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As 2017 draws to a close, we take a look back at ten significant vehicles that were discontinued in South Africa during the year.
Of course, other models were also axed over the past 12 months (along with complete brands, such as Chevrolet and Dodge, although we’ll ignore these for now), but we’ve decided to pick out the following ten as some of the most significant. Take note that we’ve excluded discontinued models that were effectively replaced (such as the BMW 5 Series GT that found itself succeeded by the 6 Series GT).
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
With the popularity of MPVs continuing to wane, BMW SA opted to stop importing the front-wheel-drive Active Tourer, leaving the local arm of the Munich-based automaker with seven fewer derivatives in its 2 Series range.
Volkswagen Golf SV
Like the Active Tourer above, the Volkswagen Golf SV found itself on the chopping block after failing to make much of an impact on the local MPV segment, despite pricing that undercut the likes of the BMW and Mercedes-Benz B-Class.
The typical South African sedan buyer still seems to prefer a German badge over, well, anything else. And that’s at least part of the reason the Fusion seemed destined to fail locally, proving time and again to be Ford’s toughest sell.
Mazda MX-5 roadster
The world’s best-selling roadster is no longer offered in South Africa. Yes, the soft-top version of the little rear-wheel-drive MX-5 has been cut from Mazda Southern Africa’s official price-list, while the auto-only MX-5 RF curiously remains.
Interestingly, the Scirocco’s demise is a global rather than merely local one, with Volkswagen confirming the end of the line for the third-generation, front-wheel-drive coupé…
Back in 2013, the Sentra badge returned to South Africa after an absence of about eight years. Three years later, though, the Nissan sedan has again been pulled, after struggling to find a foothold in the local market (the smaller Almera, though, has proven popular with rental buyers).
When the Vitara was added to Suzuki Auto SA’s line-up, the SX4 was forced to play second fiddle in the crossover stakes. Interestingly, though, the local arm of the Japanese automaker said that its decision to scrap the SX4 is “not cast in stone” and that it could change “dependent on spec available”.
Volkswagen SA discontinued all Beetle variants before adding 50 examples of the limited-edition Beetle R-Line derivative. Now that the special R-Line model has come and gone, the Bug has reached the end of the line locally.
Production of the B-Max reportedly ceased in September, but sales of Ford’s mini-MPV – with its hinged front and sliding rear doors – started flagging in South Africa earlier in 2017. Ford fans looking for a car this size, it seems, prefer the Fiesta and EcoSport…
Mitsubishi’s frankly forgettable Mirage quietly left the SA stage this year, as the local arm of the Japanese brand turned its attention to updating its SUV range and adding the new Triton bakkie.
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