BMW Motors, Mercedez Benz, Volkswagen Group, Toyota Motors, Honda Motors, Mazda, General Motors, Ford Motors, Tata Motors, and others are successful automobile manufacturers worldwide. The name is echoed by automobile lovers when it comes to their preferred car brand and model. For every successful automobile manufacturer, they are some automobile manufacturers who had been the pioneer in the automobile but had been banished to the history books. Nissan Motors nearly have these situations in the early ’90s before being rescued and revived by the Lebanese Ceo Charles Gosn. We will look at some of the defunct automobile manufacturers.
Ransom E. Olds was an early automotive pioneer. His firm, Oldsmobile, was founded a few years before the 20th Century’s dawn. A perpetual innovator, this marque pushed mass production years before Henry Ford perfected it. Beyond this, Oldsmobile was also the first to offer a genuinely automatic transmission. It helped ignite a V8 frenzy in the immediate post-war years with its powerful, overhead-valve Rocket engine. Despite a rich history, this GM division was done by 2004.
Pontiac was known for building sporty vehicles, which, in theory at least, dovetailed nicely with their “driving excitement” tagline. Arguably the muscle-car era of the 1960s was the high-point for this youth-focused GM division as cars like the legendary GTO and prominent; beautiful Bonneville featured sporty styling and powerful engines. But for every laudable Pontiac, there are at least a handful of laughable models. Products like the Sunfire, Trans Sport, and shudder-worthy Aztek caused death by a thousand cuts exacerbated by GM’s bankruptcy filing. Twenty-ten was the end for Pontiac.
Looking to commute in an army truck but don’t have any contacts inside the Department of Defense? No problem! GM’s defunct Hummer brand would happily sell you a boxy rig styled like a military transporter, a consumer-grade facsimile of the Humvee. Their H2 and H3 models were the automotive equivalents of codpieces sold to drivers with crippling inferiority complexes or other psychological disorders. These terrifyingly thirsty trucks drove poorly and looked like gaudy costume jewellery. Consequently, the brand faded away in 2010 as part of GM’s bankruptcy filing.
Along with Pontiac and Hummer, Saturn is another one of the General’s castoffs. It may have been “A different kind of company. A different kind of car,” but self-proclaimed uniqueness didn’t translate into success. Initially hatched in 1985 as a rival to Japanese automakers winning hearts, minds, and market share for years, this division focused on fuel-efficient, no-nonsense small cars. And that strategy worked for a while. But ultimately, an uninspired lineup of rebadged products spelt the end for this division, which mercifully came in 2010.
Finally, we come to Saab, the quirky Swedish automaker that is no more. GM owned this company until 2010, when its Chapter 11 filing claimed another victim. But unlike Pontiac or Saturn, this wasn’t the end of the road. Boutique Dutch automaker Spyker purchased Saab’s leftovers and attempted to revive the brand. Predictably, these efforts were wasted, and this would-be revival collapsed. Then, perhaps sensing blood in the water, Chinese investors got involved and attempted to build electrified 9-3 sedans, which didn’t end well. Ultimately this venture went belly up a couple of years after it started, marking the end for this Saab story.
John DeLorean is best known for designing the striking GTO, among other cars, and being the youngest GM executive in history. Using seed capital from Hollywood stars and the British government, DeLorean built a manufacturing plant in Northern Ireland to produce the DMC-12. Initial vehicles suffered from poor quality control and testing, and the features, cost, and design of the car met with mixed enthusiasm in the States. Struggling to break even, DeLorean was caught in an FBI sting and accused of being a drug trafficker in 1982. He was later acquitted of all charges – but the trial ruined his reputation. The cars gained a cult following, and a new DeLorean Motor Company opened in 2016, promising to build new DMC-12 models in the future.
People often make a mistake when they call Imperials Chryslers because it was a different brand in the Chrysler family. Imperial produced luxury cars from 1955 to 1975, and then briefly from 1981 to 1983. Despite not being as successful as Cadillac or Lincoln in terms of sales numbers, Imperial had an army of faithful buyers and decent sales results. They based Imperial products on Chrysler products, using some of their components. But often, the design was exceptional, the interiors were luxurious, and the trim levels were second to none. The best example of this is their model from 1968. These were the last year this brand featured a significantly different design from Chrysler`s lineup with unique interior styling and appointments. In 1967, Imperial switched to unibody construction in a cost-cutting measure from Chrysler. These didn’t affect the comfort, and it saved some money during production. But for 1968, Imperial was just slightly different with no significant changes to its mechanics. Also, the 440 V8 engine came as standard and delivered 350 HP.
The survival and the banishments of some automobile companies have shown that these industries are highly competitive and remain so in the contemporary era and the coming years. Each time an innovation had been introduced for the car model, other automobile companies must follow suit or either perished in the oblivion of automobile industries. The car companies mentioned in the list above have been the pioneer in some memorable moments in the automobile industries; however, due to external and internal factors, these car brands had vanished from the automobile industries. Due to the competitive nature, it an excellent testament for the other automobile that still survives until these days.