Yesterday we learned that the Cadillac ELR is in the process of becoming one of the biggest flops in automotive history.
That’s quite the honor for General Motors and another notch for a company that has a history of creating flops. To be fair, the General also has the quite the history of creating smashing successes, but today we’re focused on flops. More specifically, let’s look at cars that should have been flops, but somehow managed to live much longer than they should have.
This’ll be fun.
For all intents and purposes, this car was a huge, colossal, undeniable flop. It’s been on every list of ugliest cars ever since it debuted and it sold in miserable numbers. However, thanks to a little thing called Breaking Bad, the Aztec became cool. Even though they aren’t built anymore, it’s more common than ever to see them on the road.
Some might say this car did indeed flop. Basically a modern interpration of the BRAT, the Baja didn’t make a lot of sense. It wasn’t a truck and it wasn’t a car, but it wanted to be both.
Come on Subaru, you don’t build trucks. You build Foresters.
Somehow, at least in Washington and Colorado, buyers kept the Baja alive for much longer than anyone would have ever guessed.
Not only was this car not a flop, it was an extraordinary success from a sales perspective. People bought these things in droves and the model lasted a full decade. Why? I attribute it to uniqueness alone. It was underpowered, loud and slathered in plastic. No one had seen that shape since the 1930s, though, and the honeymoon lasted about nine years too long.
As if the PT Cruiser wasn’t bad enough, Chevy hired away the designer and promptly built a copy. Unfortunately, it happened just as the novelty of the PT had worn off. For whatever reason, buyers pulled the trigger on the little afterthought and it sold reasonable well during its existence.
This is hard for me. I owned an X-Type for many years and thoroughly enjoyed the car. There’s really no reason it should have lasted the seven years it did, though. Too expensive when new and without the performance of competing small luxury sedans, the baby Jag wasn’t a Jag at all, but a re-skinned Ford. Thanks to the ritzy exterior and some quality leather inside, people did buy, for a while. My personal feelings aside, this car should have been killed off two years into its existence.
What other cars should have flopped, but didn’t?