GM Maybe Should Have Listened To The Pontiac Aztek Market Research Back In The '90's

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

Here's something fun we found in today's "Business Insider" column from the Detroit News:

"Back in the late 1990s, market research folks at General Motors Corp. apparently warned the automaker not to build the notoriously ungainly Pontiac Aztec SUV, but their pleas went unheeded.

The snippet of automotive history came from John Krafcik, vice president of product development and strategic planning for Hyundai Motor America, as part of a presentation on the value of market data in product development in Traverse City.

Krafcik said Hyundai interviewed a researcher involved in the Aztec project as part of an effort to improve its data gathering.

"For whatever reason, the advice wasn't followed," Krafcik said. "And the rest was history.""

So we guess sometimes it pays to follow the research. [via Detroit News]

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I was lot boy at a Pontiac dealer when these things came out. I remember all the salesmen lowering there heads in disappointment when they first arrived. Some looked a little green even, perhaps sickened by the prospect of trying to sell one of these things. It was an obvious failure to everyone the very second we all laid eyes on it. How this could get green-lighted by mgmt or pass a focus group is just astonishing.

My boss referred to the Aztek as a lunar module, I always got a chuckle out of that. "Hey, why don't you put one of the lunar modules on the showroom floor?"