Defunct Car Brands
If you’re interested in buying a used car, you’re probably checking out models from all the usual automotive brand suspects. But what about considering a vehicle from a less-than-usual suspect? We’re referring to defunct auto brands, car companies that have been shuttered — for one reason or another — within the last few years. Although it may seem strange to buy a car from an automaker that no longer exists, we’ve rounded up six used cars that prove buying from a now-defunct brand doesn’t necessarily make for a bad decision.
Defunct Car Brands
If you’re interested in buying a used car, you’re probably checking out models from all the usual automotive brand suspects. But what about considering a vehicle from a less-than-usual suspect? We’re referring to defunct auto brands, car companies that have been shuttered — for one reason or another — within the last few years. Although it may seem strange to buy a car from an automaker that no longer exists, we’ve rounded up six used cars that prove buying from a now-defunct brand doesn’t necessarily make for a bad decision.Isuzu i-SeriesIf you haven’t heard of the Isuzu i-Series, you probably aren’t alone. But if you’re interested in a pickup truck, you’ve probably heard of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon — and you may have even considered one. The i-Series, sold as the i-290 or the i-350 depending on engine choice, was a mechanical twin of those models, offered from 2006 to 2008 with the same no-frills interior and workhorse attitude as GM’s compact trucks. And while only the grille design separates the i-Series from the Colorado and the Canyon, the Isuzu’s lesser name recognition means you can probably find one with a better deal than you’d get for its more traditional General Motors counterparts.
Defunct Car Brands
Every once in a while, a car brand, for one reason or another, will fail. One year they might be at the height of production and popularity and the next they could be in a downward spiral. Below are 14 defunct car brands and an explanation as to why they failed. It might seem like some brands were doing very well – but read below for more stories about what happened next.
Defunct Car Brands
Whatever the reason for the car company’s bankruptcy, there have been literally thousands of car manufacturers since the inception of the automobile which have gone out of business. A large percentage of this figure is due to the fact that in the early years of the automobile, it was commonplace to see people making their own automobiles out of their garage and selling a few to friends and neighbors. Due to the mass number of defunct car companies worldwide, we decided to simply compile a list of the more recent dead car companies (failing after 1960) of which most people would be more familiar with.
Defunct Car Brands
But most of these are decidedly Victorian, having disappeared the better part of a century ago. However, there are plenty of “modern” brands have gone under. Accordingly, here are the Top 10 Defunct Automotive Brands From the Last 20 years.
GM and Chrysler have both jettisoned unnecessary brands and so has Ford. Their failed Edsel project is probably the most famous, but they’ve ditched a dizzying number of divisions if you count the now-defunct Premier Automotive Group, which used to include companies like Jaguar, Aston Martin and Volvo.
We had Hudsons, Kaisers, Packards, Studebakers, even your occasional Crosley and Nash. Cruising down the street on a weekend or at a local car show today you might think the cars were produced by some other defunct brand, a Pontiac or an Oldsmobile. But no, they were distinct in their own right, and often independent, too. Let’s take a look at a couple of these hunks of iron that trundled across the country back then:
Looking to commute in an army truck but don’t have any contacts inside the Department of Defense? No problem! GM’s defunct Hummer brand would happily sell you a boxy rig styled like a military transporter, a consumer-grade facsimile of the Humvee. Their H2 and H3 models were the automotive equivalent of cod pieces sold to drivers with crippling inferiority complexes or other psychological disorders. Joking aside, these terrifyingly thirsty trucks drove poorly and looked like gaudy costume jewelry. Consequently the brand faded away in 2010 as part of GM’s bankruptcy filing.
The history of the automotive industry is littered with successes and failures. Proud marques such as Austin, Morris, Pontiac, Triumph, Rover and Oldsmobile produced some of the most famous cars of all time, but all eventually fell victim to a combination of recessions, bad management and the failure to keep up with the competition. We’ve selected 21 motoring brands from around the world which all have a place in car heaven. We salute out motoring heritage and find out who owns these famous dormant brands… Start slideshow Read more from Gareth Herincx
Ford promoted the Edsel as the perfect car, created after endless hours of market research – a “YOU car,” that all Americans would love and want. Unfortunately, when the car was unveiled on “E Day,” September 4, 1957, it was met with a lukewarm welcome. Everything from its name to its design and performance were found to be tacky and unattractive. Worse – it wound up being priced as a luxury car despite attempts to compete in the mid-priced market. In 2017 dollars, Ford lost $2.9 billion on the Edsel adventure.
Which car company is the biggest failure? Well, that would be a good debate, but one of the more notables would be the Edsel. Ford invested heavily in the manufacturing and marketing of this dead car business, which was immediately rejected by the public in terms of it being too expensive and rather unattractive (particularly the grill). Post a comment and tell us which failed car company you wish could be brought back to life and why.
After WWII, American consumers were clamoring for new car designs – but the Big Three had yet to introduce any. Preston Tucker believed he could fill the void with his Tucker 48 Sedan – a new car packed full of futuristic safety innovations. A prototype made a disastrous premier in 1947 – it was loud, boiled coolant, required external power to start, and couldn’t back up. Much more successful debuts were made with later prototypes. To fund the car, Tucker sold accessories and spots on a waiting list to eager consumers. This later resulted in an SEC investigation and trial. All charges were dropped and Tucker was found innocent – but the damage was done, and under a heavy burden of debt the Tucker Corporation folded.
But not all failed brands were once part of massive corporations. Plenty of independent automakers have fallen away over the years. Fisker, for instance, was founded back in 2007 and checked out in 2013, making it only half-a-dozen years. The company’s Krama was a gorgeous, plug-in, range-extended electric car. But environmental friendlies and stunning design weren’t enough to make it a showroom success, as a six-figure price tag was simply too rich.
6. Duesenberg, Auburn, and Cord Most people don’t realize that Duesenberg, Auburn, and Cord were all the same company. Auburn spearheaded some of the most beautiful cars of the art-deco era, before being taken over by E.L. Cord, who ultimately named the company’s revolutionary front-wheel drive car after himself. He then bought Duesenberg, and made serious history. Often thought of as America’s Rolls-Royce, Duesenbergs were among the fastest and most luxurious cars of their day, winning the Indy 500 multiple times. When Cord took over, he gave one instruction: build the best damn car in the world. Mission accomplished.
Dead car companies have met their demise for a host of reasons. For some dead car companies it was not enough desirable selection, others too much selection and the high costs of marketing all of it, others a myopic focus on producing gas guzzlers as consumers swiftly changed their buying priorities to fuel sippers and still others simply blame the economy.
Like many brand names on this list, Pontiac was introduced as a cheaper alternative to a more expensive luxury car. Pioneering leadership in the late 1950s, among them John DeLorean, made the Pontiac into a fast-racing, exciting, muscle and road car. Fuel shortages and safety concerns curbed this image in the 1970s and 80s, resulting in a slow decline until GM’s 2008 Chapter 11 reorganization.
Glenn Bell ALL of the American nameplates. IMHO, all of the Jap-crap sucks! Moataz Al Mofti bring back saab , plz matt bring back… let me see hummer Pontiac saab Saturn mercury Dave Mercury did not go broke. They were wound up by Ford because their main competitor, Pontiac, had become insolvent (bankrupt) and because the target market for the brand was too small and insignificant to justify the investment required to continue the brand to satisfy that market. It was decided that Mercury’s target market could be more efficiently serviced by expanding the Ford brand to fill the void left by winding up the Mercury brand. It is very sad but true. By the way, the most significant car company to go bankrupt would have to be General Motors Corporation (GM). Again, very sad but true. 성우 홍 Fisker…. That was awesome. Great design and decent performance. I don’t know why Fisker did not sold a car for 18 months. Surely it was ahead of its time.