Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. On paper, and even in the metal, a new car may look very tasty indeed. However, if the customers don’t agree then suddenly a showroom will be full of embarrassing monuments. Here are five of my favourites.
A luxury coupé/MPV/whatever was killed off early in 2003 after less than a year on sale. Hats off to Renault for being different, but it never actually achieved much apart from heart-stopping depreciation. It actually wasn’t that great to drive and wasn’t as spacious inside as it looked, so just a few hundred sold. Essentially it was just a Renault Espace, but with less doors.
People who wanted what the Europa offered could easily get themselves an Audi TT or BMW Z3. After selling 200 in the first year and 180 in 2007, sales slumped to 50 in 2008. However there are very rarely many on the used market. Clearly owners are holding onto the keys and it is easy to see their point, because it drives like a Lotus should.
Clearly there were not nearly enough Premier League football players in the market for Enormo Blingtastic Offroaders. It is incredible then that in 2008 Cadillac managed to place 13 Escalades, 12 STS models and 9 SRXs with presumably happy customers. Well, happy to pay the fuel bills for the range of rather large 3.6-litre V6 and 4.6-litre V8 petrol engines.
Yes big 4x4s are easy targets and the most high profile victims of changes in fashion. For a moment though the Hummer H3 did seem like the acceptable face of Hummerdum. Even so, a baby Hummer still makes a Rangie Sport look shy and retiring. UK sales were never more than a trickle anyway and were below 10 by the end of the last decade.
No one, least of all Fiat seemed to have a very clear idea just what the Croma was supposed to be. Certainly it was a family car, but was it an estate, low-rise MPV, super estate or giant hatch? No one knew or actually cared, but mostly it wasn’t clever or flexible enough. Despite having tons of space inside and excellent diesel engines it was just a great big Fiat when we all know the company only makes great small cars like the 500. In 2005 Fiat sold 440 in the UK and the following year less than double that. No one was really very surprised or upset when Fiat pulled the plug.