What Carmakers Went Downmarket To Their Peril?

Mercedes is preparing to launch a the CLA with a sticker price $2,700 less than the average Ford's. Now we're wondering how many luxury carmakers have gone downmarket in the past, only to ruin their image because of it?

We can name a few times that a luxury carmaker has successfully gone downmarket: BMW is doing a great job selling the 1 Series, Mercedes made plenty of money when it introduced the 190E in the ‘80s, and Audi has been doing fine with the A3 and the A1.

But those successes are in Europe. What about in the extremely lucrative US market? Help us name some luxury automotive brands that went downmarket, only to totally ruin their exclusive reputation?