Home Cars Massive Car Flops Released By Ford & GM Over The Last 40 Years

Massive Car Flops Released By Ford & GM Over The Last 40 Years

Cameron Eittreim July 14, 2022

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11: Chevrolet Nova (Corolla)

GM has been in many different partnerships over the years but perhaps one of the longest-running and most confusing was the partnership with Toyota. This brought us many cars throughout the 1990s and 2000s, but the most disappointing was the Nova. GM took the well-respected Nova brand name and slapped it onto a compact Toyota Corolla (via Car Bibles).

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About the only thing that was good about this car was the fact that it was a Toyota, which translated to reliability. Because the design of the car was quite cheap and the fact that the Nova name was tarnished like this was disappointing. GM would continue to sell the rebadged Corolla well into the 2000s, although it became the Prizm.

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10: 1975-1980 Chevrolet Corvette

The ’75 Corvette was a departure from the previous generations of the car. What made it different? Well, the styling for one thing was a lot more modern. But it was under the hood that things got questionable. All of a sudden, the engineers had to deal with all kinds of emissions laws and regulations that completely diminished the performance of the car (via Edmunds).

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The Corvette would go through several renditions of the design but it just didn’t connect with consumers. This generation of the car was not only a massive departure for the company but also a letdown for Corvette enthusiasts. On the positive side, this is one of the most affordable Corvette models on the used auto market.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
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9: 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

The next generation of the Monte Carlo SS was a carbon copy of the car that was in production for the previous six years. The new generation of the Monte Carlo SS did bring back the V8 engine. But it was a modern V8 engine, and critics panned it for lacking the necessary horsepower and performance to be a real sports car. The styling was also panned by the critics, who felt the car was just an outdated rehash of the outgoing model (via Top Speed).

Photo Credit: GM

The Monte Carlo was discontinued only a few years after it was released. The sales numbers were not what GM had hoped for since the car was not moving units. It appears that consumer tastes had just changed from what they were when this car was originally released. The Monte Carlo had a storied history at GM and this example of the car was just plain disappointing.

Photo Credit: GM

8: Chevy Beretta

The Beretta was based on the Corsica, and the initial premise of the car was to replace the Camaro. Similar to how Ford had hoped the Probe would replace the Mustang. The Beretta was a letdown in terms of performance and most consumers were disappointed. Not to mention the fact that Camaro loyalists were not going to give up on the car for a V6-powered Corsica clone. This car marked a decline in quality for GM (via Best Ride).

Chevy Beretta
Photo Credit: GM

While there were other options on the road in the same segment the fact that GM tried to replace the Camaro was troublesome. There was nothing remotely appealing about the Beretta. The car would end up being discontinued in the 1990s and the Camaro was eventually discontinued in 2002.

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7: Chevy Corsica

The Corsica was a compact car built by GM in the 1980s and 1990s. The compact design of the car was popular with rental car fleets and used car lots. The problem was that the design of the car was inherently cheap and it gave Chevrolet a cheap reputation. The cars coming out of Japan were far more advanced in terms of design and quality. The cheapest cars from Honda and Toyota were running circles around the Corsica (via Motor Biscuit).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The Corsica shared its platform with the Chevy Beretta, a two-door sports car. While both cars sold in average numbers they didn’t do much to boost the reputation that GM had for cheap products. Between the lackluster build quality and the questionable performance, the Corsica just didn’t latch on with consumers. There are a few cars remembered for being hunks of junk and the Corsica is one of these cars.

Photo Credit: GM

6: HHR SS Panel Van

If you remember anything about the 2000s, then you remember the retro car boom. Where automakers were bringing retro car models onto the market that were influenced by the past. Volkswagen started the trend with the Beetle, and one of the last retro-themed cars was the HHR. This panel van was mocked for being a rip-off of the Chrysler PT Cruiser, and not only that, but it was also a rip-off that was far too late. The HHR SS Panel Van is rare and had no real point (via Motor Biscuit).

Photo Credit: GM

This car has recently ballooned in interest, as these unique cars were the last of pre-bankruptcy GM. But the car didn’t offer much in the way of performance or value. The HHR was lampooned for being a pale imitation of the already existing PT Cruiser. There were better cars in this segment for the price. Not to mention the fact that the HHR SS Panel was not the most reliable car, with the repair costs averaging more than other compact cars in this segment.

Photo Credit: Find Me Cars

5: Chevrolet Caprice (2010-2017)

When the revised Caprice was announced, the automotive press was all over it. After all, the Caprice line was a historic part of GM discontinued in 1996. The new model was revealed to be a Law Enforcement only model, but the examples have since made their way onto the market. GM missed a big opportunity by not releasing the Caprice back to the general market because many people have been waiting for a modern Caprice (via Auto Trader).

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The Caprice was a stripped-down car with no personality, and Ford already dominated the law enforcement market and Dodge. The Caprice would be discontinued, and the car was never brought into the main lineup. There is no doubt that GM has missed an opportunity with this car and the Impala. Neither car was able to grasp onto the loyal following that would love to have a modern V8 engine powered sedan. The folks at GM think there is no market for it.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

4: Chevy Aveo

General Motors has sold some type of subcompact car since the fuel crisis of the 1970s. Anyone who knows anything about the history of cars knows that GM subcompacts have never been impressive. Cars like the Citation and the Geo Metro were sad and barebones at best, and then the Aveo came around. This car was derived from Daewoo engineering after GM purchased that company in the 2000s and the Aveo was a car sold around the world (via The Truth About Cars).

Photo Credit: GM

While the Aveo was light years ahead of the compact cars it replaced, it was still a minuscule subcompact. The reliability was questionable at best, and the styling was about as unmemorable as you could imagine. The Aveo was refreshed with a more modern design in the later years, but it wasn’t enough to boost sales. Consumer tastes were shifting and the Aveo didn’t resonate with consumers who wanted a reasonably priced subcompact car.

Photo Credit: GM

3: Chevy Volt

After all the controversy that General Motors went through four decades before destroying the EV1, the Volt was big news. It was the first all-electric vehicle that was going to be mass-produced by GM. Undoubtedly, Tesla ruffled some feathers at GM, as the company didn’t expect EVs to take off as they did. The Volt was a reasonable-looking car with a comfortable interior and decent driving range but buyers weren’t too interested in it (via Shift).

Photo Credit: GM

There were a few incarnations of the Volt, and ultimately the model was discontinued from the market. There was a lot to like about the Volt, but consumers didn’t gravitate toward the car. But the Volt was important because it showed that GM could build a full-electric vehicle and bring it to mass production. Nowadays, there are a few notable EV models that have come out of GM, and it all stems from the original release of the Volt.

Photo Credit: GM

2: Chevy Silverado Hybrid

As with the Tahoe Hybrid that was released around the same time, these vehicles were developed in response to the rising fuel prices of 2008. The problem is the Hybrid drivetrain was not much of an improvement over the standard models. GM would boast about the eco-friendly design of the Silverado Hybrid, but it didn’t resonate with buyers. Surprisingly though, the Silverado Hybrid was in its second generation, as there was a limited release before this model (via GM Authority).

Photo Credit: GM

Taking the Silverado Hybrid on the road was not like the standard models, it wasn’t off-road capable and it had a massive hybrid badge down each side of the vehicle. Considering there was a hefty premium in price, the Silverado Hybrid just didn’t make sense when you considered all the factors in ownership. GM would produce the Silverado Hybrid for a few more years until it would be changed for a more modern fuel-efficient system.

Photo Credit: GM

1: Chevy Tahoe Hybrid

The 2008 economic recession had everyone on edge, and the first automotive segment to get hurt was full-size SUV models. Back before crossovers were all the rage there were only the full-size dinosaurs that roamed the roads. The Tahoe in particular got horrible gas mileage and was the furthest thing from being fuel efficient (via Car and Driver).

Photo Credit: GM

What was their answer? Slap a hybrid drive-train into the Tahoe and call it economical. The problem with this theory was that the Tahoe Hybrid was not much more fuel efficient than the regular models. The hybrid drivetrains back in 2008 were not as advanced as they are now, and the Tahoe Hybrid was a much more limited vehicle. Nowadays, this SUV is sort of a collector’s item. You’ll still see them on the road from time to time but it’s a rare sight.

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