The "bizarre" Dodge Caliber? :huh:CNN Money/Yahoo Autos said:The news came like a blow to the gut for this child of 1950s suburbia: Volvo, the company most associated with station wagons for the last 20 years, will stop selling wagons in the U.S. The market is drying up.
The Volvo wagon had been on life support for months. After dropping the larger V70 Volvo in 2010, Doug Speck, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, told Automotive News he was giving the V50 another year because there "is a bit more energy in the small wagon segment." Not enough, apparently. Volvo, which was sold to China's Geely in 2010, sold just 480 V50s last year, about two per dealer.
Edmunds.com, the online-car buying site, lists 115 kinds of SUVs and 92 types of crossovers but only 31 varieties of station wagon. Even that count is suspect. It includes a Ford Flex, which is a minivan in disguise, and the bizarre Dodge Caliber.
American buyers first turned away from station wagons during the 1973 oil crisis. Their extreme length, emphasized by long rear overhangs to accommodate a third seat, made them natural targets. In the 1980s, the minivan came along and stole the people-mover business. SUVs moved to the fore in the 1990s. Far more utilitarian, they offered a lot more cargo space, a command seating position, and four-wheel-drive. And the 2000s were the decade of the crossover, combining the best features of both van and SUV. With their combination of capability and capacity, they remain one of the fastest-growing segments.
Before I get carried away by nostalgia, caution should be observed in writing off an entire vehicle segment, because they do have a habit of coming back to life. The 1976 Cadillac Eldorado was lionized as the last American convertible -- until Lee Iacocca brought out the 1982 Chrysler LeBaron ragtop.
The station wagon may rise again.
I'm waiting on a response from the author, but what exactly is so bizarre about the Caliber?
Why no mention of the Lincoln MXT (which, if one is using looks at the criteria, MIGHT be just as "bizarre" as the Caliber?)
Part of this is Edmunds' fault. The Caliber is listed as a wagon, but the Accord Crosstour is listed as a hatchback and not a crossover. The Honda Fit is listed as a hatchback and not a wagon. The Hyundai Elantra Touring is listed as a hatchback, not a wagon (and if you can't tell the Elantra Touring is a wagon, you need to get your vision checked.)
I was going to think that it's because of the rear door - if it's a one-piece "hatch" door, then it's a hatchback. But then Edmunds goes and puts the MINI Cooper Clubman in the hatchback list, complete with it's rear "barn" doors. :facepalm: