Five of the Worst-planned Cars in Recent History

Article by Andrew Christian, on May 27, 2016

In the automotive industry, there is no “sure thing.” Every time carmakers approve a project, it represents a huge risk; albeit, a necessary one if they want to succeed. Playing safe does not always pay off in a huge industry.

No matter how meticulous they go about in the development, there is no sure-fire method. However, some companies can absorb the impact of a poorly designed project better than others. Having said that, there are vehicles that make the average person call out the automaker for a what-were-you-thinking moment.

Cadillac Cimarron

Essentially, the Cadillac Cimarron is a Chevy Cavalier. The only difference is that it is built using a cheap suit. It can be compared to a neck tie meant to cover-up a stain— no wonder car enthusiasts did not dig it at all. It is as if everything that GM did wrong in the early 1980s was integrated into one mendacious vehicle.

Chevrolet SSR

Despite the timeless appearance and powerful performance incorporated into the mini pickup, the Chevrolet SSR did not appeal to the market. And that’s putting it lightly.

In 2003 to 2006, only 24,150 models were sold. Sales were weighed down even further by its whopping price of $42,000. For drivers, it just was not a practical option and didn’t offer a lot of value.

Cadillac XLR

The Cadillac XLR can boast about its modern appeal, comfortable driving experience, and powerful delivery. However, there were several factors that hindered consumers from appreciating the Cadillac XLR for what it is.

These factors include a shocking starting price of $76,000, which can go more than $86,000 with the optional features. It also didn’t help that it had a close resemblance to the Corvette. From 2003 to 2009, less than 16,000 models were produced. It was so unpopular that inventory lots were full of unsold models until 2011.

Lincoln Blackwood

The brand came up with the idea to develop an SUV that boasted the abilities of a truck in 2002 after the Lincoln Navigator had already had a good run for several years. However, the Lincoln Blackwood fell flat.

It was pretty much a dead end as sales never had much of a growth. Only 3,356 models were sold during the first and only year of the Lincoln Blackwood, most of which were sold well below the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

Volkswagen Phaeton

German carmakers are known to be the leader when it comes to engineering spacious luxury sedans. The Volkswagen Phaeton was designed and built to be a source of pride. However, with a starting price of $85,000, the car market didn’t appear to be ready for a high-powered luxury vehicle.

Further options can cost buyers to pay more than $100,000. In the US, only 1,433 models were sold in 2004. By 2005, only 820 Volkswagen Phaeton models left lots.

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