: Worst selling American cars in the last 50 years



drewsdeville
07-16-10, 12:10 PM
http://autos.aol.com/gallery/american-worst-50-years/

gdwriter
07-16-10, 03:39 PM
There's also a link to the best-selling cars in the past 50 years (http://autos.aol.com/gallery/american-best-50-years/). Not too many surprises here; the Ford F-150 is #1, with the Chevrolet Impala, Oldsmobile Cutlass and Ford Mustang next. I was surprised to see the Chevrolet Cavalier outsold the Ford Escort by 1 million units. And the Buick LeSabre comes in at #7. I think it was a mistake for Buick to abandon the LeSabre name for the Lucerne (which makes me think of Safeway dairy products).

noahsdad
07-16-10, 03:56 PM
Of that list, many were fabulous cars - just at the wrong time. Avantis had really bold styling and innovative engineering - they still made them in Canada for several years after Studebaker died. The AMC Marlins were a bit ungainly, but they had very cool interiors. The AMX was like an orgasm on wheels, especially with the 401-4v. And personally, I think the Reatta was one of the most innovative, best engineered and built cars GM produced in the 80s.

Jesda
07-16-10, 04:27 PM
The Reatta was a rarity for GM -- an interesting car with poor marketing, whereas most of GM's 1980s stuff was marketed well but completely forgettable.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-16-10, 06:22 PM
There was a nice red/tan '90 Reatta soft top at my big Buick/GMC client in Rochester this week. I shoulda snapped a pic.

Aron9000
07-17-10, 02:11 AM
If only they had put a V8 in the Reatta, or maybe a turbocharged 3.8 v6 Something more than the 165hp 3.8 V6 snooze fest.

drewsdeville
07-17-10, 02:14 AM
And perhaps a mild restyle. While it was different, it was also fairly bland. It wasn't ugly nor was it a looker; it was just "there" - not exactly a good thing for a luxury sports coupe.

It's styling didn't help give it an identity, which it needed badly.

A manual trans option would have been neat as well. Instead the buick sports coupe was available only with the same slave that GM put to work in the rest of it's fwd cars, the 4t60 and 4t60e.

Jesda
07-17-10, 02:49 AM
If only they had put a V8 in the Reatta, or maybe a turbocharged 3.8 v6 Something more than the 165hp 3.8 V6 snooze fest.

Indeed. With a Buick badge, it wasn't sure if it was luxury or sport, or none of the above.

orconn
07-17-10, 12:42 PM
I always thought the Reatta was a "ladies" car aimed at the "ladies who lunch" and play golf segment of suburbia, kind of an anemic two seat Thunderbird!

billc83
07-18-10, 12:58 AM
I never cared for the Avanti. To me, it was always ugly. I must be the minority, because after Studebaker stopped production it lasted for several more DECADES.

Here's a good read about the Buick Reatta and its design and development at GM - Legends of the Fall (http://ateupwithmotor.com/model-histories/sports-cars-and-muscle-cars/165-legends-of-the-fall-buick-reatta.html/). The Reatta never found its niche.

Jesda
07-18-10, 01:55 AM
http://pictures.topspeed.com/IMG/crop/200706/buick-velite-a-go-fo_460x0w.jpg
http://pictures.topspeed.com/IMG/crop/200706/buick-velite-a-go-fo_460x0w.jpg

I wonder if the Buick Velite would have had the same outcome.

96Fleetwood
07-18-10, 01:32 PM
Wow, can't believe the Marauder was on the list... I had mine for 5 months and was able to sell it in 2 days and make $2K on it. Were they not good sellers when new? I remember the Motor Trend article with the Impala SS vs. Marauder.. probably killed enthusiasm. If only Ford kept the initial concept idea and put the V10 motor.

drewsdeville
07-18-10, 01:50 PM
Yes, they had a hard time moving the Marauder when new; it's been on many "worst selling cars" lists. Part of the problem was low interest by the public, and an even bigger part was the poor pricing. The Marauder was priced at around $35k. If any of you have driven/worked on the panther platform before, you'd know that there's no way ANY panther is worth that much money.

Bottlecap-plastic interior, pleather seating, creaking/rattling door panels and dashboard, could be outhandled by a Chevy Lumina , sloppy transmission and, though it was rated for more horsepower, the 32 valve 4.6 was hardly any faster a regular Police Interceptor. Or at least not as fast as the price would indicate.

I personally could have found MANY cars that were more comfortable and performed better than the Marauder for $35k.

By the time the Marauder was released, the regular civilian panther platform sales had diminished to almost nothing. This was a half-assed attempt to gain some enthusiasm from the public.

96Fleetwood
07-18-10, 01:55 PM
I agree, that was the exact reason I sold mine. After owning 14+ B/D body GM cars, I couldn't believe the Marauder felt so archaic despite being a 2003 model. I bought it cheap and was able to make some $$... but they do sell fast now that depreciation has kicked in.

Jesda
07-18-10, 01:56 PM
If only Ford kept the initial concept idea and put the V10 motor.


Seems like a common theme with domestic brands. Instead of building on something and making it better, they just quietly drop it in the wastebin and hope no one noticed (GTO, PT Cruiser, G8). Or, the model lingers around almost unchanged for far too long (PT Cruiser).

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-18-10, 07:44 PM
The Marauder was priced at around $35k. If any of you have driven/worked on the panther platform before, you'd know that there's no way ANY panther is worth that much money.

Bottlecap-plastic interior, pleather seating, creaking/rattling door panels and dashboard.

They weren't all that bad. The Town Cars were a lot better put together than the GM's & CV's, especially if you can find a Town Car Cartier Series. A friend of mine had a '97 Cartier in mint condition and the leather was the softest I've ever sat in....truly butter-soft and a dream to ride in. I do remember the dashboard being made of a soft vinyl material and it had nice deep carpets on the floors and bottoms of the doors. Another friend of mine has a '96 Signature Series Town Car, and while nice, isn't on the same level as that Cartier. A different friend has an '02 Crown Victoria LX and, while not awful, it's nowhere near as nice inside as the TC's.

hueterm
07-18-10, 08:07 PM
They weren't all that bad. The Town Cars were a lot better put together than the GM's & CV's, especially if you can find a Town Car Cartier Series. A friend of mine had a '97 Cartier in mint condition and the leather was the softest I've ever sat in....truly butter-soft and a dream to ride in. I do remember the dashboard being made of a soft vinyl material and it had nice deep carpets on the floors and bottoms of the doors. Another friend of mine has a '96 Signature Series Town Car, and while nice, isn't on the same level as that Cartier. A different friend has an '02 Crown Victoria LX and, while not awful, it's nowhere near as nice inside as the TC's.

Kind of like these?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/TOWN-CAR-5Y-100K-WARRANTY-CARTIER-CD-CHANGER-RUST-FREE-/270600167227?cmd=ViewItem&pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item3f0106df3b

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-18-10, 08:24 PM
Maybe. Same trim package, different interior design. It may use the same leather, I wouldn't doubt it, but I know that they changed the interior design and layout in '95, and the seats were changed as well.

drewsdeville
07-18-10, 09:40 PM
I definitely can't agree with this. I feel the interiors on the panther platform declined consistently as it aged. Panel gaps increased and grew in number. Build quality was on a steady decline. I'd have to say that the best leather seating came from teh '94 and previous models.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-18-10, 10:22 PM
The 90-94's have the most comfortable seats and velvety smooth ride. The 95+ ones didn't ride as soft and their seats were firmer. The best seats IMO were the 90-94 Signature Series models.

Jesda
07-18-10, 10:46 PM
I definitely can't agree with this. I feel the interiors on the panther platform declined consistently as it aged. Panel gaps increased and grew in number. Build quality was on a steady decline. I'd have to say that the best leather seating came from teh '94 and previous models.

This was probably most noticeable in the Town Car. A lot of guys here on the forum seem to suggest that quality in the Town Car started declining in the early 2000s. They started removing little luxury features here and there, like the infrared interior alarm system and a few niceties here and there.


The early 90s models certainly did have some nice seats.

Aron9000
07-18-10, 11:00 PM
This was probably most noticeable in the Town Car. A lot of guys here on the forum seem to suggest that quality in the Town Car started declining in the early 2000s. They started removing little luxury features here and there, like the infrared interior alarm system and a few niceties here and there.


The early 90s models certainly did have some nice seats.

See, I always thought the Town Car had spotty build quality until the 2003 redesign. HVAC Blend door failures that cost a fortune to fix, and the suspension was total and complete garbage. By the time you hit 100k, the rear air suspension would be on its way out, front shocks are dead, and every single ball joint/rubber piece in the front end would be worn out. Lots of slop in the steering, even when new, which got worse as the car aged.

After reading Rick's long ass thread about rebuilding his Town Car suspension, I've completely written the damn things off. I mean his car only had like 120k miles on it and he replaced every single damn piece on the suspension. I know Rick is anal, but he showed pics to where everything was just flat worn out.

Jesda
07-18-10, 11:14 PM
Didn't seem like anything Rick did was too terrible for an older car -- he just likes to describe things elaborately. :P

drewsdeville
07-18-10, 11:21 PM
What ever happened to putting grease fittings on suspension joints? I'm not sure about the previous, but I know for a fact that the '92+ panthers had the "sealed" joints from the factory(yeah, sealed, right). My Caddy's are near 200k on the original joints. I pump them full of fresh grease every oil change.

Squeezing the grease gun handle for grease jobs is a lot easier than replacing ball joints.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-18-10, 11:30 PM
Yea, the 80-89 Town Cars have greaseable zerks.

Sandy
07-19-10, 11:52 AM
IMPERIALl(s) were terrific cars with way more luxury high end style interiors with great 440 V-8 engines with a great ride & could out corner any Lincoln or Caddy. Problem was....
Nobody went in to see one, try one or drive one. Of the people who did, 76.4 percent bought it ! This is what ya get when you have a good product with absolutely NO advertising budget !

We had 7 people, all extremely wealthy, and I mean EXTREMELY wealthy, that would come in every 30 months or so, and either buy or order a new Imperial.
Other than that - perhaps 2 or 3 lookers per year.

IF we put one on the showroom floor, usually someone would come in and look at it and say..... "What is this? " It said Imperial on the hood, on the side and on the rear deck lid. DUH ? Very poor sellers, very strong, well put togther luxury cars. Used? Takes about6 to 8 months to sell one. Used value is in the gutter. Was a good car to lease.
Always a 5-year bumper to bumper warrantee.

drewsdeville
07-19-10, 03:47 PM
Sales musn't have been bad enough because I never saw an Imperial on this or any other "worst selling" list.

Jesda
07-19-10, 07:46 PM
We had 7 people, all extremely wealthy, and I mean EXTREMELY wealthy, that would come in every 30 months or so, and either buy or order a new Imperial.
Other than that - perhaps 2 or 3 lookers per year.


Sounds like the XLR

orconn
07-19-10, 08:34 PM
Sandy, for the last forty years or so, most of the wealthy and very wealthy people I have known, on both Coasts, were all over at the Mercedes, Jaguar and BMW showrooms writing checks! It's no wonder that no one was coming to a Chrysler showroom to see an Imperial given that they were just variations on Chrysler K-cars with extra frosting and sugar florettes. Those poor embellished Lebarons and Diplomats that Chrysler tried to foist off as "New Yorker 5th Avenues" were a disgrace to even the New Yorker monicker, much less the memory of the Imperial nameplate.

Let's face even Cadillac took a big hit in the last forty years with only the first, fourth and fifth generation Sevilles appealing to upper crust buyers on either coast. Lincoln only really hung inthere because of the livery use of the Towncar.