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Is the wagon dead? Volkswagen kills two more wagon vehicles in favor of SUVs

Nathan Bomey
Volkswagen confirmed that the VW Golf SportWagen and the VW Golf Alltrack will be discontinued after the 2019 model year.

Volkswagen is killing off two of the only remaining wagon-style vehicles left in America.

The automaker confirmed that the VW Golf SportWagen and the VW Golf Alltrack will be discontinued after the 2019 model year.

They join an increasingly crowded graveyard of small vehicles that have been discontinued in recent years, including the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus and the entire Scion brand.

The culprit? SUVs and crossovers.

Even VW, long known for its passenger cars, has pivoted to capitalize on the SUV craze. The automaker introduced a three-row SUV called the VW Atlas and beefed up the Tiguan crossover in a recent redesign – and both vehicles are hot sellers.

“SUVs have definitely assumed the mantle of family haulers from the station wagons and minivans we remember from our childhoods,” VW America CEO Scott Keogh said in a statement. “But as we look toward the future, both our expanded SUV lineup and the upcoming ID. family of electric vehicles will bring the opportunity to combine the style and space people want in a variety of ways.”

Wagons made up only 0.6% of U.S. vehicle sales in 2018, down from 0.9% in 2014, according to car-buying advice site Edmunds.

And that's expected to fall further after BMW discontinues the 3-series wagon and the VW models disappear from dealership lots.

At their height, wagons appealed to consumers because of their responsive handling and utility, Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs said.

"Clearly sport-utility vehicles have nudged not only sedans but also wagons out of the picture," said Michelle Krebs, analyst at Autotrader.

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The Golf wagons had been on their deathbed for a while. 

Sales of all Golf cars in the U.S. fell 22 percent through June to 18,958, compared with the same period a year earlier.

And last year, Golf sales tumbled 39% to 42,271.

"Volkswagen's move to stop producing the Golf Alltrack and Golf Sportwagen is an example of the industry's current crossroads concerning small vehicles," said George Augustaitis, director of industry analytics at CarGurus, in an email. 

VW said it would invest instead in new SUVs and crossovers, including a five-seat version of the Atlas called the Atlas Cross Sport, which will make its debut later this year.

The company is also introducing an electric crossover called the ID. CROZZ in early 2010.

VW has been on a killing strike lately. The company made its final VW Beetle earlier this month.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Volkswagen kills Golf SportWagen, Golf Alltrack: Is the wagon dead?