Toyota, Hyundai refute report of discontinued models

2010 Toyota Matrix – Click above for high-res image gallery

In a U.S. News and World Report story distributed via Yahoo dubbed "The 10 Best Discontinued Cars," author Rick Newman spoke with an unnamed analyst at Kelley Blue Book in an effort to help new car shoppers find exceptionally deep discounts on new cars. Here's where it gets hazy: As part of that process, Newman sought to:
"...identify models likely to be discontinued over the next couple of years. For some of these models, the manufacturers have confirmed that the car is being axed; others made the list because of strong indicators that they're being discontinued, such as manufacturing changes or declining shipments to dealers."
Note the word usage of "likely" and "next couple of years" coupled to that very misleading title. To Newman's credit, he notes "unconfirmed" when discussing vehicles that haven't been officially killed off, but to our eyes, the title is misleading and the execution of the list itself strikes us as disingenuous, particularly as it mixes vehicles that have already been officially nixed ( Honda S2000, Mercury Sable, Pontiac G8, Saturn Sky, Volkswagen Jetta GLI) with end-of-life models that are likely to be replaced or die out in due time ( Chevrolet Colorado, Lexus SC430), as well as nameplates that have been facing declining or slow sales ( Toyota Matrix and FJ Cruiser, Hyundai Veracruz). We spoke with Curt McCallister, Toyota's Midwest Public Relations Manager about the fate of the Matrix and FJ Cruiser, and he offered us the following guidance:
"There are no plans to discontinue either model. The Yahoo story is erroneous in that it was based on conjecture from unnamed analysts from Kelley Blue Book. The reporter (Newman) was informed of the factual errors in his story, multiple times yesterday. He was also questioned on why we weren't allowed to confirm or deny these assumptions. It was poor reporting that unfortunately has an Internet reach."
Click through to the jump for the rest of the story, including a comment from Hyundai.

[Source: U.S. News and World Report via Yahoo]

We also spoke with Hyundai spokesman Dan Bedore, who told us that the 2010 Veracruz is "an important part of the Hyundai lineup as our only three-row crossover" – he informed us that unlike last year's model, the facelifted 2010 Santa Fe will only offer two rows of seats.

One final thing: We note that in "The 10 Best Discontinued Cars," Newman also says that General Motors is "streamlining" its Buick lineup, something we can't find much evidence of. The brand only has three vehicles for the 2010 model year ( Enclave, LaCrosse and Lucerne) and while the latter is likely to disappear, GM is actually expanding the TriShield's lineup, with the soon-to-arrive 2011 Regal, an upcoming entry-level sedan and likely a small crossover.

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