There are plenty of great examples of vehicles that have failed over the years but many of those were good vehicles that were either marketed poorly or simply did not reach the audience in the way the automaker expected. A dumb car is one that had corporate fingers all over them and pushed through by CEOs and product developers even when all the information given told them not to produce the vehicle at all. While this line can easily get blurred we can take a look at some examples of dumb vehicles that simply should not have been produced but stubbornness caused them to make their way to the production line.
Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible – For a short time the PT Cruiser was popular and the executives decided to push this idea through even though the designers and engineers warned against it. Not only was this car a failure from the beginning every convertible version had to be shipped out of the factory to have the top cut off and the new convertible top put on adding cost to this bad idea.
Chevrolet Vega – The Vega was supposed to be how GM entered the small car market to compete with Japanese models, but John DeLorean did one thing wrong; he put a deadline on the car. He gave the team only two years to develop this car that was supposed to take over the market, but instead we got a car that has been considered one of the dumbest cars ever made.
Hummer H2 – This was the second coming of the large gas guzzling beast that was missing only the gun to become a tank. Launched after the attacks of 9/11/2001 which led to a cutoff of oil from the Middle East and a strong rise in gas prices this is a vehicle that some love today, but hated when it came out as a vehicle that would burn way too much gas.
1899 Horsey Horseless – As one of the first vehicles ever the idea was to soothe the feeling people had about carriages that weren’t pulled by horses. The maker if this vehicle bolted a hollow horsehead to the front, which was a place to hold the fuel for the vehicle, and made the vehicle look a lot like a carnival ride rather than a serious vehicle.
Bricklin SV1 – Not only were the days of many automotive executives being able to launch their own brands over before this car ever made it to the market. There were nearly 2,000 copies made, but this was supposed to be a new sports car but instead it was a failure mostly because it didn’t have anything that resembled what we would consider it to be a sports car.
1990 Chrysler Imperial – By the time this car came to market the platform that helped to save Chrysler in the 1980s was basically past its time. The problem here was the fact that Lee Iacocca insisted this car be built on the K-car platform rather than develop a new one that would help to improve the progress of the company which is bad for business and this car certainly proved that.
Chevrolet SSR – This was a vehicle built to combine way too many things. It was a retractable convertible roadster pickup that had a large V8 engine. This was a dumb idea because of the lack of market need for this vehicle to actually be a vehicle that would show off any expertise for GM and was really meant to show the new CEO could take a risk, but this one shouldn’t have been taken.
Lincoln Blackwood – When only the executives feel a project needs to move forward it’s usually a bad idea. The Blackwood was just such a vehicle and it cost several Ford executives their jobs because they pushed it through so hard. This was to be a luxury pickup truck, but it only came in one color and the bed was made into a trunk rather than a bed that could actually get some work done. This truck even came as RWD only which meant no 4WD off road adventures for the owners.
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