The automotive industry is always changing. But two of the more significant announcements in recent years — the apparent demise of the VW Beetle and the jettison of the majority of Ford sedans — is the focus of Episode 41 of The Weekly Driver Podcast.

Co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss the recent announcements by the respective carmakers in the news-oriented edition of our ongoing week chat about all things cars and trucks.

The VW Beetle may soon no longer be made.
The VW Beetle may soon no longer be made. Image © James Raia/2017

The pending loss of several Ford models and the icon Beetle came, respectively, in a press release from the former and the text of a speech by a VW executive in Europe. The Beetle was first sold in the United States in 1949.

Sales of the iconic vehicle suffered in 2017, with 15,116 new units sold. It was 3.2 percent lower than 2016 sales.

Also in Episode 41, we discuss Ford’s massive pending changes. The carmaker recently announced it “will transition to two vehicles.” The remaining sedans will be the iconic Mustang and an unannounced vehicle, the Focus Active.

Currently, Ford sells six sedans and coupes in North America: the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, C-Max, Mustang and Taurus. This lineup hits multiple segments, from the compact Fiesta to the mid-size Focus, C-Max and Fusion to the full-size Taurus. The Mustang stands alone as the lone coupe.

It’s likely Lincoln’s sedans will also disappear, though this was not explicitly stated in today’s press release. Lincoln currently sells the mid-size MKZ and full-size Continental — both share platforms with Ford counterparts. If Ford is phasing out the development of sedan platforms, Lincoln will likely suffer, too.

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