The Hyundai Elantra Coupe will be discontinued in the US after this model year. It will, however, still be available to coupe fans north of the border for at least until the end of 2015. There are several reasons why an automaker discontinues a model: low sales is the main one followed by sub par product offering, intense competition, and price. The coupe has fallen victim to low sales and, in my opinion, competition not only from other brands but from itself. The Elantra nameplate is also offered as a sedan and a GT, a sporty five-door hatchback, which the two-door variant somewhat competes against like the Honda Civic coupe competes in comparison tests against hatchbacks from other brands.
Killing the coupe over the hatchback shows the GT is more popular than the coupe despite more competition in the hatchback segment. After next year only three compact coupes will be available: The aforementioned Civic Coupe, Kia Forte Koup, and Scion tC. That list may shrink if Kia drops the Forte Koup from its lineup. It shares underpinnings with the Elantra so keeping only one doesn’t make financial sense for the automaker. With only three compact coupe offerings it would be safe to assume there isn’t a huge market for them. Then again, if the Honda Civic coupe has survived since 1992 it may be a niche market that Honda dominates. And Honda isn’t taking its years of success for granted; it recently redesigned the coupe twice in less than three years.
Perhaps Hyundai was testing the waters with the coupe and realized that a five-door hatchback makes more sense. If that’s the case then imagine how many Civic hatchbacks would be on the road if Honda imported the European model. But would that leave Honda in the same predicament as Hyundai? Maybe Honda is doing the right thing by offering only one variant. Although, some would argue they’re offering the wrong one. Many car enthusiasts would welcome the Civic hatchback with open arms and probably forget all about the coupe.