Here are some of the discontinued cars in South Africa

The automotive market here in South Africa is one - just like the rest of the world - that is constantly evolving, as consumer tastes change and technology continues to bring forward breakthroughs. As such, car models come and go from the market for various differing reasons. In this blog post, we look at some of the recently discontinued cars in South Africa.

However, before we do that, let’s explore why some manufacturers discontinue some of their models for good – whilst others get updated with facelifts and new generations. 

The first and perhaps most notable reason for discontinued cars, as we just briefly mentioned in the introduction, due to changes in consumer tastes. What once was popular 20 years ago may be completely unfashionable today, and no amount of cosmetic changes and technological updating would change that. 

One of the biggest global shifts in consumer trends in recent years is arguably the popularity of small, cheap and fuel-efficient cars, as the price of fuel continues to generally trend upwards. The small Volkswagen Polo rules supreme on the South African market sales charts, and larger sedans have generally fallen out of favour in many areas, with consumers now preferring to drive SUVs or bakkies. 

In other occasions, a vehicle model may be cancelled only to be replaced with a spiritual successor in the future. For example, when Volkswagen cancelled the tiny Lupo model in the early 2000s, it was effectively replaced some time later by the up! in 2012. The two cars look different and have different names, but they effectively compete in the same market segment, with the up! reflecting on current consumer demands for a modern-day city car. 

Finally, a vehicle may be discontinued simply because it ended up being a sales disaster. Despite the billions upon billions the manufactures have in research and development funds, they don’t always get it right when predicting what will be a sales success. If a model performs exceptionally poorly, a manufacturer would not hesitate to remove it from the market to minimise losses. 

  • Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa’s stunning-looking baby sports car received lukewarm reviews when it was launched, and it looks like there are no plans to replace the flawed beauty for now.

  • VW Passat

Just how we mentioned certain styles of vehicle fall out of favour, the Passat will stop coming to our shores. It continues to be a strong seller in other markets. 

  • Smart ForTwo/ForFour

Smart no longer sell a single model in South Africa! The most recent ForTwo/ForFour was launched in 2014.

  • Volkswagen Beetle

Modern twists on classic retro vehicles proved very popular in the 2000s and early 2010s, and the Beetle capitalised on it nicely. Times and tastes have since changed, and the Beetle is no more.

  • Mercedes SLC

The baby SLC was never known for being a big seller, and the model was quietly removed from sale last year. Mercedes hasn’t confirmed if a new model is on the way.

Whether you’re looking for a smaller, more fuel-efficient car or you’re looking to upgrade to a bigger car to suit your growing family, MotorHappy can help. Through our partners, we’re able to connect you with thousands of pre-loved quality cars. Cars listed on our online marketplace all have a proven service history and undergo a stringent 116 point quality assurance check. Click here to start car shopping today.  

Are you a car enthusiast? Check out our latest car review on the new Toyota C-HR. Every month we review two of the latest models to hit South Africa’s roads.

Please note the imagery supplied in this blog was taken off


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