Five Car Brands Better Off Dead

Have you ever taken the time to flick through a list of every car brand that has ever graced the planet?

To put it simply: There have been a *lot*. Wikipedia has a list broken down by country, with automakers from Angola to Uruguay, past to present. The U.S. alone has its own dedicated page of hundreds of current and former automakers.

There have been so many that only a small percentage exist today. Which of course begs the question: When we look back 50 years from now, which auto brands will exist only as entries in an online encyclopedia? We’ve already witnessed the demise in the last two years of more brands than kicked the bucket in the previous 30.

And I think there are a few more that would be better off dead or at least yanked from U.S. market.


Saab is the most obvious choice. The company relies on life support and simply can’t breathe on its own. Time to pull the plug.


The other Swedish automaker seems to have lost its relevance. The company has said it will discontinue its S40 sedan and V50 wagon models for 2012. This comes after the V70 wagon has already gone. A Volvo without any wagons isn’t a Volvo that should keep living.


Name one Mitsubishi product, besides the Evo (which may get phased out), that is a better buy than its competition. ‘Nuff said.


This one pains me, because I’m a big fan of Suzuki cars. The Kizashi is sweet, and the SX4 is a fun, economical little AWD hatch. There aren’t many buyers, though, who seem to agree.


Why does Honda need a luxury brand if all it produces are questionably designed vehicles that are out-classed and out-performed by the competition?

What other car brands should be put out to pasture?


Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Volvo S40
Used Volvo V50
Used Volvo V70
Used Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Used Suzuki Kizashi
Used Suzuki SX4


  1. Tho trying to get financed thru Suzuki is next to impossible tho….

  2. I have a sx4 suv and I love the car….and if I had the money I would buy another

  3. I’m definitely with you on shutting down Suzuki and Mitsubishi. When Suzuki ended it’s partnership with GM, they stopped getting the XL7. Then they lost their Daewoo sourced cars (Forenza, Verona, and Reno). Then they stopped offering a V6 in the Grand Vitara. Now they’re down to the SX4, the Grand Vitara in a 4 cylinder, The Equator (rebadged Nissan Frontier, itself an average vehicle for it’s class, and the 4 cylinder only Kizashi, an almost mid sized sedan. Although the Kizashi has been rated well, too little too late, and very little coming on the horizon.

    As for Mitsubishi, they only ever had mediocre vehicles (except for the EVO). For a number of years, their sporty coupe/convertible (Eclipse) outsold their mid sized sedan (Galant). Something’s wrong with your lineup if that’s the case. That’s like the Toyota Celica outselling the Camry, or the Honda Prelude outselling the Accord. Now, instead of offering redesigned models in key volume segment categories, they’re killing off entire segments and instead investing into questionable ones. They’re ending production of the Galant, Endeavor, and Eclipse to make small electric cars the size of a Smart Car or Mini (I-Miev). That’s like Honda saying “we’re killing off the Accord, Prelude, and Pilot so we can focus on making an electric vehicle the size of a 4 door Smart Car.”

    Not so smart.

    I think Saab and Volvo have a future as long as they can secure a benefactor to finance them, which I believe they both have at this point. I disagree completely that Volvo needs to sell many types of wagons to be relevant. (and they still have the XC70, which is a rebadged V70 cross country, which is basically a slightly taller V70 wagon (same idea as a Subaru Outback is to a Subaru Legacy wagon). The Outback is by far the highest volume model in their lineup, and the XC70 does well also. The V50 and S40 barely sold at all, and they now have the XC60 small crossover to replace the V50 in the lineup, which is a hot seller in a hot segment. The new S60 is a hit as well.

    As to Acura, I am not a fan of the current design theme either, but that doesn’t make them bad cars in other measurable respects. They screwed up the TL to be sure, and we’re in year 4 of the 5 year cycle, so hopefully the next one and the rest of the lineup will go back to the look of the 04-08 model (which I own and love)., and the ZDX will just go away. They are decently built cars with lots of technology and nice interiors, but with design flaws to be sure. They also handle well. (not like BMWs, but still well overall) They’re going to needa wider range of engines (or at least more power at the high end) if they wish to compete with other luxury marques. For reference, there was a point where Infiniti lost its way as well, and look at it now.

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