The sedan is falling rapidly out of favor in many world markets but especially so in America, where demand for SUVs is rising to a fever pitch. GM is reporting sedan sales are down over 30% so far this year. Amid predictions that sedans will be even less popular in the future, The General is considering the elimination of 6 sedans from its product lineup, including the iconic Chevrolet Impala and its highly regarded PHEV vehicle, the Chevy Volt. The Volt may exit the Chevy lineup in 2022.
The company’s investment in the Voltec plug-in hybrid technology won’t go to waste, however. Word is that Chevrolet will introduce a new plug-in hybrid sport utility vehicle known as the CrossVolt in 2020. GM renewed its trademark on that name in late 2104.
An SUV version of the Volt makes a lot of sense. As good as the current Volt is, it suffers from a lack of passenger space, particularly in the back seat. The middle of the rear seat is not really suitable for a real person and the headliner needs two areas scooped out on either side to provide enough head room for adults. A PHEV SUV would likely prove quite popular.
Back in 2010, Chevrolet released photos of a concept plug-in hybrid SUV style vehicle it called the Volt MPV5. In today’s world, the styling of that concept may seem rather bland, but there’s nothing saying Chevy couldn’t knock the socks off the competition by making the CrossVolt look similar to the very tasty looking FNR-X concept it had on display at the Shanghai auto show this spring.
If the MPV5 was rather dowdy and Plain Jane in appearance, the FNR-X definitely has looks that sizzle. Put a plug-in hybrid powertrain in this sport utility and customers would line up around the block and down the street.
In addition to the Impala — once the star of the Chevrolet bvand — and the Volt, GM is also planning to ax the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6, Cadillac XTS, and Chevrolet Sonic, all of which have seen sales tumble of late as the SUV craze gathers steam.