5 Cars that Fell Short of Market Expectations

Cars are not just a means of transport but a symbol of independence for a teenager, and a show of power and status for grownups. Owners are identified with their cars; at least that is for some. If cars are symbols of identity they cannot look ugly, perform dismally, or project themselves poorly. Manufacturers keeping these in mind innovates one new model after another to satisfy the demands of car lovers. In spite of their best efforts and intentions some car models fail to meet customers’ tastes and fail in the market.

Crosley Hotshot :

Powel Crosley Jr., owner of Crosley Broadcasting and baseball team Cincinnati Reds, decided on making cars. To satiate this desire Crosley formed Crosley Motors in 1939 and brought out ‘Hotshot’ model in 1950. The car miserably failed because of faulty engine design and a defective body of welded iron and tin. Not only did the car fail, Crosley Motors was forced to close operations in 1952.

Amphicar :

Many wonder that how much better it would have been if it was possible to negotiate water bodies in a car. German racing car driver Hanns Trippel undertook the challenge and invented his Amphicar in 1961. With amphibious qualities this car was able to negotiate lakes, streams and rivers. It was wonderful to avoid traffic snarls and proceed to your destination unflustered.

Despite of this path breaking feature, the car failed miserably because its speed in water was just about 11km hour matching that of a rowboat. In addition the body wasn’t water tight and the entire vehicle was prone to leakage and drowning. Time magazine reported that the car was designed to ‘revolutionize drowning’. Read more about it in http://cheapautoinsurance.net.

Ford Pinto :

This car was introduced in 1970 as a budget model at US $2000. For making this economy model the manufacturer compromised on several safety features. Fuel tank of the car was located at the back of rear axle and fitted with a filler pipe. On rear collisions this fuel filler pipe burst into flames and also engulfed the entire car. To fix this problem the cost was estimated at US $49 million. The company decided to call back the sold models and got the entire money refunded to their buyers.

DeLorean DMC 12 :

Designed by automobile executive John DeLorean this car model is famous for its gull-wing doors. Manufactured in 1981, it was because of these doors that this model caught the imagination of car buyers. The enthusiasm of the new owners of this car fizzled out once they began driving it. From ‘0’ to 60mph the car took 10 seconds as compared to contemporary models that took about 4 seconds on an average. Its V6 2.8 liter engine was lethargic is comparison to other models. After a year of its marketing, Government of England ordered the closure of its factory in Northern Ireland. DMC-12 was discontinued in 1982. You could view this car in Michael J. Fox’s ‘Back to the Future’ released in 1985.

Ford Edsel :

This car model is perhaps a symbol of failure. Though the ‘Edsel’ was discontinued over five decades ago it is still identified as an all time failure. In fact the word ‘Edsel’ is identifiable with an expensive product that failed miserably in the market. The model was marketed for two years from 1958-60. The vehicle was overpriced, did not have a good mileage and had an awkward vertical grill design. Too much of marketing coupled with the economic slump during that time failed to attract customers to this vehicle.

About the author :

John O’Leary is a car enthusiast and automobile engineer by profession. His articles on cars are lively and make interesting reading.