We all had an awkward period growing up. That period was the Nineties. Geo just happened to go through almost its entire existence during the decade and, not to dunk on the designers behind the brand's relatively few concept vehicles -- particularly its Tracker concept vehicles -- but it shows.
The few retrospectives on the Geo brand out there tend to assert that GM desperately wanted to capture the youth market by rebadging some small captive imports already in the Chevrolet lineup, introducing a few others, and giving them a "gee willikers, kiddos, these are 23-skidoo" makeover. While the marketers in charge of Geo eventually went that way, GM -- at least initially -- was a little more transparent about its intentions for Geo.
Take a look at the first couple years' worth of Geo television commercials, and you'll hear less radical/lifestyle wording and more name-checking of Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and the other import companies then eating GM's lunch. GM needed a counterpunch, but it was apparently unwilling or unable to develop small cars after putting the Chevette to bed and didn't have a brand that resonated with the people buying imported small cars at the time. GM's answer reeked of the late Twenties: Introduce a blank-slate companion brand to compete.