(RNN) – U.S. automakers are preparing for big changes in 2019.
General Motors employees have been bracing for those changes since Nov. 26, when the company announced it’s closing five North American plants that produce sedans and sedan components.
The reason GM gave: It’s retooling its operations to focus on larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks, which have been outselling sedans, and to focus on producing electric and autonomous vehicles in the long run.
Ford is also betting on larger vehicles. The company announced in April that it would discontinue most of its cars in North America over the next few years because of declining demand and profitability.
Fiat Chrysler already cut the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 in 2016, and it’s since profited from its line of trucks and Jeeps.
Why have sales declined for smaller vehicles in America? Lower fuel prices surely play a big part – which could also explain why consumers have been reluctant to buy the hybrids that GM and Ford plan on cutting.
In any case, the GM cars in the slideshow below will be phased out in the U.S. throughout 2019: