Is this the beginning of the end for estate cars in Britain?

Is this the beginning of the end for estate cars in Britain?
The Volvo estate has been consigned to the history books after the Swedish car manufacture announced it would only be selling SUVs and electric cars.

In recent years several car manufacturers have dropped saloon and estate models from their line-ups, with Ford axing the Mondeo in 2021 and Vauxhall ending Insignia production in 2022.

Volvo launched its first estate car in 1953, with the Duett being marketed as ‘two cars in one’ – highlighting to potential customers that it could be used for both work and leisure.

Ever since, the range of Volvo estates and saloons have become synonymous with family driving in Britain. Volvo 260-Series was a popular estate car in the UK in the 1970s, while the 740 and 760 models were popular throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.

In total, more than six million Volvo estates have been sold – but this has now come to an end.

In a statement in This is Money, Volvo said: “We continue to rapidly transform our product offer, which means not only moving towards full electrification, but also shifting to new platforms and technologies across all our cars.

“We will naturally need to evolve and consolidate our line-up as we prioritise fully electric cars and make this technological transition.

“As a result, we have removed further models from the UK line-up. These include the S60, V60 and V90.”

A Volvo spokesperson said: “Demand for our existing SUV line-up continues to grow, while interest in our forthcoming fully electric EX30 and EX90 models is strong.

“The vast majority of our customers opt for an SUV. The XC40, XC60 and XC90 all sit in the top three positions in their respective segments when it comes to UK sales.

“Meanwhile, appetite for our saloon and estate models has fallen to very low levels in the UK, which has led to our decision to remove these models from sale in the UK.

According to the latest vehicle registration data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the Nissan Qashqai SUV was Britain’s best-selling new car in 2022 with over 40,000 models sold last year. The Vauxhall Corsa was the UK’s second favourite new car, with almost 36,000 sold.

EVs continue to grow in popularity with Tesla Model Y being the first most-popular new car – a trend that’s candied in 2023. The EV segment grew 39.4% when compared to the previous year. In total, 31,700 buyers chose to get behind the wheel of a zero-emission car in June 2023 – and this vehicle type now represents 17.9% of the total market.

“The industry remains committed to meeting the UK’s zero emission deadlines and continues to make the investments to get us there,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“Choice and innovation in the market are growing, so it’s encouraging to see more people switching on to the benefits of driving electric.

“With inflation, rising costs of living and a zero emission vehicle mandate that will dictate the market coming next year, however, consumers must be given every possible incentive to buy. Government must pull every lever, therefore, to make buying, running and, especially, charging an EV affordable and practical for every driver in every part of the country.”

Are you sad to see the end of estate and saloon cars in Britain? Or is this just the latest step to an electric future? Leave your comments below.

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