Surviving in the car business is tough. Manufacturers must constantly introduce new models, innovative technologies and designs. They also have to keep production costs down and profits high. And they had to do all this while following strict safety and environmental standards. It is a common challenge to offer affordable transportation solutions to customers worldwide.
To stay relevant in the car industry they must introduce new concepts and develop car ideas further. In the past few decades, they have introduced several new, innovative car classes like minivans, SUVs and crossovers. Every car company is challenged to change the game and present something to start a new trend. Some try to create a new segment to give them the edge over the competition.
However, lots of car manufacturers have tried, but just a few have succeeded in changing the industry. But the following list is not about those who managed to come out on top. Rather, it is about the car companies that ultimately failed. Even though they offered some groundbreaking cars, they were just too far ahead of their time. These cars were innovative, but the market wasn’t ready, so they were killed before their prime.
Some reasons for their demise was due to unperfected technology or unreliable components, too. The recognition came years after they discontinued these cars, even decades after the original companies closed. Here are 10 misunderstood cars that deserve attention and disappeared before they could prove their worth.
It is interesting to see how some manufacturers were ahead of their time. However, their products received recognition long after they were gone from the market. One of those manufacturers is the American Motors Company (AMC). Always flirting with bankruptcy, AMC decided to explore the limits of conventional car classes. Their goal was to present new concepts and forms to stay profitable.
One of those experiments was the Eagle, a passenger car lineup with a Jeep derived all-wheel drive. It had great off-road capabilities in the form of a regular sedan, wagon or coupe. Conceived in the late 70’s, the Eagle was AMC’s answer to the rising popularity of AWD vehicles and SUVs. AMC combined their compact sedan and wagon lineup with the tough, proven Jeep AWD system. The result was a surprisingly capable vehicle with the comfort and luxury of a sedan.
It had compact dimensions, a relatively low weight and extremely capable off-road characteristics. The Eagle was one of the first crossover models in the world. Only today can people see how important and influential this car was. As expected, the Eagle was a relatively popular car, especially in harsh climates and long winters. AMC produced a coupe, wagon, compact and convertible version of the Eagle. All of them included AWD systems as standard.
Unfortunately, AMC was losing money elsewhere. They were forced out of the business in 1987, which meant the death of the Eagle, too. Today, the AMC Eagle is highly desirable. In some areas, you can still find them in use. The Chrysler Corporation owns the AMC name now, so perhaps it’s time to reintroduce the Eagle to the world. They could use the same recipe with a sedan body with a Jeep all-wheel-drive system.
Today, 30 years after they discontinued the Eagle, people see how influential it was. The crossover class the Eagle started as one of the most popular segments in the global market. The creators of the original AMC Eagle should be proud.