5. Cadillac Cimarron
Today, almost all luxury brands have downsized their lineup of models, offering more affordable and compact versions of their big sedans. But, back in the early 80’s, this move was still unheard of and hard to understand. In those days, Cadillac had an identity crisis and sought to reinvent itself to fight foreign competitors.
The product development managers decided to introduce a small Cadillac with a lower price to attract more customers. The problem was that Cadillac didn’t have a small platform, so they turned to Chevrolet. Cadillac borrowed the modest Cavalier chassis, along with the small, slow four-cylinder engine. Although Cadillac dressed the Cavalier with unique trim, new colors and a new name – the Cimarron wasn’t enough.
The sales were poor, and Cadillac was under fire from brand loyalists for ruining their image. The Cimarron was the laughingstock of the industry. It remains one of the worst examples of downsizing ever, even to this day.