5. Cadillac Cimarron
Today, almost all luxury brands have downsized their lineup of models, offering more affordable, compact versions of their big sedans. But, back in the early ’80s, this move was something still unheard of and hard to understand. In those days, Cadillac had somewhat of an identity crisis, so they needed to reinvent themselves to fight their foreign competitors.
After long meetings with their product development managers, they 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 and borrowed the modest Cavalier chassis along with their small, slow four-cylinder engine.
Although Cadillac dressed the Cavalier with unique trim, new colors and a new name: the Cimarron, it wasn’t enough. The sales were poor, so Cadillac was under fire from brand loyalists for ruining their image. All over the industry, the Cimarron was a laughing stock. It has remained until this day one of the worst examples of downsizing ever.