Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

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Thread: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 Canuck's Avatar
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    Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    http://www.automobile.com/five-defun...ey-failed.html

    Since the introduction of the Model T in 1908, automakers have relentless worked creating, building, marketing, and selling various auto models with the hope that each one would enjoy a long and successful stay in the marketplace. The auto brands attached to the industry juggernauts have recently experienced slumping sales, and in certain cases have folded altogether. The announcement Ford made on June 2 to kill the Mercury brand was only the latest in a string of brand discontinuations. Whether prompted by the intention to pare down product lines or stay afloat financially, here are five car brands that have slipped into oblivion.

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    7.0 Liter LS7 V8 OLDSCHOOLGMFAN's Avatar
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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    Meh. No mention of the chronic neglect & stupidity that took out some of those brands.
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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    The official thread of GMi's Armchair Car company executives.

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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 Quixote88's Avatar
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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    Not a well written article, to say the least. I'll help the author out a little...

    Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, and Mercury all were killed in the marketplace because of managerial incompetence and the lack of vision at GM and Ford respectively over the past thirty years... Period. (Hummer was different. Lack of a full range of products, and a horrible public image killed the relatively new Hummer.)

    The U.S. market was once controlled overwhelmingly by GM and Ford. Their individual brands' models were differentiated enough to cater to all tastes in the U.S. market. Also, their designs and innovations kept U.S. buyers wanting their products. Somewhere along the way, that all changed. Accountants took too much control of the companies. Their designs had no passion. They consistently took the cheap way out on parts, which led directly to build quality problems.

    Factor in that both manufacturers ramped up their "badge engineering" practices. This had always existed, but it became more and more noticeable. All these things left the door wide open for foreign automakers to step in, especially the Japanese, who would show they could make a car more innovative, fuel efficient, with superior build quality, and do it cheaper than the U.S. titans... Sadly, they are now the brands that Americans look to for innovation and style.

    But that all could have been avoided. GM and Ford both had the funds to allow all their brands to excel and flourish. But they chose not to invest in their product, and they have now paid the price.

    That's why those brands "failed."

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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    Quote Originally Posted by Quixote88 View Post
    But that all could have been avoided. GM and Ford both had the funds to allow all their brands to excel and flourish. But they chose not to invest in their product, and they have now paid the price.
    GM should have consolidated many of the brands that it acquired rather than attempting to sustain them as separate divisions. This should have happened prior to 1930.

    Instead, for years GM ran itself as a holding company where acquisitions were made as tactical moves to sustain growth and profitability. And as competition grew, instead of sustaining the market by retrenching they continued to spin even more plates.

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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    Quote Originally Posted by OLDSCHOOLGMFAN View Post
    Meh. No mention of the chronic neglect & stupidity that took out some of those brands.
    Which is the REAL reason they all failed!

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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    I remember Saturn had so much promise... "a different kind of car company". Yet... GM starved it of products and it needed to be refreshed a couple of years to keep up with the imports. Typical GM reared its ugly head, and bungled it. I remember all those mid 70's Cutlass Supreme's on the road... quite beautiful cars... but I remember the fiasco when GM decided on corporate engine sharing and customers expected Olds Rocket engines in their Oldsmobiles and found something else! The notorious Olds Diesel was another black eye. Pontiac was just mismanaged by idiots who didn't know what excitement was. Make cookie cutter cars till all your models front end look the same... then kill of all your model names and replace them with a single letter and number? And let's not forget the Aztek~. Another great brand killed by people who didn't know what made a Pontiac a Pontiac.

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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    Some brands simply weren't going to make it in the long run.

    There doesn't always needs to be a deep and complicated reason why some brands aren't around.

    4 brands on the list were from GM. GM was the worst at this. There was too much redundancy. Period.

    Hummer - Was a gimmick.

    Saturn and Pontiac - Just build better Chevys.

    Oldsmobile - Just build better Buicks.

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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    Funny thing. The article doesn't actually say WHY they failed - only THAT they failed.

    I will reveal the reason now: competition - mostly BMW because that is where Olds and Mercury used to make their money - and then Hyundai's mid priced products killed Pontiac. Saturn and Hummer conform to a classic auto reporting cliche: "Answers to questions nobody was asking."

    Making money on compacts is a dicey proposition for Toyota, let alone GM. That's why Toyota sells mostly trucks now - like GM. Hummer is a 'truck' too, but it debuted as a 'real' off roader when the market had been racing towards soft roader crossovers. Chevy already had all the 'street cred' they needed with the Blazer/Tahoe and Suburban.

    Funny how the linked article really didn't delve into the 'why' despite the headline.

    Now I've answered the question for you...and yes. You're welcome.

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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    Quote Originally Posted by Quixote88 View Post
    Not a well written article, to say the least. I'll help the author out a little...

    (Hummer was different. Lack of a full range of products, and a horrible public image killed the relatively new Hummer.)
    It didn't help that although the vehicles were in the same EPA range as other trucks and SUVs they were singled out for anti-war sentiment as well as environmental issues, since there historically is an overlap there.

    I still feel that using the same parts bin on buyer-visible features is the #1 issue past, and present. Looking at an Aveo with the same button font as a Lacrosse on the interior should NOT happen. Everything under the hood can be as shared as can be, but stocking double plastic shouldn't be that costly nor difficult.
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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    Without unique cars for each line, there was not much point in keeping them. Now Pontiac STARTED on something good with the Solstice and the G8, but GM failed it in the marketing department. I still think GM needs a few AFFORDABLE rear wheel drive model. I'm not gonna be able to swing a CTS-V or a Corvette........C'mon.......we need muscle for the masses. I'm not going to drive a hybrid unless I'm forced at gunpoint.
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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    Not impressed with the article. It certainly implies that Olds was a casualty of the recession...which one?
    Also no mention of Plymouth which certainly bore mention if Olds did.

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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    GM's lack of branding vision makes all the brands expendable. The same mismanagement is going on with Buick.

    Besides that only GM needs two luxury brands; and then mismanages both of them GM seem interested in connecting Buick to both Opel, China and a splattering of cloned domestic products. Never mind that the GMC Arcadia and Buick Enclave sell in the same showroom and are the same vehicle. Just wonder aloud with me as to why GM would ever consider giving Buick a version of the Cruze....

    On the plus side with only 4 brands left it is less likely that any brand will be as ignored as became common practice with GM.
    * Pictured are a 1959 Dodge Silver Challenger and a 1954 Oldsmobile Rocket F-88.

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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    Alan Mulally said something to the effect of "How do you make 50 different models 'cool'? From 9 to 11 I'm going to make this car 'cool', and then from 1 to 3 I'm going to make this other car 'cool'?"

    During these brands' glory days they generally only had two or three different models.

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    Re: Five Defunct Car Brands and Why They Failed

    My Armchair feelings on the subject:
    Mercury: The last decade, Mercury was Ford's Pontiac. Not much difference between a Ford and a Merc. Ford left it on the vine too long and didn't try anything new or upscale with it. Lincoln got the attention for that direction.

    Hummer: Don't even think about starting the MPG argument with me on Hummer.... Because I will point you to all the credible EPA data that shows that the Jeep brand does just a poorly over all in fuel economy as the H3 EVER did, yet Jeep is a beloved trademark. GM management gets the blame for Hummer's demise here. MARKETING MARKETING MARKETING!!!!!! THAT would have saved the Hummer brand!!!!

    Pontiac: ...Oh boy.... GM management. simple. to the point. "We know how to KILL excitement!"

    Saturn: See Pontiac and Hummer above. Same exact problems.

    Oldsmobile: Lost it's way in a company with Pontiac, Buick and Cadillac all seeking customers of anything above "entry-level".
    What is happening to the GM that grew up with for these many decades? If I could I would institute a hostile take over and kick the entire board and executives out and fill the positions with creative minds under the age of 35.

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