A discontinued car is a car that is no longer being made. Examples of discontinued car companies or divisions are Saab and Mercury, or any other company on this list. That being said, what happens to those people who own a Saab or a Mercury, and want to sell their discontinued car? Is it even possible? What's the resale value of a discontinued car?
It is possible to sell a discontinued car, but it may prove to be more difficult than selling ones that are still being made. When it is discontinued, a car enters a different realm of interest for prospective buyers, making it a narrower niche market. Someone looking for any commuter, sports car or truck, in general, can easily find a newer one (that is still in production), where parts are readily available and are still supported by a thriving company. Therefore, the people who are actually looking for a Saab or a Mercury are looking for those cars specifically for personal reasons.
The problem is that some of these niche cars may need to get funneled into even smaller niches in order to survive. A Saturn brand car, for instance, may have a more difficult time selling unless a Saturn collector finds it, or maybe someone else who needs parts for their Saturn because the cars arguably aren’t as iconic as others. However, a Mercury Marauder may sell quite easily, because it’s rare and fits into a category of fairly common collectors. The prime example of this is the world of classic cars. Although many of those are discontinued, they live on as iconic representatives of a different era like the Chevrolet Corvair or the Pontiac Trans Am.
How about a car that was discontinued by a company that still exists? Let’s take a Mazda RX-7 for example, which is a sports car that was manufactured from 1981 until 2002. This particular car has had a strong following through all three generations, where parts are swapped, meets are held and clubs exist like the RX Club in San Diego. Since Mazda still exists, a lot of parts are still available and some are still being made. This may not be possible for a Saab. In fact, a lot of websites are selling Saab parts at a discount perhaps because each supplier is trying to clear their inventory as quickly as possible.
On the flip side, a car like the Geo Prizm might not reach as high of a following. These cars were thought to have come at the wrong time, competing against Toyota’s Camry. It doesn’t help that the Prizm was made as a commuter, which are a dime a dozen and can be found everywhere by Honda and Toyota. The Prizm may have a niche market of its own, but the RX-7’s market might be much bigger.
Newer cars are also being discontinued left and right. Here is a list of discontinued cars in 2017.
So what can you do if you have a Prizm that you want to get rid of? You may be able to find a poor college student who’s desperate enough to buy it from you, but again Hondas and Toyotas are cheap too and more reputable. That said, it’s all about the market you’re trying to appeal to, and it’s harder to figure that out with a Prizm (or something like it). Selling a Mazda RX-7 or a Nissan 240sx? Enthusiasts will line up as long as you advertise to the correct market.
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