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Bench Seats on the Outs in North American Cars

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) – The bench seat, that nostalgic, old automotive staple will soon be a thing of the past. The Chevy Impala is the last model in North America to offer the front bench seat option, but GM will stop making Impalas with the three-across seating after it finishes production on the 2013 model year.

According to General Motors, fewer than one-in-ten Impala buyers choose to shell out the extra $195 for the bench seat customization, and that lagging demand caused the automaker to end production.

GM Director of Design Clay Dean said in a statement, “A lot of people prefer bucket seats because they’re sporty, even in models that aren’t sports cars. Our customers also appreciate having the center console as a convenient place to store their phone and other personal items.”

But Dean also noted that bench seating has its pluses, adding, “There is certain nostalgia for bench seats, like being able to snuggle up with your date at a drive-in movie…You never know, we might see bench seats re-emerge someday…”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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