The ’90s were among the most transformative decades ever in the automotive industry. So many new advances came into the picture as cars and trucks were becoming more fuel-efficient, luxurious, and expensive. However, many duds came out during this decade. Domestic automakers were far too willing to simply badge engineer a car model again and again. This redundancy in the marketplace allowed Japanese automakers to take over a large market share. This was perhaps the worst period for domestic automakers when it came to innovation and design.
Honda and Toyota were both able to capitalize during this decade and Lexus became one of the biggest success stories ever. Ford had a tough time convincing buyers to gravitate toward the redesigned Taurus and GM had a portfolio of lookalike brands. The quality of American-manufactured vehicles diminished dramatically during this decade. There were many great car models released in the ‘90s but there were also a lot of bad ones. We looked back at some American cars that drivers forgot existed for good reasons.
25: Ford Aspire
Based on a Kia-made design, this bite-sized Ford model was anything but a practical car. It was the butt of many jokes during its tenure and it failed to garner any serious market share. GM had the Geo Metro, which was a popular little car. Ford couldn’t recreate that magic with the Aspire as buyers just didn’t want the cheaply-made car (via The Truth About Cars).
It’s so bad that even to this day it’s almost impossible to find parts for the Aspire. The car sold poorly and Ford chose not to support the car after it was discontinued. Many of what the Aspire offered was carried over from the previous Ford Festiva model. Buyers weren’t looking for a car that was this stripped down. The price of an Aspire was more expensive than a comparable Geo Metro and you got less for the price.