10 Times American Automakers Thought They’d Laugh On The Way To The Bank…But They Didn’t

Automakers spend a lot of time and resources developing new models. Take the Porsche Taycan, for example. Porsche spent years and hundreds of millions of dollars developing the Taycan, which is insane considering Porsche didn’t know how its fans would react to its first electric vehicle. Fortunately, the Taycan turned out to be a huge win for Porsche, as it is one of the most popular electric sports cars in the world.

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However, not all cars turn out like the Taycan. The sad reality is that most car models end up being failures that did not recover the manufacturer’s investment. Let’s explore ten American cars that manufacturers had high hopes for, but ended up failing miserably.

10/10 pontiac aztec

Like other GM brands, Pontiac was going through a terrible time in the late 1990s. To save itself from bankruptcy, Pontiac decided to take advantage of the sharp increase in demand for SUVs in the US by developing a new model: the Aztec.

In fact, Pontiac had a good idea with the Aztek: It was supposed to be an affordable midsize crossover SUV for families looking for a practical and capable daily driver. However, most people never got to know how good the Aztek was, as they couldn’t get over its hideous design. To this day, the Aztek tops most lists of the ugliest vehicles ever made.

9/10 lincoln blackwood

The Lincoln brand of Ford is in charge of building luxurious versions of the normal Ford models. After the success of the Navigator, Lincoln decided to try their luck again at an upmarket version of the popular Ford F-150 SuperCrew, resulting in the Blackwood.

The Blackwood was initially a huge success, as it had luxury features gearheads had never seen in trucks before. However, it didn’t take long for gear fans to realize its flaws. Trying to make the Blackwood more luxurious, Lincoln disabled it as a station wagon, causing sales to collapse.

8/10 2002 Ford Thunderbird

When Chevrolet built the Corvette in 1953, Ford couldn’t just sit back and watch its biggest rival get all the glory and money. Ford rolled up its sleeves and began to build a worthy competitor. Two years after the introduction of the Corvette, Ford introduced the Thunderbird. The Thunderbird was a huge success at first, but for some strange reason, Ford decided to ditch its beautiful two-door convertible body style and turn it into a four-door sedan.

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Half a century later, Ford decided to revive the Thunderbird in its original two-door convertible design in hopes gear lovers would love it. Unfortunately, this decision backfired miserably as the 2002 Thunderbird was ugly.

7/10 DeLorean DMC-12

In the history of the American auto industry, few men are as important as John DeLorean. DeLorean was a visionary who was involved in the development of some of the most iconic American cars, including the Pontiac GTO. After his tenure at GM, DeLorean established a company in his name to build globally successful supercars.

The first and last car built by the DeLorean Motor Company was the DMC-12, a wedge-shaped sports car that appeared to have been built by aliens. The DMC-12 received so much praise that DeLorean priced it at $25,000. However, when gearheads learned that the production version of the DeLorean had a pitiful 130hp Peugeot V6, demand collapsed and the company went bankrupt soon after.

6/10 cadillac allante

In the 1980s, Cadillac needed a new sports car model to help maintain its position as the leader in the US luxury car market. Cadillac’s plan was simple: fuse European design and American performance. The result was the Allante.

Cadillac hired Pininfarina to design and build the Allante, and the Italians did not disappoint as the Allante looked great and had exceptional build quality. Unfortunately, due to the shipping costs involved, the Allante became too expensive and ultimately flopped.

5/10 Maserati Chrysler TC

A wise man once said that it is never a good idea to mix business with friendship. If only Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca and his friend Maserati owner Alejandro de Tomaso had listened to these words of wisdom, the pitiful Chrysler TC By Maserati would never have come to fruition.

The TC was a failed attempt to combine European design with American might. Admittedly, the TC looked much better than most American sports cars of the time. However, since it had the outdated K-car platform, it was bound to fail.

4/10 Karma Fisker

Before Elon Musk took over the electric vehicle industry with Tesla, Henrik Fisker seemed like the man to do it thanks to his Fisker Automotive brand. Fisker caused a lot of excitement in the auto industry when he introduced one of the first plug-in hybrids in 2008: a sports sedan known as the Karma.

RELATED: This Is Why Fisker Never Became As Popular As Tesla

The Karma went into production three years later and was initially praised for having a beautiful design that resembled the prototype. However, it had terrible build quality and often suffered from battery fires, leading to mass recalls. Many also felt that a $100,000 sticker price was too expensive for a car that could only reach 125 mph. The Karma only stayed in production for a year.

3/10 chrysler crossfire

When Daimler and Chrysler joined forces at the turn of the century, the first order of business for the new company was to build cars that integrated the best elements from both sides of the company. The first such vehicle was the Chrysler Crossfire, which is a sports car based on the Mercedes-Benz R170 platform.

Crossfire started out as a great idea, but a few decisions turned it into a flop. On one hand, many felt it was ugly compared to other sports cars. In addition to that, the Crossfire was based on the Mercedes-Benz R170 platform which was out of date at the time of its introduction. Chrysler eventually discontinued the Crossfire in 2008 after failing to meet its sales goals.

2/10 cadillac xlr

Cadillac is the division of GM responsible for building some of the best luxury vehicles in the world. Cadillac has had its fair share of hits and misses over the years, and the XLR is a prime example of the misses.

The XLR debuted in the early 2000s as an upscale version of the C6 Corvette. The XLR was based on the C6 Corvette but had a unique design and many luxury features not found on the Vette. However, the XLR was heavier and had 80 less horsepower than the Corvette, giving it a poor driving experience.

1/10 chevrolet ssr

The SSR is a vehicle that often leaves us wondering what the hell Chevrolet was after. It’s hard to say what kind of vehicle the SSR was, as it looked like an odd mix of pickup truck and sports car. Whatever it was, it sure was ugly.

SSR had some positive aspects. For one thing, it was powered by a 6.0-liter V8 that produced 390 horsepower, the same engine in the Corvette C6. It also had many luxury amenities, including keyless entry, power windows and door locks, leather bucket seats, SRS airbags, cruise control, and many others.

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