Every once in a while, what starts out as an innovative idea ends up being a bust. In this article, we revisit some ideas that didn’t make a mark. On the contrary, they are an embodiment of what not to do. CarSwitch.com, an online marketplace for used cars for sale in Sharjah, did some research to share the details with you.
In the mid-1990s, Pivco was working on PIV4, a two-plus-two electric city car. It also got some help from Lotus. Even though it was ready for commercialization by 1999, the company’s finances did not allow it to proceed. Ford bought a majority stake in Pivco and the PIV4 was subsequently renamed Ford Th!nk City. It was introduced during the 2000 North American International Auto Show that took place in Detroit.
The TH!NK city was the company’s first purpose-built electric vehicle and it was made for city traffic as well as highway driving. On a fully charged battery, it could go more than 50 miles and offered speeds up to 62 mph.
The car offered power steering, five-mile-per-hour bumpers, and dual front airbags. It was a front-wheel-drive vehicle with an AC electric powertrain. It also had power windows and door locks, dual cup holders, and air conditioning. 110 or 220-volt plug-in options were standard equipment. The U.S. consumers also got a pre-heat/pre-cool feature for warming or cooling off the interior with a key fob. The two-seater also had boot space and it featured an aluminium and steel frame with seven removable polyethylene body panels. The car was believed to have a usable life of 80 years and the cells had a 10-year lifespan.
Ford just made 1,005 units of the car and it sold its stake in Th!nk in 2003, after ending production in 2003. Th!nk then tried its hands at electric buses but ended up running out of cash in 2006. It was then purchased by a Norwegian investment group that wanted to resume the production of Th!nk City. It even entered a battery supply deal with Tesla but things didn’t really work out. Later on, General Electric provided the finances for Th!nk City production.
The second-generation variant got a little makeover as well as better specs, including a 46-horsepower electric motor which enabled a top speed of 68 mph, a 24-kWh cell, and a maximum range of 99 miles. The car was revealed in the U.S. in late 2010 and it was one of the few electric vehicles that you could legally drive on the highway. The car had an eye-watering pre-tax price tag of $36,495 and it failed internationally. Th!nk Global’s cash reserves dried up again and this marked the end of European production.
Edsel was a brand by Ford to compete with General Motors (GM) and Chrysler. Apparently, the company focused more on the marketing campaign than the product itself, hyping its new offering significantly. The company simply over promised and under delivered. When the car came out, it was a letdown. On top of that, it was overpriced. Less than 120,000 units were sold and this venture resulted in a loss of $250 million.
1981-1983 DeLorean DMC-12
The DeLorean was a sports car made by John DeLorean’s DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) for the US market from 1981 to 1983. The car featured gull-wing doors and a stainless-steel design. However, it fared poorly in the department of performance and power and betrayed its exterior. Even its price tag wasn’t justified by its lack of power. By the end of 1981, only 6,000 units had been sold and the company went out of money.
1982-1988 Cadillac Cimarron
Cadillac Cimarron was a luxury car with which GM was hoping to win back market share from German automakers. It was a perfect example of badge engineering, with the company using the GM J platform and the exterior of the Chevrolet Cavalier. And despite looking like Chevrolet Cavalier, the Cadillac Cimarron was double its price. The car offered poor performance and failed to attract sales. Overall, it was just a bad idea, doomed from the start.
1995-2000 Oldsmobile Aurora
Compared to other cars on this list, this one could have made it. However, it just wasn’t enough to pull off the task it was aimed for. You see, Oldsmobile was going down and it was in desperate need of something for a second lease of life. Aurora was introduced with a special 4.0-liter V8 engine and daring styling. The company also went all-in on advertising. But then again, promotional campaigns can only do so much. The car received a redesign in 2001, before getting the boot in 2004. And in case you are wondering, it couldn’t save Oldsmobile.
While we are on the topic of automotive failures, check out these corvettes that were axed before they made it to production.
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