10 cool cars that ended up ruining their manufacturers
Running an automotive business is not easy, as millions of dollars are invested in production and development in hopes of recouping the investment and making a profit. Survival in the automotive manufacturing industry is even more difficult for startups, as they not only have to fight for market attention, but also have to compete with traditional brands.
Therefore, it is not surprising that many automakers have descended into insolvency and eventually bankruptcy. To better understand the struggle for survival in the auto manufacturing industry, Elon Musk once shared a Tweeter pointing out that Tesla and Ford are the only US automakers that have never gone bankrupt at any time.
Every automaker understands that it’s not easy to be cash flow positive, even if you’re churning out crazy heads. In light of that, here are 10 cool vehicles that couldn’t save their manufacturers from bankruptcy.
ten Vector M12
The Vector M12 is basically an American Lamborghini Diablo that was unveiled in 1996 at the Detroit Auto Show. After making the W8, which was America’s first production supercar, Vector introduced the M12, a superb high-performance machine which was not well received, thus worsening the financial storm the marque was facing at the time. .
Even though the M12 was far cheaper than the Diablo, Vector only managed to sell 14 examples before ceasing production in 1999. The company eventually declared bankruptcy.
9 DeLorean DMC-12
The DeLorean DMC-12 gained popularity when it was featured in the 1985 American science fiction film Back to the future. A former General Motors executive and engineer, John DeLorean, established the auto company in 1975 with a staggering investment of over $200 million.
DeLorean built the forgotten niche sports car in Northern Ireland in a bid to cut costs and win manufacturing incentives from the government. However, low demand for the 9,000 units built and legal issues forced the automaker to declare bankruptcy and DeLorean was even discontinued in 1982.
8 Plymouth Prowler
The Prowler concept was unveiled at the 1993 Detroit Auto Show and many saw the extravagant, retro-styled design as a publicity stunt. The Prowler with its big wheels, ugly bumper and missing front fenders went into production and stood out from anything you’ve ever seen on the road.
The V6 was the main draw card of the Prowler and around one hundred units were sold in the first year. But Plymouth finally closed for good in 2001 after the Prowler failed to impress critics and sales slumped.
seven Hummer H2
Hummer gained popularity in the 1990s, thanks to its quality and military experience. The Hummer H2 was slightly sleeker than the first model and retailed for around $50,000. The H2 instantly became a bestseller, with Hummer selling over 70,000 units at its peak. Hummer has become a Hollywood sensation, with celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Britney Spears, Eminem, LeBron James and Dennis Rodman owning a model.
However, there were emissions issues regarding the Hummers, with critics calling them “pollution machines”. In fact, protesters set fire to several Hummers in Los Angeles in an attempt to express their displeasure. The 2007 recession, coupled with emissions issues and poor financial decisions, put Hummer’s parent brand, General Motors, in hot water. By 2009 General Motors had already gone bankrupt and had to stop all production of all Hummers the following year.
6 Jensen SV-8
Jensen Motors became popular for producing the Jensen Interceptor and the Healey, but its protracted financial crisis led to its closure in 1976. In the 1990s attempts to resuscitate the British automaker led to the introduction of the Jensen SV -8.
Unveiled at the British International Motor Show in 1998, the SV-8 seemed to show some light at the end of the tunnel for Jensen Motors with 300 pre-orders. But enthusiasm for the SV-8 faded as more than half of pre-orders were cancelled, and the British manufacturer went bankrupt again in 2002.
5 Wiesmann MF5
The Wiesmann MF5 turned heads when it was released in 2009 with a seamless blend of old-school and new-school styling. In a surprising turn of events, the automaker, which had been in business since 1988, declared bankruptcy in 2013.
Although the bankruptcy filing did not specify the extent of the financial crisis that led to the German sports car manufacturer’s insolvency, we do know that sales have fallen drastically, as most Wiesmann cars shared striking similarities with the MF5, from their looks to their powertrain.
4 Pontiac G6
Pontiac launched the G6 with what is described as one of the biggest publicity stunts in television history. Oprah Winfrey gave away 276 Pontiac G6s on her talk show in 2004, as part of a promotional campaign that reportedly cost over $100 million.
However, despite the national attention the G6 garnered, it couldn’t survive for another decade as General Motors had to pull the plug on three brands – Pontiac, Saturn and Hummer – in 2010 in a bid to stay afloat. in the middle of the world. recession and the financial crisis it was facing at the time.
3 Spyker C8 Preliator
Spyker had managed to weather more than two decades of financial turmoil and had even rebounded from bankruptcy, which was largely caused by its unfortunate decision to buy Saab from General Motors. Before filing for bankruptcy again, Spyker unveiled the C8 Preliator Spyder prototype at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show and unveiled plans for the D8 Peking-to-Paris SUV and B6 Venator.
However, with the news of its bankruptcy after the failure of the investments promised by Russian investors, it is very likely that the C8 Preliator Spyder will not materialize.
2 Fisker Karma
Fisker Automotive was born in 2007 from Bernhard Koehler and former Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker. His Karma hybrid sports car priced at over $100,000 has been described as a strong expression of “uncompromisingly responsible luxury” and it has caught the eye of Hollywood stars like Ashton Kutcher and Leonardo DiCaprio.
However, Karma failed to deliver the desired success, dragging Fisker into deeper financial crisis and laying off 75% of its workforce. The California-based automaker filed for bankruptcy in 2013 with $192 million in debt.
1 Apollo Gumpert
The Apollo Gumpert debuted in 2005 and stood out for its performance and track readiness. The Apollo Gumpert could overtake the Pagani Zonda and Bugatti Veyron, but the global recession has hit the German automaker very hard as demand for the $600,000 supercar has plummeted.
As the only model in production, Gumpert was banking on the success of the Apollo to stay afloat, but in August 2012 the German supercar maker entered insolvency proceedings and eventually filed for bankruptcy a year later. the withdrawal of its main funder.