July Is The Last Month To Place Chevrolet Sonic Orders17
As GM Authority was first to report, 2020 will be the last model year of the Chevrolet Sonic. To that end, we’ve recently come to learn that dealers will be able to place Sonic orders through the end of July. A few weeks after, Sonic production will come to an end at the GM Lake Orion plant.
Additionally, we’ve also learned that the LT Hatchback – the base trim level of the Sonic hatch – is currently the fastest-turning Sonic model. The five-door hatchback model has a starting price that’s roughly $3,000 higher than its four-door sedan brother. That’s because the base hatch is the LT model, whereas the base sedan is the lesser-equipped LS model. Additionally, the Sonic hatch comes standard with the sporty RS appearance package, whereas the RS package optional on the Sonic sedan.
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan – starting MSRP:
- LS – $17,595
- LT – $19,495
- Premier – $21,595
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback – starting MSRP:
- LT – $20,295
- Premier – $22,395
General Motors says that the decision to discontinue the Chevrolet Sonic is supported by declining demand. The Sonic was first introduced for the 2012 model year as a replacement for the Aveo. Chevrolet Sonic sales peaked in 2014 with 93,518 units, but quickly took a downturn thereafter, posting 30,290 units in 2017 and 20,613 units in 2018. The Sonic’s weakest sales performance was last year, when the model accounted for only 13,971 deliveries. Additionally, the U.S. is the last remaining market where the Sonic is sold, having been dropped in various international markets including Australia (where it was sold as the Barina), South Korea (where it was sold as the Aveo), and Canada (where it was sold as the Sonic).
No replacement is planned as of this writing, though it’s possible (though highly unlikely) that GM could offer the Chevrolet Onix for U.S. and Canadian markets. The Onix is currently the best-selling new car in South America, and recently launched in Mexico.
Once Sonic production ends at the Lake Orion facility near Detroit, the plant will be converted to produce the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt EUV, which is a slightly larger version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the latter of which is also produced at plant. As such, the Orion facility will be tasked with building entirely electric vehicles. The new Bolt EUV will go into production later this year or in early 2021, and it will also bring with it a refreshed Bolt EV.
No matter, those who really want the Sonic before production ends should coordinate with their dealer to place an order before the end of July. After that, order banks will close. Forever.
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Too bad, it was underrated but actually a very good compact car.
I don’t remember seeing advertising for the Sonic, print or broadcast. I doubt buyers know it exists. Wonder why it doesn’t sell?
The Sonic came to GM as s compact car needed for the US recession (gas zipper) and to help boost sales of GM while in bankruptcy.
Once that was forgotten, forgotten was the vehicle and therefore any advertisement.
Remember the bungee jump of the Sonic, the big skateboard for the Sonic, the Sonic in the Transformers movie? It had advertisement but it was all dumped as GM does constantly.
So that B segment that supposedly don’t sell, has a Kia Rio on its seventh or eight generation, hatch and sedan.
It is a shame. Again, I would have installed a 1.4L Turbo SGE (the one of the Cruze) as the Brazilian market Tracker / Trax. All the hardware was developed and used. Just needed a will from marketing, sales and engineering.
“So that B segment that supposedly don’t sell, has a Kia Rio on its seventh or eight generation, hatch and sedan.”
But it’s true – the B segment does not sell.
The segment contracted 23.5 percent to 287,042 units in 2018 (vs. 2017). The segment contracted again to 275,000 units in calendar year 2019:
It’s then projected to shrink another 25 percent between 2020 and 2022 (in the U.S. market).
Keeping in mind that a manufacturer needs about 100,000 annual sales of a mainstream vehicle to come close to breaking even on a program, 275,000 sales (and shrinking) leaves enough room for about two competitors. That’s already not great.
And then there’s the fact that this segment has extremely tight margins (low transaction prices and profitability), which make it even less attractive still. Sure, Nissan, Kia and Hyundai keep pumping new products (and money) into it… but they’re not making much (if anything) from it, even when taking into consideration sales volume derived from international / non-U.S. markets. Ford already exited and Toyota is half-a$$ing this segment by rebadging a Mazda. I would not be surprised to see a few more rivals exit in the mid-term future.
As much as I’m a fan of most cars sold in this space, it’s hard to argue against the fact that there are better, more lucrative and more attractive opportunities out there.
That said, the Sonic will certainly be missed.
Again, it’s worth pointing out that the Sonic is a large B segment vehicle. In Japan its width actually prohibits it from being classified as a subcompact. It definitely competed to some degree with many compacts. Ford hasn’t exited the subcompact space, they still offer a subcompact it’s just a CUV now. Alex loves to point out the low profit margins on these vehicles, but there’s no reason that needs to be the case if GM built something worth paying a premium for. I think a prime example of that would be the new Trailblazer. I would be willing to spend around 30k on a vehicle like that, but not with a three cylinder and a slushbox.
I think 30k should still leave plenty of meat on the bones for GM to make ends meet. Meanwhile, GM dumps stupid amounts of money into like 15 different convoluted mid-sized CUVs that all compete with each other for sales… asinine.
Also, if Kia and Hyundai aren’t making money how come their share prices are so similar to GM’s?
How true. GM conceived, designed, engineered, built, priced and marketed the Sonic. So who’s fault is it that it failed? The Corporation failed the car. The car didn’t fail by itself.
Catbert – who said that the Sonic failed?! It did not fail.
The Sonic lived out its lifecycle. It has always been planned to be sunset around 2019-2020. GM simply decided not to invest in a direct replacement for it.
As an example, let’s use tech: if the market has clearly shifted to buying wireless headphones, would you try to sell them wired headphones? Maybe. But would you invest significant financial and staff resources into redesigning the wired headphone line, putting it into production and marketing it, while knowing that the wired headphones market will continue to shrink? Probably not.
It all comes down to a very simple notion: selling into an ever-shrinking segment is not the best use of company resources.
The Sonic lived out its life – a relatively long one, at that. It did its job, and it’s now going away to make room for more of what consumers want today: crossovers and SUVs. It’s literally that simple.
When a model belly’s up, it failed. It failed to adapt or improve of morph or a combination of a dozen things. GM’s tendency to avoid spending assets to maintain segment presence, whether geographically or segment will leave them cash in the short term, but little wiggle room down the road if there are mistakes made with the money made…i.e if the electric car or self driving car strategy does not go as planned. GM has spent huge bundles of money betting on the non-traditional cars of the future, and that’s OK, but it better happen to their time plan or GM will have new technology with not enough buyers, and not sufficient cash flow from old technology to prevent cash bleed. Dropping models is a way to keep fresh, if something better takes its’ place somewhere in the lineup. That’s been the problem.
Too much generalization and ideology, not enough fact and specificity.
The Sonic had a nine year-long lifespan during which time it was quite successful, reaching and maintaining the top 3 in segment sales position. If you choose to characterize that as a failure, that’s up to you, but it doesn’t align with reality.
Speaking of which, one could argue that the Sonic actually DOES have a replacement. It’s called the Chevrolet Onix:
GM chose not to bring it to the U.S. (at least not yet). Why? Because there isn’t enough buyers to warrant the investment.
Generally-speaking, choosing not to compete in ever-shrinking, low-margin segments is good business. There are other opportunities that are bigger and more lucrative. GM is well aware of that.
By the way, if GM’s EV or AV efforts don’t go as planned, GM still has its highly-successful traditional auto business to fall back on. You know, the same auto business that allowed it to be the only Big 3 automaker to post a profit in COVID-riddled Q1.
h4cksaw – Your argument and logic have more holes than Swiss cheese.
1. You claim that the Sonic “definitely competed to some degree with many compacts” – but there is zero evidence to support this notion notion.
The Sonic always had positioning and pricing as that of a subcompact car. The fact that it was a teeny bit larger than the average B segment car is irrelevant. Consumers don’t buy based on inches and millimeters. They buy based on vehicle type and price. Japan? Great, you found a technicality that’s irrelevant.
The fact remains that the Sonic was a B-segment car and the Cruze was the C-segment car. It’s as simple as that. If you think otherwise, the burden is on you to prove that – because such an argument defies logic and reality.
2. “Ford hasn’t exited the subcompact space, they still offer a subcompact it’s just a CUV now.”
Huh? Ford has exited the subcompact car space in the U.S. (Fiesta). The subcompact utility space is a different segment, where it continues to compete and expand its presence (EcoSport, Bronco Sport).
3. “Alex loves to point out the low profit margins on these vehicles, but there’s no reason that needs to be the case if GM built something worth paying a premium for.”
Have fun convincing one of the most price-conscious customer bases in the market on that line of thinking. There is a natural price ceiling here.
4. “I think 30k should still leave plenty of meat on the bones for GM to make ends meet.”
ATP for subcompact cars in 2019 CY was just a smidge below $23K. That’s so much less than the $30k, that you might as well be in a different space altogether. Let the numbers speak for themselves.
5. “Meanwhile, GM dumps stupid amounts of money into like 15 different convoluted mid-sized CUVs that all compete with each other for sales… asinine.”
There are two (count em, two!) mainstream midsize crossovers from GM at the moment – the Acadia and Blazer. Nowhere near the 15 that you mentioned. Even if you combine mid-size and full-size, you end up with four (Acadia, Blazer, Traverse, Enclave). Again, still very far from the false 15 figure you provided. Why provide false info?
That said, each one of the four aforementioned models is insanely profitable and demand is through the roof. Additionally, the segment is healthy and is projected to continue expanding into the future. If chasing those customers is “asinine” in your book, then I sure am glad you’re not running a business.
6. “Also, if Kia and Hyundai aren’t making money how come their share prices are so similar to GM’s?”
What share prices? Neither Hyundai nor Kia are traded on a U.S. stock exchange. Conversely, GM is not traded on a Korean stock exchange. There is no way to even compare the values here, so this is another fictitious data point you pulled out of your derrière
Besides, stock price is meaningless. If you want to have a relevant and educated conversation about this, then you should bring up market cap, profit and revenue figures – all tangible data points that actually mean something.
I’ll do you a favor and course-correct for you: nobody said that Kia or Hyundai “aren’t making money”, although both combined make less than GM does (while also getting substantial bailouts from the Korea Development Bank and other government subsidies/bailouts in their home market). Either way, what I did say above is that there is very little money in the B car segment, and it’s not going to get any better. That is all.
It’s ok, I’d be mad too if I had to daily drive a Trailblazer.
I bet that the Trailblazer is better than anything you have ever owned.
By the way, real nice answer to Alex’s thorough comment. What happened, did facts get in the way of your brain?
I have a 2012 LTZ Sedan Turbo 6 speed manual and have 158000 miles on it. Its a very good vehicle. Most of the repairs have been the normal items.
I have the original Brakes and Battery. It’s was our commuter vehicle 96-100 per day. I sold it to my friend who will be doing the same type of commute. In the winter I put 4 snow tires on the puppy and it had no problems. I live in Northern Colorado. I do have an order for a 2020 premiere hatchback that I will use as a Toad behind my motor home. Yes, they can be flat towed. I’ll know this week if the allocation goes through. I can’t see why not since the last day to order is end of July.
Yea, no advertisement what so ever. Jeez wonder why sales are low!!!
Another masterpiece of GM Daewoo is gone. How sad!
I have a 2016 lt turbo 60 thousand miles in my motor died smh.i hope the 2020 has a temperature gauge that’s what the shop said that was the only thing bad about this car .
I had a 2015 Chevy Sonic LT turbo and had 70, 000 mile sold it why? LUV 1.4 Ecotec engine has camshaft cover
issue that GM and Sonic owners know about it . A very poor engineering design got it fix under warranty . Now
a 2018 Chevy Sonic and with the 1.8 LWE Ecotec and lovin it . With 1.8 and 1.4 engines that where offered
meaning up until 2018 was the last year offered for the 1.8 designed engine. The mileage on the 1.8 is barely different in what I had in the 2015 Chevy turbo . GM could have saved the Sonic and put the new I3 engine or
EV electric Sad to see it go…
I have a 2013 Chevy Sonic with 210,000 miles. I have the 1.4Turbo and changed the cam/valve cover myself due to the failing integrated PVC. That was the ONLY issue I have had with my Sonic. The car has been BULLETPROOF and the dipstick still reads full between oil changes.