Here today, gone tomorrow, back the next day. That’s basically the recent history of the Chevrolet Sonic, which formed the basis of a Wall Street Journal report earlier this spring. Chevrolet’s subcompact hatch and sedan could end production by the end of the year, the report stated, and the model’s subsequent disappearance from a 2019 model year California Air Resources Board certification document only added fuel to the rumor fire.
We reached out to GM about the Sonic’s CARB vanishing act, but never heard back. Now, the Michigan-built model has reappeared, promising a 2019 model year model for subcompact buyers.
An updated emissions document, dated April 30th, shows both sedan and hatch variants of the Sonic listed alongside other 1.4-liter GM models, including the all-wheel-drive Chevrolet Trax missing from the earlier doc.
The Sonic shares factory space with the Chevrolet Bolt at GM’s Orion Assembly plant. It’s believed GM wants that space for the production of Bolt variants and perhaps other electric models, as well as autonomous cars. The automaker recently invested $100 million to support next year’s production of the Cruise AV — essentially a Bolt without a steering wheel.
While the WSJ report could indeed prove true, GM remains tight-lipped as to the model’s future. It could easily stop production at the end of the year, allowing for a run of 2019 models, or continue onward until its assembly space becomes too valuable for a low-margin vehicle.
Last year, Sonic sales in the U.S. dropped to less than a third of the model’s 2014 volume of 93,518 vehicles. We don’t have a tally for last month; blame GM’s decision to switch to quarterly sales reports. The first quarter of 2018, however, saw the Sonic drop 21.5 percent compared to Q1 2017.
[Image: General Motors]