6. Cadillac Catera
The ’90s were tough times for Cadillac. The foreign competition dominated the market and Cadillac products looked outdated and slow. Something had to be done. Cadillac decided to downsize and attack the BMW 5 series with a smaller and modern-looking car. Such a car didn’t exist in the USA, so Cadillac turned to GM’s European division Opel for assistance (via Money Inc.). In those days, Opel had an executive mid-size sedan called the Omega.
Someone at Cadillac thought it would be good to import Omegas from Germany and sell them as Cateras to fight Mercedes and BMW on the American market. The plan just might have worked except for one thing. Omega couldn’t fight Mercedes and BMW because it wasn’t that good of a car. Importing it to the United States didn’t make it better. Unfortunately for Cadillac, that is precisely what buyers thought. Despite good initial sales, the Catera sank, was discontinued in 2001, and soon forgotten.