Biggest failures in the auto sales history: check these 7 cars with extremely low sales!


Posted by: Okenwa Emeka

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Car companies innovate constantly to try to tap consumers' evolving tastes. Here we have 7 cars with low sales, way below company expectations. Check them out!

Some cars are so dependable and appealing that car buyers flock to them over years of sales. Others, not so much. Car companies innovate constantly to try to tap consumers' evolving tastes, a process that produces a fair amount of hits -- as well as frequent misses. Here are 7 cars with low sales - the biggest failure in the auto sales history that buyers ultimately decided weren't worthy of more than a test drive. The list is collected by with comments from critics all over the world.

1. Toyota Echo - Primary years sold: 1999-2005

Toyota had its biggest misstep in the Echo, which rolled off assembly lines in 1999. Supposedly styled to attract younger car buyers, "the Echo looked like it was constantly stopping short" and the base model was so skimpy that it forced buyers to load up on options that made it as costly as better cars, Autotrader contends. The result: Sales peaked under 49,000, then plunged.


"The Echo looked like it was constantly stopping short"

2. Pontiac aztek - Primary years sold: 2001-2005

Car and Driver doesn't hold back about the much-maligned Aztek, calling it a "minivan-in-drag monstrosity." Although the car had a moment in the sun thanks to a starring role in AMC's "Breaking Bad," it was too little, much too late. Sales peaked just shy of 28,000 in 2002, a lackluster performance for a vehicle so heavily hyped by General Motors.


The Aztec had a moment in the sun thanks to a starring role in AMC's "Breaking Bad,"

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3. Buick Reatta - Primary years sold: 1988-1991

If the Buick Reatta doesn't ring a bell, that's understandable -- this relic of the late '80s and early '90s sold under a paltry 8,000 at its peak in 1989. One of several problems: The little coupe cost as much as a BMW and just a bit less than a similar but better-made Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Oh, and the antiquated engine "looked like something out of the Industrial Revolution," notes Autoweek.


This Buick Coupe cost too much for its money's worth

4. Smart fortwo - Primary years sold: 2008-present

The tiny Smart ForTwo continues to be a head-turner. Sometimes it's because we're turning away. Just 3,000 Smart cars were sold in 2017 -- a huge decline from first-year sales of 28,000 in 2008. CNET calls the new model, an electric, "a very small car with a disproportionately large price tag." Daimler also axed the car's gas-powered version this year.


CNET tagged the new model, "a very small car with a disproportionately large price tag."

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5. Rover 3500 - Primary years sold: 1980-1981

Only true car buffs will remember this British import. Sold in large numbers in Britain as the SD1, the Rover was rebranded as the 3500 for its U.S. debut in 1980. Unfortunately, it was "appallingly constructed," according to Jalopnik, with ill-fitting components and a hatch prone to water leaks. Ultimately, only 1,100 sold in America during the lone model year.


This Rover wasn't welcomed in the US even though its preceeding model was a major hit in the UK auto market

6. Kia k900 - Primary years sold: 2014-present

Kia has tried to give luxury buyers more for their money with the top-of-the-line K900, but it turns out luxury buyers are attached to brands with a little more cachet. Plus, while the car has lots of bells and whistles, it just doesn't drive as well as the competition, Jalopnik says, and Kia dealers lack the high-end experience they need to appeal to this segment of the market. Sales peaked at a sad 2,500 in 2015, but Kia is still producing this model - for now.


This top of the line Kia failed to give its buyers enough drive as much as its competition

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7. Lincoln blackwood - Primary years sold: 2002

Luxury brand Lincoln decided it wanted a piece of the juicy pickup truck market when it created the Blackwood, which sold for just a single model year. The truck barely cleared 3,000 in sales, ensuring its quick demise from the assembly line. What went wrong? It was simply way too nice to be at all useful, with a bizarre covered cargo bed, no four-wheel drive, and finishes that were so high-end that no one wanted to use it for the dirty jobs a pickup is expected to perform, according to The New York Times.


The Lincoln Blackwood had too many sleek features for a pickup truck; "nobody wanted to harm a sissy"

The list of  floppy cars probably go beyond a 100 cars based on different criteria. You may never know your innpvation is whack until you present it to your users, which is the case with these car brands.

If you want to know whats trending now in the auto industry, you can read more about latest and coolest cars from around the world on!

Okenwa Emeka
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Okenwa Emeka

Okenwa Emeka


Okenwa Emeka is a prolific writer who combines his content creation skills with a strong passion for automobiles to make engaging articles for Naija car lovers. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing CAM with a diploma in digital marketing. 

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