Even though General Motors is discontinuing the the Chevy Sonic in Canada after the 2018 model year, the automaker will keep the subcompact car range around.
“We remain committed to the Chevrolet Sonic in the U.S.”, Katie Minter of Chevrolet Communications told GM Authority in a statement.
Sales Results - USA - Sonic
- Note: starting with April 2018, sales data averaged evenly from quarterly sales reports
Sonic sales have fallen drastically over the past several years: Chevy moved 93,518 units of the Sonic in 2014 but only 20,613 units in 2018 – a drop of 78 percent.
It’s worth noting that, during this timeframe, GM had significantly modified its business model, reducing sales to daily rental fleet customers, which have traditionally varied from being unprofitable to only being slightly profitable.
Interestingly, GM’s market share of the mainstream subcompact segment (B segment) has dwindled in recent years, but those of other automakers – namely Kia, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota and Honda – have risen at the Sonic’s expense. So as consumers continue to switch from cars to crossovers, GM and its Chevy Sonic line are seeing a disproportionate amount of impact compared to other rivals in the subcompact space.
The scenario is not much better in Canada, where Sonic sales have been cut in half over the past few years. In 2014, GM delivered just a smidge over 8,000 units of the subcompact car. In 2017, that number fell 44 percent to 4,491 units.
GM Canada told us that dropping the Chevrolet in the market “will allow Chevrolet to focus [its] car strategy in areas where there is more customer interest, specifically the Spark in the Small Car segment” – where Chevy sees “volume and market share opportunities moving forward.”
Sales have all but dwindled to 37 units in October 2018 and 12 units in November 2018.
Sales Results - Canada - Sonic
The only other market where GM currently offers the Sonic is South Korea. The model, which is made locally at the GM Bupyeong plant, tallies under 1,000 units sold annually. The Sonic has already been sunset in all other markets where it was previously available, including China, Mexico, Central and South America.
The question now is, exactly how long will GM remain committed to the Sonic in the United States, where the model is manufactured at the GM Lake Orion plant in Michigan.
About Chevrolet Sonic
The Chevrolet Sonic is a subcompact family of vehicles that include a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback. Having replaced the Aveo in the Chevrolet lineup, the Sonic is currently Chevrolet's second-smallest car, slotting above the Chevrolet Spark city car but below the compact Chevrolet Cruze, midsize Chevrolet Malibu and full-size Chevrolet Impala.
The current model was introduced for the 2012 model year and represents the first generation of the Sonic nameplate. The model rides on the GM Gamma platform shared with the Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore.
The Sonic was given a midcycle refresh for the 2017 model year. The 2018 Chevy Sonic represents the sixth model year of the first-generation Sonic. The vehicle remains fairly competitive in its segment and the 2018 model year brings a handful of changes, including a new exterior color, a change to the Sun and Sound Package, and the standardization of the seven-inch diagonal color touchscreen.
For the 2019 model year, the Sonic gained one new exterior color (while losing two other colors), the removal of the base 1.8L naturally-aspirated Ecotec engine, and several other minor equipment-level changes.
The Sonic is assembled at the following plants:
- GM Lake Orion plant in Orion Township, Michigan, USA operated by GM USA supplying United States and Canada
- GM Bupyeong plant in South Korea operated by GM Korea supplying Korea (previously supplied Holden Barina for Australia and New Zealand)
- GM Cairo plant in Egypt operated by GM Egypt (plant idled)
- GM Hanoi plant in Vietnam operated by GM Vietnam (plant sold and no longer producing GM models)
A March 2017 rumor stated that GM would discontinue the Sonic as soon as 2018. As of this writing, it's unclear whether or not the nameplate will see a second generation. In November 2018, General Motors announced that it will discontinue the Chevrolet Cruze, along with five other passengers cars. Though the Sonic was not on that list, the model was discontinued in Canada. The move leaves the United States and South Korea as the only two markets where the model is currently available.
Related News & Info
- GM news
- GM forums
- Chevrolet Sonic information
- Running GM sales results