Downsize (automobile)

Downsizing in the automobile industry is the practice of redesigning a vehicle to retain the interior volume, and often the nameplate and styling of a larger car to a smaller, more efficient platform. It was common in the 1970s following the 1973 oil crisis.

General Motors was among the first to announce a downsize strategy for the whole company as a response to demand for smaller more efficient cars. An alternative strategy was to simply rebadge or mildly restyle smaller vehicles, as nameplates such as the Ford LTD and Plymouth Fury were applied to smaller platforms.

The term engine downsizing is used when the car itself remains the same size but the engine is reduced, with the aim of making the vehicle more efficient.