The Sonic is Chevy's second smallest car, filling the subcompact space between the Spark and the also-doomed Cruze. (Besides the Cruze, others getting the ax are the Chevy Impala, Chevy Volt, Buick LaCrosse, and Cadillac XTS. At the Detroit Auto Show last week, it became clear that the Cadillac CT6, which seemed doomed with the closure of the Hamtramck assembly plant, will live on a bit longer and will be assembled elsewhere.)
Word of the Sonic's demise is attributed to "people familiar with the matter." We asked Chevrolet for comment, and a spokesperson responded by saying, "We have not announced any plans to discontinue the Sonic in the U.S." Read that how you will, but it's neither a confirmation nor a denial.
For the 2012 model year, the Sonic replaced the Chevy Aveo. Chevy revealed a facelift for the Sonic at the 2016 New York Auto Show, but it hasn't gone through any major changes since. Most Sonics are relatively bland, but Chevy did make an RS version with stiffer suspension, better brakes and a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission. That's the one to get if you're in the market for a small, fun Chevy.
Sales for the Sonic have completely dropped off a cliff as of late. The car had its best year in 2014, selling over 93,000. Each year since has seen a steady decline, with 2018 being the worst at a dismal 20,613 cars. This makes the news of discontinuation even less surprising.
Going into the 2019 model year, the Sonic is in its eighth year of production without a major redesign. With this report dropping, it's becoming clearer that we probably won't be seeing that redesign. How long it will stay in production is the question at this point. Despite the various layoffs and plant closures from GM as of late, the Sonic hasn't been caught up in any of it. GM screws these together in its Orion assembly plant, which isn't currently on the chopping block. Though Orion is one of several plants that survived the restructuring but are still operating far short of capacity. Orion is operating at 34 percent.
The list of dead small Chevys is up to three now with the Sonic joining the Cruze and Volt. Check out our previous coverage to catch up on everything leaving GM's lineup over the next couple years.