The news that Ford plans to pare down their international production model should not have come as a surprise to anyone with an eye on the automotive industry. After all, the rise of crossovers and the increasingly international scope of each auto manufacturer necessitates radical changes in the marketplace.
But Ford's downshift to only five base platforms for all their models is also a disappointment. Amid the positive response to the current Mustang and forthcoming Ranger and Bronco, models like the Focus RS have fallen by the wayside.
But at least Ford is taking a different approach than GM, which is currently experiencing employee problems that just might have something to do with forced retirements and contract buyouts.
The executives at both Ford and GM have a lot on their plates, no doubt, but they should really be focused more on axing these 20 models from their lineups.
20 Ford EcoSport
Ford has been building the EcoSport since 2003, though the little crossover only got to the US market in 2018. But this is one bland vehicle that Ford definitely needs to stop building. It lends nothing to the overall lineup other than another tiny, boring minivan that's been lifted a few inches higher.
19 Ford Edge
If Ford wants to reclaim their position as America's premier automotive manufacturer, their current strategy needs to change. Reducing their number of vehicle platforms is one step that will help save money, which they can use to work on more impressive designs. There's just nothing about the Ford Edge that inspires buyers other than price.
18 Ford Expedition
The Expedition has sat at the top of Ford's SUV lineup since the Excursion proved itself too big to not fail. But the Expedition has slowly increased in size, while also becoming more and more similar in styling to its competitor, the Chevrolet Suburban. This one needs to be shelved in favor of a more unique SUV.
17 Ford Flex
Ford's Flex barely even qualifies as an SUV, even if the company keeps trying to convince the public that it's not a minivan. The only difference is a ride height that's a few inches higher. Otherwise, the long, boxy body does little to hide the fact that this vehicle is more for cramming in the kids than any off-road fun.
16 Ford Fusion
Designing automobiles that will be popular throughout the world is a difficult challenge. But the Ford Fusion is still a disappointment, no matter how you look at it. There's just nothing about this car that stands out from the crowd, which may be why Ford initially planned to drop it with so many other models. However, recent reports suggest the Fusion may stick around, for reasons that baffle just about everyone.
15 Ford Taurus
The Taurus has defined bland commuter cars since its original debut in the late-1980s and 1990s. It should come as no surprise that this model looks to have gotten the axe now that Ford is paring down their manufacturing methods. The fact that it sold well at any point in its production run remains a surprise.
14 Ford Fiesta
Ford also announced that the Fiesta would be going by the wayside, which came as a surprise to no one who has ever driven in the United States. But the rest of the world loves the small hatchback, where it looks to still be sold. With Ken Block blasting around in Fiestas, though, it seems likely Ford could change their mind, which would be another mistake.
13 Ford Escape
The Ford Escape somehow managed to escape Ford's massive production cuts, though perhaps the company would have been better served letting this model go the way of the dinosaurs. Nothing about the Escape separates it from all the other bland crossovers on the market, and the 2020 model looks to be powered by a turbo-three, which is just silly.
12 Chevrolet Malibu
Chevy first released the Malibu back in 1964, though the current version has lost all the spirit that made the original so great. In fact, things have been on a downward spiral since the fourth-gen of 1978. GM needs to either cut the umbilical cord on the Malibu or revamp it into something special.
11 Chevrolet Colorado
Chevy may have finally realized that they needed to release a pickup truck to compete with the F-150 Raptor, but even the Colorado in ZR2 Bison trim still has a lot left to be desired. In fact, the entire Colorado model lineup should probably be dumped from GM's production schedule. Maybe a beefier mid-sized pickup would do the trick.
10 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro
The original Yenko Camaro came about when Don Yenko decided that GM wasn't doing things properly and dropped a Corvette engine in some special-editions that he sold at his dealership. Now, a Chevy team-up with Specialty Vehicle Engineering has brought the Yenko name back into the mix. Up to 1,000 horsepower might sound great but Chevy needs to be pretty worried this is going to grind the Camaro up from the inside out.
9 Chevrolet Equinox
Just like every other automotive manufacturer in the world, Chevrolet has tried to get into the crossover market in a big way. But this is another instance where manufacturers should be leading the way when it comes to style and design, rather than following like sheep. In the modern era, GM could set themselves apart by nixing the Equinox from their lineup.
8 Chevrolet Cruze
GM's entrant into the commuter sedan and hatchback market is the Chevrolet Cruze, one of the most boring cars on dealer lots today. All in all, the Cruze doesn't look too bad. But no one's buying a Cruze if they want to enjoy driving, and GM would do well to either drop the model or give it some get-up-and-go, perhaps in the form of a hot hatch.
7 Chevrolet Impala
In recent decades, GM has tried to capitalize on some of the biggest names in their history, like the Chevrolet Impala. The Impala of the 21st century doesn't deserve its name, though, and takes things one step beyond the retro styling debacles of the Chevy SSR and HHR, which were both failures in their own right.
6 Cadillac XT5
Another of GM's strange decisions about makes and models is the Cadillac XT5. Clearly, someone must have believed that there was a market for a miniature Escalade. But the whole point of the Escalade is that it's huge and luxurious, while still offering a bit of all-weather capability. The XT5, on the other hand, is small and luxurious, not to mention expensive.
5 Cadillac XT4
Cadillac, in general, seems to be in a bit of a downward spiral lately, as the brand seems stuck between building luxury cars for old people, luxury SUVs for celebs, and downright impressive sports cars. But none of the categories quite fit the XT4, which is an even smaller crossover SUV than its middle-big brother, the XT5.
4 Buick Cascada
The fact that the Buick Cascada was ever able to make its way off the drawing board remains quite surprising. Maybe GM executives thought that Nissan was on to something with their Murano Crosscabriolet (for the record, they weren't). The Cascada has similarly terrible looks, while also not fitting in with the rest of the Buick lineup at all.
3 Buick Envision
It seems that every GM subsidiary has to include a crossover in their lineup, a disappointing fact that has rendered the entire automotive industry a little less exciting. Buick's entrant is the Envision, which is hard to differentiate from a Hyundai or BMW from any more than a hundred feet away.
2 GMC Terrain
Another GM subsidiary that has a crossover in the lineup is GMC, despite the brand's "We Are Professional Grade" slogan. Seriously, there is nothing professional about a minivan that has just enough styling cues that it doesn't look 100% like a minivan. GMC should probably just stick to trucks if they want to actually live up to their slogan.
1 GMC Canyon
There's a good chance that sheer adherence to their history is the only thing keeping GM from shuttering GMC as a whole. But if they had to do it step by step, they should quickly delete the Canyon from the lineup. Less serious than the Sierra, the GMC Canyon can barely be differentiated from the Chevy Colorado, which isn't a good sign at all.
Sources: Jalopnik, Wikipedia, and Car and Driver.