Bad timing, bad marketing and bad pricing have all killed a number of great cars. With a little help we've identified these ten great cars that sold like complete crap.
Some of these cars lasted only a few years before reaching their demise while others lasted as long as a decade, selling only a few models each year. Despite their lack of sales these cars still have numerous admirers. Click next to run through the list of these successful failures.
Renault Alpine GTA
Model Run: 1984 - 1990
Selected By: Bangernomics
Reason: Lighter and quicker than a Porsche 944 with a modern design and significant use of fiberglass and polyester plastics, the Renault Alpine GTA was a true sports car. Unfortunately, the rear-engined coupe could never overcome its high price and lack of interest in the Alpine brand outside of France.
Photo Credit: AutoHistory.blog.hu
Model Run: 2003 - 2005
Estimated Sales: Less Than 600 A Month
Selected By: Burgesslshan
Reason: The Infiniti M45 was meant to hold the line for the company before it rolled out a series of larger, more powerful vehicles. Based on the Japanese Nissan Gloria, the sedan was actually more appealing than the larger Q45 and featured the same large 4.5-liter V8. Most complained of the styling, so it was a slow seller. We think it looks great and has aged much better than the Q.
Alfa Romeo 164
Model Run: 1989 - 1995
Estimated Sales: Less Than 6,000 Cars A Year
Selected By: Van_Sarockin
Reason: The Alfa Romeo 164 still remains a remarkably attractive sedan, penned by Pininfarina following the Ferrari Testarossa. It's just so Italian and, despite its FWD layout, quick and fun to drive. As with many great cars on this list, the high price made it hard to swallow at a time when the Japanese and Americans were offering similar vehicles at much lower cost — though not quite so striking.
Model Run: 1988 - 1991
Estimated Sales: 21,751
Selected By: Zacarious
Reason: The Reatta, though two decades old, is still one of the most fetching non-Chinese Buick products since the Eisenhower administration. It was a technological marvel, featuring a touchscreen computer and an early example of keyless entry. It was also hand built and features a high level of fit-and-finish. The price was high, as well, but this wasn't what killed it. Buick's sudden shift to an older audience meant performance concerns were thrown out the window, which robbed a great platform of a promising future. Because of this, sales were low. Still, it's a great-though-imperfect vehicle.
Model Run: 1985 - 1989
Selected By: Paul-Michael Van
Reason: People are constantly complaining about not getting Ford Europe products. Unfortunately, the Merkur Scorpio and the XR4Ti were as close as America got for a good long while. Though the Scorpio wasn't overwhelmingly powerful, the it performed well for its day and offered a large hatch, European style and other great features. The XR4Ti was a much better performer, but was still part of a funky German brand no one understood.
Model Run: 1967 - 1977
Estimated Sales: 37,204 (over ten years)
Selected By: Zacarious
Reason: "Rotary engine, cab forward design, 4 wheel disc brakes, semi-automatic transmission, independent suspension all in a 1967 sedan ... they should have sold millions." If only rotary engines didn't scare everyone.
Model Run: 2004 - 2006
Estimated Sales: Less Than 3,000 In The U.S.
Selected By: Jagvar
Reason: We've spilled a lot of electronic ink on the greatness of the Phaeton. It's subtle, Teutonic aesthetic and incredible performance outweigh even the price to maintain. It does answer the question: Would someone pay Audi prices for a Bentley disguised as a Volkswagen? Not in this country.
Fourth Generation Pontiac GTO
Model Run: 2004 - 2006
Estimated Sales: 40,808
Selected By: danio3834
Reason: "This was the car that enthusiasts demanded GM build for years, and when they finally brought them over, few followed through with their promise to purchase. Blame it on a bland exterior or poor marketing, but for those who knew and later found out, the last GTO was a near perfect car. It was a car everyone said they wanted, but couldnt buy."
Model Run: 1988 - 1996
Estimated Sales: 97,000 worldwide (lower in the U.S.)
Selected By: Us
Reason: The Volkswagen Corrado and its many iterations was one car we truly liked the general buying public didn't. Sure there's a big following, but people were not willing to fork over the cash for the platform. In various trims the Corrado could be had as an attractive hatch all the way up to the powerful-for-the-time 180 HP VR6 trim. It was quicker than a Porsche 944, handled better than your average FWD vehicle, and looked incredibly German. It was quirky, fun, had a hatch and was therefore mostly unloved enough to get canned. it did so poorly they'll probably never bring the Scirocco over here.
Model Run: 1948
Estimated Sales: 37
Selected By: F1Morgan
Reason: The Tucker Sedan, with its exceptionally forward-thinking safety equipment and sporty design, was so good the not-so-Big Three sabotaged the company's efforts. Even if they hadn't, there was so much bad luck and bad press in the creation of the car that the car was Dead on Arrival. Had you purchased one of the few operational cars you'd now be sitting on a vehicle worth almost a $1 million.