Apr 20 2021
Top 7 Biggest Car Flops of All Time
With the millions, sometimes billions, automakers put into research and development, you would think it would be near impossible for cars to fail. But it happens and we have found the top 7 biggest car flops in automotive history.
While it is a pop-culture icon thanks to Back to the Future, the DMC-12 is one of the biggest car flops in history. After being marketed as the sports car of the future, DeLorean expected to sell around 12,000 units a year.
In reality, only 6,000 models were sold, the company was closed down and the British government seized their assets.
Released in 2000 as a rival for the BMW 3-Series, the Jaguar X-Type was a major flop for the British automaker and raised significant concerns about the direction of Jaguar.
Described as “obnoxiously underbuilt, remarkably overpriced, and about as charming as a hernia”, the X-Type was priced similarly to its competitors but lacked significantly in performance, quality, and technology.
Mercedes Benz X-Class
Barely 3 years into its life, Mercedes-Benz announced that they were axing the production of the X-Class in May of 2020. The flop can be attributed to many buyers considering the Merc a pretentious and overpriced Nissan. While Mercedes tried to overcome this PR nightmare by detailing the differences between the two models, customers struggled to accept this.
Named after Henry Ford’s only son, the Ford Edsel was marketed as the car of the future. The Edsel featured innovative technologies such as warning lights for low oil levels and engine temperature.
However, car buyers were deterred by the awkward looks and failed to sell enough models to break even. It’s estimated Ford lost around US$350 million in 1960 on the model (around $2.4 billion today).
You will find the Pontiac Aztek regularly topping polls for the ‘ugliest cars ever made’. The mid-sized SUV was released just as car buyers began to demand smaller 4x4s and in theory should have been a success for the company. The Aztek never managed to break even and was removed from the brands line up in 2007.
Lexus SC 430
Famously coined the ‘worst car in the history of the world’ by Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May, the Lexus SC was a massive flop for Lexus.
Their main complaints of the car surrounded its significant lack of power; the awkward, ugly wooden interior styling; and it being entirely overpriced for what it had to offer.
The revival of the Maybach brand has been called the worst bet that Daimler made for the significant amount of money invested in the project and the severe brand image blow it caused for Mercedes-Benz.
The Maybach 57 came with an $890,000 price tag that customers found difficult to stomach considering it looked like a pimped-up S-Class. Maybach struggled to grasp what their buyer wanted in terms of design and luxury.