Zombie Cars Dominate Auto Sales in Q1 2024

We all love a good zombie car. You know the type; it has been discontinued for three years, yet somehow one or two seem to show up on a sales report out of the blue. Maybe it’s because a few are being hoarded by dealers with way too much money in them (SRT Viper) or because maybe somebody went home with the keys during Covid and nobody bothered to track them down (Dodge Caravan). Either way, if a sale of a dead car is counted, we’re here for it. Quite a few have already managed to settle out of the Q1 results, and there are some cars that appeared last year and may be set to reprise their roles.

Itching for some more obscura? Check out our “Zombie Watch” list at the bottom to see what we’re keeping an eye out for; some oddballs may yet materialize in 2024.

Chrysler 200

Special Mention: Chrysler 200: -1

So, uh, remember the Chrysler 200? FCA got the sedan off its books years ago, but for reasons beyond our understanding (yes, we’ve reached out to Stellantis for clarification), Chrysler recorded a negative sale for a 200 in Q1 of 2024. This was likely a correction to a previous sales report that simply bled over into the company’s public disclosures, but there’s nonetheless a part of us that is tickled by the notion of Chrysler un-selling a singular midsize sedan.

2024 Zombie cars

BMW i3: 1 sold

BMW’s little range-extended EV still hasn’t gone away, but we don’t expect to see these linger for too much longer.

Kia Stinger: 1

The Kia Stinger. Number one in our hearts. Too bad it’s the loneliest number; maybe a few more will join this example before the end of 2024.

SRT Viper: 1

Ah, yes, everybody’s perennial favorite. Zombie Vipers are practically a given. The brand under which they were sold doesn’t even exist anymore, but that doesn’t stop them from showing up in a report once every quarter or two. We’ve already added one to the rolls in Q1.

Mercedes-Benz A Class: 1

The baby Benz is still selling two model years after its official demise.

2019 Dodge Grand Caravan 35th Anniversary Edition

Dodge Caravan: 2

Dodge sold just one Caravan in Q1 last year, so not only are some of these vans still kicking around, but sales have actually improved. Suck it, Viper.

Mazda CX-9: 2

One of our favorite three-rows is still alive and kicking in 2024; the CX-90 replaced it.

Infiniti Q60: 37

Hey, the Q60 used to be the G37 Coupe. What a coincidence! What were we talking about again?

Ram ProMaster City: 38

Ram managed to pull 38 examples of this little utility van out of its commercial waiting room couch cushions.

Buick Encore: 55

The Encore has been displaced by its larger, originally-for-China sibling, the Encore GX. The process is very nearly complete, though some examples linger.

Fiat 500X: 113

The Jeep Renegade that wasn’t is still trucking along — if something that tiny can truck at all, anyway. 135 were sold in Q1 of 2023, so this car sells nearly as well dead as it did alive. Anybody want a job in marketing at Fiat?

Kia Rio: 246

Unlike the larger Forte, which became the K4, the Rio is just kay-put. There are a lot of these, OK?

Nissan Maxima: 529

Nissan’s midsize Four Door Sports Car wasn’t exactly moving the needle when it was still in production; Nissan sold fewer than 10,000 of them in 2023. Still, this is down more than 75% from its sales a year ago. Inventories and marketing support are clearly dwindling.

2024 Zombie Car Watch

There are quite a few cars that popped up in sales charts in 2023 that may re-appear in 2024. We’ve yet to see them, but we can’t rule it out. Here’s a sampling.

  • Alfa 4C
    • Alfa’s little coupe and Spider appeared in 2023 sales reports; as is the case with the Viper, more may be lurking.
  • BMW i8, 6 Series
    • BMW managed to move some i8s in 2023; some may remain. We’re a bit more skeptical that the more-pedestrian 6 Series is lingering anywhere in BMW’s showrooms, but we can’t rule it out.
  • Dodge Dart, Journey
    • Another line item that seems to reappear every year is the compact, Fiat-based Dodge Dart. Will it once again emerge seeking brains in 2024? As for the Journey, well, life’s not about the destination, right? At least a few people thought so in 2023; let’s see if they repeat.
  • Ford GT, EcoSport
    • Ford’s supercar has been superseded by the forthcoming Mustang GTD, but Ford dealers sold a surprising number of these monsters last year — 30 in Q1 of 2023 alone, in fact. No sales have been recorded so far in 2024, but it’s early yet. Not much to say about EcoSport. Hopefully this remains on our “watch” list for the sake of shoppers who might accidentally stumble into one.
  • Jeep Patriot
    • Like the Dodge Dart, the economical Patriot seems to rear its (redacted) head more often than you might expect.
  • Mazda 6, CX-3, MX-30
    • We don’t have high hopes for lingering Mazda6 sales, but somehow the company managed to move at least one in 2023. The CX-3 is equally unlikely, however the MX-30 is only newly dead.
  • Nissan NV/NV200
    • Nissan’s discontinued utility vans showed up in some 2023 sales reports. We may yet see them in 2024.