Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Three Brands Fell in 2010
The American auto industry is showing clear signs of recovery, but the problems that plagued it in recent years bore a number of casualties, among them three brands that folded in 2010.
Pontiac, Mercury and Hummer were victims of changing consumer tastes, mismanagement and an ultracompetitive marketplace.
General Motors began back in 1926, and was well known for high-performance models such as the GTO.
Mercury, a Ford brand, offered virtually the same vehicles as the blue oval, with different trim levels. That was part of its problem. The brand was a bit pricier than Ford, but a bit less expensive than Lincoln. Ultimately, that proved to offer not enough of a market.
Hummer was originally applied to military vehicles produced by AM General, particularly the famous Humvee. GM bought the rights to the name in 1998 and produced a line of street-legal vehicles mimicking the design of the military vehicles. In the wake of its reorganization, GM attempted to sell the brand and couldn't.