Auto blogWed, 07 Nov 2012
Hurricane Sandy was the largest Atlantic storm in US history, and its total economic impact is just now coming into view. According to Automotive News, Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan and Honda are set to scrap around 15,000 new vehicles ruined by the storm. Nissan alone accounts for about 40 percent of those, with 6,000 Nissan and Infiniti models deeded "un-saleable" due to damage. The company saw 56 dealerships shuttered due to the storm, but 51 of those have since reopened.
Toyota, meanwhile, had some 4,000 vehicles at its Newark port facility, and of those, 3,000 may be scrapped. An additional 825 were dealer inventory when they were ruined. Honda and Acura dealers are reportedly sending 3,440 vehicles to the salvage yard. By comparison, Chrysler weathered the storm fairly well with 825 units destroyed, while Hyundai suffered only 400 lost units and Kia scrapped around 200.
As you may recall, Fisker also suffered some losses, and Automotive News reports the manufacturer saw 320 Karma models damaged beyond repair. Ford and General Motors have yet to come up with estimates, and no automaker has commented on the full cost of replacing the vehicles.
It happens every year. We bid adieu to some cars and trucks that will be missed, and say good riddance to others wondering how they stayed around so long. Whether they're being killed off for slow sales or due to a new product coming along to replace them, the list of vehicles being discontinued after 2012 is surprisingly long and diverse.
CNN Money has compiled a list of departing vehicles, to which we've added a few more of our own. In the slow sales column, cars like the Lexus HS 250h, Mercedes-Benz R-Class and the full Maybach lineup appear, while the Ford Escape Hybrid, Mazda CX-7 and Hyundai Veracruz are all having their gaps filled with more modern and more fuel-efficient alternatives. Obvious exceptions to the rule include models that still sell in decent numbers like the Jeep Liberty and the Chrysler Town & Country (which will eventually be replaced by a crossover-like vehicle).
Check out our gallery of discontinued cars above, then scroll down for more information.
As with one of those blockbuster three-team NBA trades that actually improves the fortunes of every team involved, a report in Autocar indicates that Renault, Infiniti and Lotus are in talks that could benefit both manufacturers and enthusiasts. Renault is considering a production version of the devil-in-blue Alpine A110-50 concept but has said that it "probably needs more than the Renault-Nissan Alliance on its own." Enter Lotus, whose Evora platform could supply the running bits for the mid-engined Alpine revival.
That same Evora platform, in range-extended 414E concept form, is the basis for the Infiniti Emerg-E concept. Even though a decision hasn't been made on the Emerg-E's production, it is still being developed and the company has admitted that it "could be built in Britain." For its part, Lotus has said that it's ahead of schedule on the Evora 414E, with its 408 horsepower, 738 pound-feet of torque and 30-mile electric range. Development funds from both Renault and Infiniti could help make all three cars a closer possibility.