About a century ago, car owners only wanted a machine that can convey them with their luggage from one place to another. Many car manufacturers focused on this reason alone when making vehicles. But over time, users wanted better experience while driving and some of these automakers couldn't keep up. This caused many of them to go defunct. Competition in the industry became more stiff and only those with loyal customers or those who could keep up with latest trends, survived. The likes of Toyota, Honda, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen and Ford survived till date, while Hummer, Mercury, AMC and a few others didn't.
1. TATRA from the Czech Republic
After Daimler was formed in the 18th century, it didn't take long before the world witnessed it's second ever automobile manufacturer, Tatra.
The Czech Republic company started making vehicles in 1897 and contributed immensely to the Second World War. They made trucks with engines at the back and armoured tank engines. You can still find a few Tatra trucks around, but their most priced automobile is the Tatra MTX V8. It comes with a 215 horsepower V8 engine that can run about 62 miles per hour in about 5 seconds. Only 5 units of the model was ever made, and it has remained car ever made in Czech Republic. The brand stopped making cars in 1999 due to poor sales. They only sold 90,000 vehicles since their existence - an average of 900 cars a year.
Tatra is the second oldest car brand in the world, after Daimler
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2. HUMMER from the US
Initially, Humvees were meant to be for military purposes only. But car owners around the world wanted a feel of what being in a military car is like, so AM General decided to make a version of the M998 - for civilians. About 6 years later, General Motors acquired the Hummer brand in 1998. From then till 2010, they released they popular H1, H2 and H3 vehicles. After a while, sales went below expectations and the vehicles were discontinued.
Hummers were made to indirectly give civilians the feeling of being a military van
3. PONTIAC, also a GM product
In 1926, Pontiac was launched by General Motors. Eleven years later, the model would go head to head with Chevrolet and other competing brands. The Firebird was the most popular and most sold model of the brand. In 2010, General Motors ran into debts and other financial problems, and the Pontiac brand was dismantled.
Pontiac was dismantled due to a financial crisis of GM in 2010
4. MERCURY, a brand of Ford
At a time when car owners weren't sure if they wanted Ford or Lincoln vehicles in America, Ford Motors decided to launch a car model that gives drivers a feel of both brands and a cheaper price. In 1938, Mercury was launched. It was affordable and competed with the kinks of Oldsmobile, Buick and Chrysler. Between 1967 - 2002, the Cougar (Mercury's most successful model) was made. In 2011, when Ford wanted to focus more on the Lincoln and Ford models to make them more appealing and up to date, they discontinued the Mercury brand.
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Mercury was launched by Ford in 1938
5. OLDSMOBILE, the 4th oldest brand
Oldsmobile was first launched in 1897. It's the 4th oldest car brand in the world (after Daimler, Tatra and Peugeot), and the oldest in America. It was acquired by General Motors 11 years after it began and released the 442 - it's most successful model. In 2004 when sales dropped, General Motors stopped production of the Oldsmobile cars.
Oldsmobile cars were discontinued when sales dropped
6. PLYMOUTH, launched by Chrysler
Chrysler launched the Plymouth brand in 1928 to compete with popular brands in the US at the time. Not only were Plymouth cars well built, they were affordable and had lots of features you won't even see in expensive vehicles at the time. Between 1969 - 1976, the most successful Plymouth model, the Duster, was produced. It was a sporty car that didn't do badly in sales. In 1998, Chrysler was taken over by Daimler, and Plymouth cars were discontinued 3 years later.
Plymouth cars can now be seen in museums or car auctions
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7. SAAB, willing to merge with others
The Saab brand was quite popular in the 1940s - around the same time it was launched. But brand kept changing parent companies and this definitely affected its future in the automotive industry. It once merged with General Motors, then later with Spykers NV, now with National Electric Vehicle in Sweden. There's currently no Saab cars in production but the Saab 900 is still its best seller - with over a million sold from 1978 till date.
Saab has changed ownership countless times but yet to make a comeback
8. AMC, father of Javelin
In 1954, Nash Kelvinator and Hudson motors merged to establish the AMC - American Motor Corporation. The brand was founded at a time where can owners wanted something different from General Motors, Ford or Chrysler. The Javelin was the brand's most successful model. They competed vigorously till 1988 when Chrysler took over the company and changed the next to Eagle.
The AMC brand was later changed to Eagle
9. EAGLE, same destiny with AMC
As stated earlier, Chrysler changed AMC to Eagle but was pushed into the market as an independent brand. But the brand only lasted for 11 years and was closed. Critics somehow believe that Chrysler bought the AMC only to silence a competitor.
Eagle just existed for only 11 years
10. DMC, a 10-year life
John delorean founded the Delorean Motor Company - DMC - in 1975. But due to lack of proper planning and funding, the company ran into debts and John was arrested for drug trafficking. The company eventually folded about 10 years later.
Founder of DMC was, sadly, arrested for drug trafficking
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