Like movies and television, when a new vehicle is debuted, it’s not guaranteed to be met with praise and applause. Sometimes, new vehicles are received in quite the opposite fashion, with ridicule and eye rolls from across the globe. For this installment, we look back at these failed attempts at automobiles. Whether they crashed and burned or just failed to garner the public’s attention, these are 10 of the lowest selling cars of all time.
Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse
It probably takes longer to say than it took to sell the 410 units of this super expensive sports car. Designed by Bugatti Automobiles from 2011 to 2015, only 450 of these beauties were manufactured. The low number is likely due to its impressive price tag of approximately $2.5 million dollars, which makes even 410 sales impressive. With a production of 450 and only 410 sold, that still leaves 40 Grand Sport Vitesse models out there waiting to be sold. The remaining units stand to show that, no matter how fancy or impressive a vehicle may be, it’s not going to be easy to pawn off on just anybody. It takes a special individual to spend $2 million on a car.
The Wagonaire was a Studebaker wagon produced between 1963 and 1966. It had the classic stylings of a station wagon with a bit more of a sleeker style and boxed top. A removable section of the roof allowed for oversized items to fit within the vehicle, showcasing practicality in design. The removable roof option lead to issues of leaks, which lead to the production of a fixed-roof model. Despite innovation and the attempt to fix said faults, the model only saw 940 vehicles drive off the lot. Sounds odd for a vehicle who’s greatest pull was that it could transport a full-sized refrigerator upright.
It may have been a gorgeous vehicle put out by Ford in 1958, but the Edsel is far from the company’s greater achievements. Developed for the 1958 to 1960 model years, Ford thought it could create a model that rivaled the design of Chrysler, but though there is no denying how good the Edsel looked. The many failures of the Edsel came with a weak internal support, with Ford pitting its own vehicle against sister companies like Mercury. In fact, during marketing, there was no indication if the Edsel was meant to be a grade above or below Mercury, making the pricing of the vehicle – almost in line with Mercury pricing – somewhat confusing. Over the course of its lifespan, 116,000 were sold, less than half of the company’s projected sales. In its finally year, 1960, the Edsel produced and sold only 2,846 units, proving that if a vehicle is not marked correctly, it will eventually crash.
Lexus IS 300 SportCross
The IS 300 was Lexus’ attempt at creating a luxurious wagon, equipped with rear-wheel drive and all of the higher-end features one expects from a Lexus. The truth of the matter, though, is that the IS 300 SportCross was still a wagon, and no matter how attractive you make one look, there is generally a certain market for this style body – and they’re not looking to spend top dollar for it. Despite the word “Sport” in its name, the IS 300 SportCross completely failed to deliver on any sporty accents. Overall, the vehicle was just ugly and didn’t have the appeal it needed to sell.
The Lincoln Blackwood had a very short lifespan, surviving just one year in the United States and a whopping two in Mexico. The 4-door crew cab pick-up was available in nothing other than a black on black finish, which is generally an attractive look for any vehicle. The Blackwood’s true issues came in with its limited cargo versatility and Lincoln-standard pricing. It offered nothing more than the comparable F-150, despite claiming itself to be a luxurious version of Ford’s popular pick-up. Though Lincoln expected over 18,000 to be produced, only 3,356 actually made it through production in 15 months. The Blackwood’s projections were turned around so drastically that its discontinuation was announced even before the 2002 model year ended.
In 1991, the Yugo GV failed to sell more than 3,100 models in the United States, despite Zastava’s ability to push its product. The issue with the GV sales may have come from the numerous design flaws that combatted the low price tag every step of the way. The tiny coupe suffered from frequent engine issues, including overheating, stalling and defective safety restraints. To make matters worse, on more than one occasion the radio was known to fall completely out of the dashboard. Though the pricing was low on the GV, the issues that it came with instantly drove up the frustration factor, and once word caught on that this model would fall apart right beneath you, it’s sales dwindled drastically. One reason for the decline in quality were the numerous political problems occurring in Yugoslavia at the time.
One of Pontiac’s greatest failures, if not the greatest failure, was the Aztek. The name certainly brings to the table something cool and unique, playing off of the adventure one may think of when they think of the Aztec regions of Mexico; but the vehicle itself was priced far too high for what it was offering. Regardless of the poor sales, the Aztek was actually praised as a vehicle, scoring highest in every Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout component. In 2005, though still in mass production, the Aztek had sold just above 5,000 units, marking the final year for the vehicle.
Acura’s ZDX was a mid-size luxury crossover with a 5-door design and lift back. It featured an all-wheel drive system, 3.7L v6 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Oh, and a brutal mileage per gallon rating of 16 in the city and 19 on the highway. Sales of the ZDX began in winter of 2009 and lasted until 2013, with around 5,500 units in the span of three years. Though the vehicle offered an attractive style and was a part of Honda’s upper crust Acura branding, it had difficulty catching on. Though pricing likely played a factor, the ZDX failed to offer anything new in the sea of crossover vehicles, failing to stand up to models like the Range Rover Evoque.
Debuting in 2009, the Pontiac G3 holds the record for being the shortest lived Pontiac model of all time. Part of the reason being the bankruptcy of GM shortly after its development. Despite a smaller size, the G3 was unable to match the fuel economy of larger vehicles, like the Honda Civic. To boot, the vehicle’s performance left many unimpressed and wanting something with a little more oomph under the engine. Approximately 7,000 Pontiac G3s were sold across the United States and Canada, and though its lifespan was short, its lack of appeal to the driving public was likely to have doomed the car from further production anyway.
This French-built vehicle was marketed as a multi-purpose coupe. Appearing as a shrunken mini-van, the Avantime had a futuristic style to it, possibly part of the reasoning for its name, which essentially means “Ahead of Time.” The vehicle was produced between 2001 and 2003 and was introduced as a concept in February of 1999 at the Louvre. Renault may have been behind the vehicle’s poor sales by releasing the Vel Satis, a more attractive car that offered comfort and size with style. During the 2 year production, Renault only produced 8,577 units, a far cry from the near 63,000 Vel Satis models that hit the market. In 2002, Automobile Magazine partially blamed poor sales on the American buyer’s “utilitarian expectations of the one-box shape” not moving with the “frivolity of a grand-touring coupe.”