswagen and Ford with the brand-new Passat and Mondeo. Vauxhall and Toyota have also updated the Insignia and the Avensis.

There is proof that there is a market for the traditional family car. In the UK, the Mondeo, Passat, Avensis, Insignia and Mazda6 are selling quite well. Still, they don't sell in the numbers like they would 20 - or even as recent as 10 years ago. However, the likes of the Peugeot 508 and Citroen C5 though are slow sellers.

This still begs the question. Are the traditional D-segment family cars a dying breed? Over to you on that...

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