Reducing from 160NC and 160VC to a single PORTRA 160 helps coating a little. Because of the films' design switching from coating PORTRA 160NC to coating 160VC could be done "on the fly". At a predetermined time during coating a changes is made and instead of making 160NC it changes to making 160VC film. This is done with very little lost product.
The real savings is in finishing/packaging and stocking the film by Kodak and the dealers. With smaller volumes it is expensive for both KODAK and dealers to stock smaller runners.
As was pointed out in one posting having one film (that is improved over the old one) is far better than none.
Keep buying your favorite films and it is likely that manufacturers will continue to make the products. If there is little demand (i.e. Kodachrome) the films may vanish. Most companies would have discontinued KODACHROME many years ago. EK didn't want to discontinue the film; the bleeding just became too bad.
The grain improvement is impressive.
Ag4ever or at least for now.