5 cars that saved their brands from ruin (and 5 that almost destroyed the manufacturer’s reputation)



The auto industry has seen many ups and downs over the years. Some automakers have reached a point where their survival has been called into question. Others are not so lucky. Well, the difference between success and bankruptcy often depends on one model – a car so well designed that it manages to save the day.

Related: These Are The Biggest American Sports Car Failures

Every now and then an auto company will also get too ambitious with the intention of building a fantastic car, but end up being overpriced, unreliable, and shunned by the public. It might also be too popular with thieves. These factors could lead to massive sales failures or damage the reputation of automakers. That said, here are five cars that saved their brands from ruin and five that almost ruined their manufacturers’ reputations.

ten Saved the brand: Bentley Continental GT

In the late 1990s, Bentley was associated with Rolls-Royce, which made it a lesser brand, and by the time Volkswagen bought Bentley in 1998, it was in poor condition. The Crewe plant had around 1,500 employees and annual production and sales figures were around 1,000 units.

Immediately, Volkswagen came to its rescue by investing $ 2 billion to relaunch the brand. In addition to the investment, Bentley was to build a W12 2003 Continental GT twin-turbo 6.0-liter under Volkswagen direction. Fortunately, the GT was successful when its demand was so high that the Crewe factory could not handle its new demand. Today, the Continental GT is in its third generation and is one of the best-selling luxury cars in the world.

9 Almost ruined the company: Fisker Karma

In 2011, plug-in hybrids seemed like the only way to save the planet, and Henrik Fisker was into it. Fisker wrote one of his finest aesthetics, the Fisker Karma. This sedan looked more like a supercar and delivered over 400 horsepower thanks to its two electric motors and a turbocharged Ecotec engine from GM. And the audience loved it. Of course, before you knew it, this was one of the worst cars ever made.

The vehicle would not speed up with a total of 20 miles on the clock. As a result, this turned out to be one of the many issues the company faced as it drove the company into bankruptcy with a $ 529 million car loan to deliver 30,000 hybrids. However, a last-minute purchase by Chinese group Wanxiang saved the company, and the car is still sold today as the Karma Revero.

8 Saved the brand: Volkswagen Golf MK1

In the 1970s, Volkswagen almost became a has-been auto company. And after decades of winning the Beetle, the popular air-cooled car began to look old-fashioned, with the flood of modern subcompact cars causing the brand enormous damage. In addition, with Volkswagen facing financial difficulties, it teamed up with Audi and offered the Passat.

Related: These Are The 10 Most Devastating Failures In The Auto Industry

The collaboration may have been enough to keep things afloat for a while, but the Golf MK1’s new front-wheel drive and inline-four engine ensured its success. The Mk1 became an immediate hit with its practicality, reliability and legendary Giugiaro tails. Volkswagen then continued with the GTI and ensured that the Golf lineup would reach greater heights by dominating the hot hatch segment even today.

seven Almost ruined the company: BMW M5 (E60)

The M5 E60 is a great car to drive, even by M5 standards, and was the first production sedan to use a V10 gasoline engine. The V10 delivered 500 horsepower, which sounds and feels spectacular, especially when paired with the seven-speed single-clutch transmission.

Unfortunately, the V10 is also the demise of the car. Purists have complained that it has failures that could kill the engine if left untreated. The other downside was the common failure of electronic throttle actuators. Additionally, BMW built around 20,589 models, both sedans and station wagons, but only 8,800 came to the United States and were all sedans.

6 Saved the brand: Nissan Rogue Sport

As the 21st century took shape in the auto industry, Nissan was going through a financial crisis. Its production plants only pushed half the amount they produced, and as a result, the automaker needed to build a car that the public wanted. New Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn has come to the brand’s rescue by shutting down five factories and auctioning off valuable assets, two things that have not progressed in Japan.

Ghosn then unleashed the Nissan Qashqai, known as Rogue Sport in the United States, and has faced big names like the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. It became a huge success and put Nissan back in the limelight with more SUVs and crossovers.

5 Business Almost Ruined: Cadillac XLR

The XLR was Cadillac’s flagship sports car between 2003 and 2009. This classic roadster was based on the C6 Corvette Y platform, which offered rear-wheel drive, a front-engine V8 configuration, and four-wheel independent suspension. On paper, the XLR was the answer to the Mercedes SL. There was even the XLR-V with a supercharged version that put out 443 horsepower for $ 100,000.

The problem arose when it was less reliable despite sharing the same platform as the Corvette, and was also considerably more expensive – a problem Cadillac still has today. This model almost ruined the reputation of the brand, selling 3,500 units, well below the 5,000 units expected.

4 Saved the brand: Aston Martin DB7

In the 1990s, Aston Martin was still creating stunning and iconic designs, but needed modern design to move on to the next century. However, two factors have kept the brand from becoming another left-over luxury sports car, one, Ford Motor Company, and second, the design partnership of Ian Callum and Keith Helfet.

Related: 5 Sports Cars That Sold Like Hot Hot Cakes In 2021 (5 That Failed)

And since the DB7 was supposed to be the successor to the Jaguar XJS model, the car was fitted with Jaguar’s supercharged six-cylinder engine and a few elements taken from Mazda, Ford and Citroën, to make the DB7 look like an Aston Martin. . The DB7 became an instant hit and brought back Aston Martin’s prowess as a brand with style and performance to match.

3 Business Almost Ruined: Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

In 2008, GM released the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid to compete with the flagship hybrid, the Prius. Equipping a hybrid powertrain in an all-American SUV was a bold move at the time. In addition, the hybrid version retained its power, towing capacity, and handled over 20 mpg in the city and on the highway. Corn why did the Tahoe Hybrid fail so hard?

The Tahoe Hybrid has had its fair share of problems. Dealers have raised concerns about its electrical system, engine malfunction and airbag malfunction. Suddenly, the public was not ready for the Tahoe Hybrid, and it only lasted a year before it could ruin the reputation of the manufacturer.

2 Saved the brand: Volvo XC90

The XC90 saved the Volvo brand twice. The first time was under Ford ownership in 2002, when Volvo only had sedans and station wagons to offer its consumers. The sedan and station wagon segment was dying, and Ford knew Volvo had to follow suit and make SUVs. It is therefore when it left the factory that the XC90 conquered the hearts of families thanks to its practicality.

In 2010, Volvo was kicked out of Ford ownership and bought out by Geely, a Chinese auto giant. Geely has given Volvo a lot of money to do what they do best. The result was a new XC90, which included a hybrid, and it sold well around the world, solidifying Volvo as a premium brand to consider.

1 Almost ruined company: Ford Edsel

The Ford Edsel was a classic case of the wrong car for the wrong market at the wrong time. Named after Henry Ford’s son, employees worked tirelessly to outfit the Edsel with cutting edge technology, but no one had a clear vision of what the car was meant to be.

So leaving the factory, the first generation models proceeded with production problems. In addition, the company was in a financial crisis. Ford executives realized the damage they had done and killed the Edsel model at the end of 1959.


Mercedes X Class

5 of the best rebadged cars ever made (5 that were massive flops)

While badge engineering has produced some of the most popular cars in the industry, it has also spawned abominations that no one has come close to.

Read more


About the Author


Previous Obituary of Paul Zelenka (1947 - 2021) - Weirton, West Virginia
Next A long way to go - The New Indian Express