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30 Hyped Car Debuts That Were Spectacular Flops

Vukasin HerbezFebruary 10, 2022

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

2. Lincoln Blackwood

Back in the early 2000s, Lincoln found success with the Navigator, the golden standard of luxury SUVs at the time. Wanting to capitalize on that success, somebody at Lincoln suggested building a pickup version and expanding the range. The idea seemed pretty plausible and soon their prototypes were sent to testing. The Lincoln used a Ford F-150 platform with the front end and cabin of the Navigator, but a custom truck bed that opened like doors and even had a power cover (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Lincoln

The finished product looked like a Navigator truck and it was luxurious. But it failed as a truck since the bed was very small and unusable. The biggest problem was the price, as the brand-new 2002 Lincoln Blackwood started at a whopping $52,000, an extremely high price for an unusable truck with Navigator fascia. As you could expect, the market was not amused. During its 15 months in production, only 3,356 were made.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1. Ford Edsel

The Edsel story is one of the biggest commercial failures in the car business, even by today’s standards. In the late ’50s, Ford launched the Edsel. It was an upscale brand based on Ford and Mercury models to compete with Oldsmobile and Buick. Ford invested over $400 million in design, development, and marketing. But most of that money went to promote the Edsel and create unequaled hype among the car-buying public (via Money Inc.). When Ford officially presented the car, people were puzzled. The design was strange. The front end reminded folks of a public urinal.

Photo Credit: Mecum

This event caused outrage among the conservative members of 1950s society. The Edsel cost a bit more than most Fords, but it still was affordable despite its powerful engine and upscale features. After the good sales in the first few months, buyers’ interest subsided and Ford struggled to sell more cars. In 1960, after just two years on the market, they killed the Edsel. Ford’s massive investment turned into an enormous loss. So, what was the problem with the Edsel? Quite simply, it was the hype. Ford invested a lot of money to present the image of the Edsel as a fantastic new car with unrivaled features and power. People expected something exceptional but only got an upscale Ford with a funny design.

 

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