Does the Nissan Cube's demise signal the end for boxy rides?

Cube, Scion xB suffer decreasing sales

Box-shaped auto enthusiasts were dealt another blow last week with the announcement that Nissan would discontinue its Cube model for 2015.

Does this mean the end of the boxy crossover trend? American auto sales statistics predict a mixed forecast.

The Cube’s demise hardly came as a surprise among automotive industry experts. Cars.com wrote in 2013 that the oddly-shaped vehicle was outsold nearly 22-to-1 by Nissan’s own Versa. They even went so far as to call the Cube “a dog.”

Despite the Japanese automaker’s claims that company-wide sales are up 12.7 percent as of June 2014, the Cube’s performance has been unimpressive. Sales of the Cube have dropped steadily since its peak of 22,968 units sold in 2010. Currently, 2,294 Cubes have been sold in 2014, according to American sale’s figures.

Box-shaped crossover vehicles became a trend in the mid-2000s, led by strong sales of the unique Scion xB, which moved more than 61,000 units in 2006, as well as the Hummer H series. Soon after these square rides started becoming hip, they began disappearing from the future plans of their manufacturers.

After strong sales from 2003 to 2005, Hummer’s H2 model began a drastic slip in popularity with rise of hybrid cars, before finally being scrapped in 2009. Toyota’s FJ Cruiser met a similar end last November, when the world’s top automaker ended production on its boxiest vehicle.

The cubic ride that’s keeping this trend alive in 2014 is the Kia Soul, which continues to be one of North America’s top-selling vehicles. While the Scion xB is on pace for fewer sales than last year, the Soul has already moved 74,999 as of June, compared to 118,079 in all of 2013.

Apparently the Nissan Cube’s demise is not indicative of the state of boxy vehicles, provided the Kia Soul continues to pace the marketplace.

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