What Dead Car Brand Would You Resurrect And How?

A prototype of what would later be called the Scion xB, previewed as the bbX, shown during Scion’s debut at the 2002 New York International Auto Show.
A prototype of what would later be called the Scion xB, previewed as the bbX, shown during Scion’s debut at the 2002 New York International Auto Show.
Photo: Stan Honda/AFP via Getty Images (Getty Images)

We’ve seen many carmakers bid farewell over the years, and lately quite a few have returned from the abyss, from Alpine to Datsun, De Tomaso and Hummer. Surely there are more nostalgic names for marketers to plumb and reinvigorate in a fresh, youthful, electrified fashion, so I pose the question to you thoughtful lot: Which automaker should be resurrected next and — more important — how would you resurrect them?

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To expand on that last bit, the automotive landscape is obviously very different now from even a decade ago. How would your chosen brand steer clear of its earlier errors, and what would it offer to the modern landscape?

There are oh so many options to choose from, and yet, for some reason, I keep returning to Saturn.

If General Motors’ “different kind of car company” could have held on just few more years, it might have found a far more favorable climate than the one it departed in. Good small cars were briefly a thing in this country when gas prices rose too high to make the pre-crossover generation of SUVs tenable, and some of the Opels and Vauxhalls GM imported as Saturns, like the Astra, were pretty cool.

I think Saturn’s true potential would have revealed itself about halfway into the last decade, perhaps as GM’s first brand with a commitment to affordable electric cars. The issue with that logic now is that every carmaker is in the process of rebranding itself with electrification in mind, so Saturn would have a tougher time standing out. Still, I feel like it’s better suited for that image than, say, Buick. What do you think?

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. 2017 Fiesta ST. Wishes NASCAR was more like Daytona USA.

DISCUSSION

asmallcat
asmallcat

Yeah it has to be Saturn. Scion’s problem was that Toyota already made small, reliable cars, and “the same cars but weird looking” is not really gonna get people to adopt a brand. Saturn was actually a completely different mindset than the rest of GM. Imagine how easily they would have been able to pivot from small, cheap, fuel-efficient cars to small, slightly-less-cheap-and-definitely-more-profitable crossovers?