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Monday, November 14, 2005

Forbes' Turkey List

In time for Thanksgiving, Forbes has published its list of automotive turkeys: cars that are selling very poorly. These vehicles all have had sales declines of about 50% over last year. Here's condensed list:


  • Mercedes CL -- Expensive, getting old.
  • Audi TT -- Getting old
  • Mercury Monterey -- "upscale" twin of the Ford Wind, er, Freestar. Not competitive with Chrysler, Honda, Toyota minivans.
  • Mazda B-Series -- rebadged Ranger, who wants it?
  • Volvo C-70 -- expensive, getting old
  • Land Rover Freelander -- down-market Land Rover, competes with top end Mercury SUV, Escape Hybrid. Who needs it?
  • Jaguar X-Type -- down-market Jaguar.
  • VW Phaeton -- up-market VW
  • Mitsubishi Montero -- Too many body-on-frame SUVs out there, Nissan Pathfinder probably eating its lunch
  • Chevrolet Monte Carlo -- ugly NASCAR wannabe.

The Lincoln LS was not on the list because it is known to be going away, but it is also a turkey.

I see a few patterns here: upscale brands (Land Rover, Jaguar) going down-market fail. More mid-market brands (VW) going up-market fail. Re-badged mediocre products fail. And, expensive cars that don't get redesigned ot keep up with the brutal competition also fail.

It is disturbing that so many of these belong to Ford. Someone needs to go throw some rocks at The Glass House.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"...upscale brands (Land Rover, Jaguar) going down-market fail. More mid-market brands (VW) going up-market fail. Re-badged mediocre products fail. And, expensive cars that don't get redesigned ot keep up with the brutal competition also fail."

That's GM and Ford's entire strategy! I'm developing a headache...

Dave T said...

well the list is rpetty flawed since there is a new Freelander coming out. We just ran the latest spy photos and it looks like a baby rover, and that's the hottest suv around right now. I think its hitting the market at a better time this time around, the x3 blazed the trail for it. And its based on better mechanicals.

The Jaguar is being dumped.

The Audi TT and Volvo C70 will have new versions out soon. ford is rethinking its minivan strategy etc.
Overall its another pointless list. Carmakers at this point know whats not working. this list a year or more ago would have been more useful.

sh said...

The FWD Monte Carlo is a turkey, but calling it a NASCAR wannabe is a bit harsh.
The production Monte Carlo was the frontrunner design, with a lot of time, talent and money thrown into it to fit the NASCAR template.
When Ford had nothing to offer and ended up racing the Tortoise, GM engineers were really miffed.
Roush screamed, "More nose!", so loud so often that Kleenex surely considered sponsorship.
Additionally, while GM quietly plodded along in creating the SB2 engine, Ford sought more concessions to create a "one engine fits all racing series" design that didn't fit the NASCAR template.