Top Automotive Flops of All Time

Every year dozens of new car models are introduced, but not every new model is a winner. In fact, some are pretty much the epitome of losers. Here is a look at the biggest flops, or the models that manufacturers wish they had left on the drawing board. Although some were not the worst cars, just simply the victim of bad marketing, a lot of these flops are so bad you just have to wonder what the automakers were thinking.


What happened to the General Motors EV-1?

Released in 1996, the EV-1 was an electric car way ahead of its time. Sadly, the futuristic car looked more like ET’s head than something remarkable, and the technology behind electric cars was not quite up to par yet. Only about 1,000 models of the car were leased before GM decided to collect and then destroy all of the models instead of selling them. This is likely because the tiny car had a reputation of stranding motorists.


Why was the Acura ZDX so bad?

In 2010 Acura attempted to create a midsize utility vehicle, but they seemed to forget functionality somewhere along the line as they created a mutt of a vehicle. The sloping rear roofline killed the headroom in the rear and destroyed any cargo possibilities. It also turned the trademark Acura appearance into some laughable, as even hatchbacks could carry more. Buyers reacted harshly, as the Acura ZDX was the third slowest selling car in 2010, and that list includes high-end luxury supercars.


Talk about the Cadillac ELR.

When people think green, they certainly don’t think of Cadillac, which is probably one of the top reasons why the Cadillac ELR was doomed to fail. However, there were plenty of compounding issues that helped it fail quickly. Released in 2014, the ELR was nothing more than a luxury Chevy Volt. It was pricey for what it gave you and didn’t offer the same electric range as the similarly priced Tesla Model S. Toss in a marketing campaign that many people called offensive, and it is no surprise the model was gone in a very short two years.

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What made the Chrysler Crossfire so apocalyptically bad?

To start, the 2003 Chrysler Crossfire was given a name that belongs to a tank, not to an everyday luxury vehicle. The misnomer is just the start of the Crossfire’s issues, however, as it only offered two seats and not much power. Today it would still fit into the performance bargain category, but there is nothing remarkable enough to keep it going. The car hung around until 2009 and left the market with just over 50,000 units sold after six years of poor marketing.


So what about the Nissan Murano Crosscabriolet?

If the long name wasn’t already enough of an indication of a car that wasn’t going to catch on, its appearance tells the rest of the story. The idea was to chop off the roof of the Murano crossover SUV and create a stylish convertible, but the end result looked like a jacked-up bug on wheels. In four years, the company only sold 2,000 units making it one of the largest names, and biggest flops in auto history.


What the Yugo really that bad?

In a word, yes. In 1985 Malcolm Bricklin dreamed of bringing a super inexpensive car to America to attract the lower edges of the auto buying market. He consulted with Serbian-Yugoslav designer Zastava, and the Yugo was born. Originally people loved how tiny it was, and more importantly, how cheap it was. However, buyers quickly learned that you get what you pay for, as the cars started falling apart piece by piece. In just two years the car sales for the Yugo dropped from 48,000 to just a little over 1,000.


And the Ford Edsel?

Most people have never heard of the Ford Edsel, and that explains why it is the top flop in automobile history. Created in 1958 to rival the Cadillac luxury market, the Edsel became a symbol for nothing within Ford. It was poorly designed with an odd grille and a split bumper and was completely over the top. While it is something Jay Gatsby may have driven, anyone of true means turned their nose’s up at its garish design. Ford cut the Edsel brand in two years, at a loss of what would be about 2.8 billion dollars today.

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