10 Crappy Cars That Blew Up GM

GM is bankrupt so now the hindsighted punditing can kick into overdrive, hence Jalopnik’s gallery of the 10 vehicles that bankrupted General Motors. I always liked the GMC Envoy XUV, pictured, because beneath its pricey and puzzling retractable rear roof each one came with a free set of antique cabinets.

Ten Vehicles That Bankrupted GM [Jalopnik]


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  1. SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

    Escalade EXT pickup, psshhhhhhh

    I’m classy, but I also need to get mulch sometimes.

  2. CrowMignon says:

    Go ahead and make fun, but wait until the government decides to issue you your tax refund in Pontiac Aztecs…

    • layton59 says:

      @CrowMignon: I recall that TV’s SURVIVOR season 1 had a PONTIAC AZTEK as one of the reward challenges won during that season. I do not remember which contestant won it though. Blow-hard ROSIE O’DONNELL was so enamoured from seeing it on that show that she raved about it endlessly on on old TV talk show. This was long before she was on the THE VIEW. ROSIE bought one and then talked about how she and her adoptee kids would camp out in it in the backyard. ROSIE couldn’t be wrong could she? I mean about it’s desireability? Also, it was sold/badged as a BUICK RENDEZVOUS by GM. I have long called both models the COMB-OVER car, because they look like a car with comb-over hairstyle.

  3. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    This is what you get for killing the EV-1.

    And selling this full-sized plastic Tonka (Avalanche?) truck.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @doctor_cos: I once got into a little battle with an Avalanche. Kind of. I had the door of my SUV open and I was getting something out of the back seat. Well, this idiot in his Avalanche is barreling down the street and his side mirror hits my door. My car door barely moves, but his side mirror is decimated. It completely fell off and shattered into a hundred pieces. The guy looked really shocked, but he kind of mumbled and picked up his side mirror and went on his way. So yeah, the Avalanche is made of plastic.

      • tcolberg says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Wait, what? You’re basing the material quality of the Avalanche based on the side mirror? Isn’t that a bit like someone wiggling your ear and assuming that the rest of your body is made of cartilage?

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @tcolberg: Well, most of the side mirrors I see on SUVs are metal. When the guy hit my car, he stopped and his mirror had flown off somewhere. When he and I both looked at it, it was basically lots of shards of mirror and plastic. It wasn’t only that it broke off (and that part is plastic on most cars) but that the mirror casing itself was plastic and had just fallen apart.

      • etla says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Mirror are _designed_ to do that or fold back so they don’t kill pedestrians.

    • OMG! Con Seannery! says:

      @doctor_cos: Hey, the EV-1 died for many reasons, not just the Evil Executives ™ at General Motors. For one, it didn’t meet safety regulations at the time the leases expired. Thus, it was nearly uninsurable. Additionally, it was losing money and harder economic times hit, forcing them to cut back. Guess what? A program operating at a loss is one of the first to go.

  4. Charlotte Rae's Web says:

    I work for a company that partnered with Pontiac to promote the Aztec on a tour across the country dealing with a niche group of sporting events. They brought it for some events where I live and people would just look at it like it was a bag of crap. The color palette was horrible too.

    It was really handy on the tour I hear but wow, people did not take to it.

    • I_have_something_to_say says:

      @Charlotte Rae’s Web:

      That’s too bad because it really is a handy vehicle – just wrapped in a bag of crap package like you mentioned.

    • oldtaku says:

      @Charlotte Rae’s Web: I hated the Aztek with a passion the first time I saw one. I strongly remember being on San Marcos Boulevard and seeing the back of one in baby poo orange/brown color and being instantly so horrified that I had to maneuver up on the right side of it to see what it was – admittedly it’s not quite as bad from the side. Then getting back to work and looking the thing up on the web and emailing my friends with ‘Look how ugly this thing is, can you believe they thought this was a good idea?’

      I’m not sure if there’s a point here other than that I have never before loathed a car at first sight, even a Chevette (usually it has to earn it), so I salute the brave people who managed it.

      • trixrabbit says:

        @oldtaku: san marcos blvd? as in, san marcos, ca? have i ever seen you at the 55 yard line and/or katsu?!?

      • layton59 says:

        @oldtaku: GM had figured to sell “X” units a year of the PONTIAC AZTEK and similar BUICK RENDEZVOUS. They only met 2/3 of that expectation of “X” units. That was with them unloading a ton through every lease and rental program they could think of doing. They even forced GM corporate employees to take them as company cars. Still their break-even point never even came close being achieved. Sad but true. And now we tax-payers own the company with that legacy along with GM employee legacy costs. Way to go F_EE-ENTERPRISE.

    • redkamel says:

      @Charlotte Rae’s Web: I never understood how the thing even got off the drawing board, I mean, its ugly as sin, its features are useless, and it came in weird colors. Would anyone really want to show up to anything (work, campground, house, party, school) in it?

      • econobiker says:

        @redkamel: The original concept was smaller and more Honda Element/Scion Xb Cube like. Somehow they screwed the size and proportions of the thing plus spiked the coffin nails with that huge amount of gray bodycladding in the first ones. Then the price point was way over what their target market of young hipsters could either afford or managed to pry out of rich mommies and daddies. They also had plans for an AWD or 4wd version which were incrediblely delayed so the Aztek had less “utility” to it.

        I actually thought they could have sold more if they had “militarized” them with camoflague vinyl wraps -even the groovy-gal pink camo wraps- which would have covered the gray cladding and given the vehicles an urban assault vehicle type look.

  5. Tim says:

    The EV-1 bankrupted GM? Right …

    I’ll tell you who bankrupted GM: GM.

    • wgrune says:


      You are only half right. The UAW is responisible as well.

      • Jim Topoleski says:

        @wgrune: The fuck they are. If you had a actual clue what you where talking about and didnt listen to the weekly Republican talking points, you would actually know how little the UAW had to do with GMs downfall.

        Piss poor management, excessive management pool, and financial mismanagement killed GM, not the UAW.

        • HIV 2 Elway says:

          @Jim Topoleski: If you had an actual clue what you where talking about you would know that paying drastically higher hourly wages than your competition is a poor business model.

          • whim17 says:

            @wgrune: @HIV 2 Elway: I’m always amused that, when speaking about unions, people foam at the mouth and blame them for so many problems and seem to forget entirely that Management has to agree to pay those wages. If paying “drastically higher hourly wages than your competition is a poor business model” then GM should have said no to those demands and either negotiated lower pay or taken a strike and let economic forces decide who could dig in their heels the longest.

            At the higher level, you have a choice: let unions regulate their workplaces through collective agreements and grievance arbitration, or (and here’s the higher taxes boogey man), properly fund the Department of Labor and provide them with the enforcement mechanisms necessary to regulate the workplace instead of the unions. But don’t kid yourself that business will take care of its employees. It’s a race to the bottom, and businesses would be thrilled to have indentured servitude at their disposal.

            • OMG! Con Seannery! says:

              @whim17: Because, naturally, all business owners are inherently evil, vile creatures. Also, yeah, GM should have never made those agreements, but the unions should have given some ground rather than standing firm while the company goes under.

          • OMG! Con Seannery! says:

            @HIV 2 Elway: Shh…he’s one of those ignorant, quick to anger left-wing types. Don’t break his reality. If he learned anything about economics or business, he’d probably end up curled up in a fetal position.

          • jamar0303 says:

            @HIV 2 Elway: And yet, here in China, they sell dozens every day. My mom has a Buick and loves it. Nope, I’d say that doesn’t have much to do with it. It’s piss-poor management, all right. (Hint- while China likes exclusives showered upon it, maybe they should actually be sold worldwide. The Park Avenue, for instance- still sold here, not in America. Dumb. Not bringing the Excelle to America- even dumber.)

        • wgrune says:

          @Jim Topoleski:

          And if you knew what you were talking about you would know that due to Union agreements, some plants have people sitting around in break rooms being paid because their job was replaced by a robot. Just because the hourly wage isn’t drastically higher than a Toyota plant doesn’t mean that wages are being wasted.

          Also, just because I have some anti-UAW sentiments doesn’t mean I am some evil republican. I don’t listen Rush, or anyone else so shove it.

  6. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    WWhy use my tax money to try to save two loser companies (actually all of them from AIG to USAir but that’s another discussion)???

    It’s not like someone else won’t come in and pick up the parts that worked and put them back together without all the nasty bits.

    I wonder this about all of these bailouts.

    • sean98125 says:

      @doctor_cos: Someone is coming in and picking up the parts that worked to put them back together without all the nasty bits. Us.

    • ARP says:

      @doctor_cos: The problem is that its all happening at once. If GM failed in a vacuum, I think you’re right, a bunch of companies would buy the remains and that would be that. The problem is that nobody is doing well and banks don’t have money to lend, so if GM failed, then it would simply collapse and take down our economy. I forget the exact number, but something like 20% [please verify] of our economy is directly or indirectly related to the auto industry.

    • Megalomania says:

      @doctor_cos: It’s estimated that GM and companies that rely on GM for contracts (parts manufacturers, etc) are 1% of the GDP. That is a massive amount of money and it hurts a lot more people than just GM. “Too big to fail” doesn’t mean that the company itself has too many employees for it to go down, it means that too many other companies will be effected and possibly knocked out when the one goes down.

      • OMG! Con Seannery! says:

        @Megalomania: No company is too big to fail. Look at GM. They failed. All of those jobs are not just GONE, like the beggars, or CEOs, as some know them, would have you believe. Someone will buy them up at some not too distant point.

  7. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Stupid Aztec. Ugly, ugly car. I still wince whenever I see one on the road.

  8. UnicornMaster says:

    i think it would be easier to list 1 or 2 cars that didn’t contribute to its demise.

    • dohtem says:

      @UnicornMaster: OMG I have to do that in real life now!

      Of course, I’ll make sure I am bigger than the driver of said Aztec.

    • doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

      @UnicornMaster: I would have to think the Beretta was one, it was a fun car to drive (especially with the V6 and the 5-speed)…
      Perhaps the Corvette?

  9. Snarkysnake says:

    Missing from the list :

    1) Cadillac Cimmaron. Cynical attempt to re-image a J-car as a near luxury “BMW alternative . Yeah , right. Caddy still hasn’t completely recovered.

    2) Cadillac V-8-6-4. Trouble prone Rube Goldberg expedient designed to help Caddy get through the second fuel crisis in ’81. Sent many owners running for their lawyers.

    3) ANY GM Diesel sold in the early 80’s. Another annuity- type income stream for the class action bar.
    Many didn’t last 30,000 miles.

    4) X cars. Not, as the name would imply , a car for super heroes to schlepp around in. No, the X-cars were another GM hurry up job that killed and maimed quite a few paying customers. Locking brakes ,faulty transmissions ,insta rust bodies…The X car was the Corvair of its day.

    5) Chevy Chevette. I remember a billboad in Knoxville Tennessee (beside I-40) in 1984 that screamed “Lowest Priced Car In America !!!! ” for about a year before the Yugo came out. The picture was a blue, no trim, no hubcap Chevette. Seeing that ugly ass car made me develop a drinking problem that still hasn’t gone away.

    6) Chevy Monza (262 V-8) 1977 -1979. Drove like a bat out of hell…Until it needed a tune up.Then you had to pull the engine up from the car to replace TWO SPARK PLUGS.Tuneups ran upwards of $250 (big money in those days).Thankfully , it rarely needed a second tuneup because its basic structure was borrowed from…

    7) Chevy Vega/Pontiac Astre . If yours was just a little rusty, it was still being built. Worst. Car. Ever.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Snarkysnake: Exactly right. It was the dreary succession of Cimarrons, Citations, Corsicas, Berettas, Luminas and every laughable attempt at a minivan that slowly strangled and killed the GM brands. Even now, the Toyota Matrix has much better resale value than the Pontiac Vibe even though they are made on the exact same production line. Trashing your brand value like that takes years of concerted effort, and GM pulled it off.

    • H3ion says:

      @Snarkysnake: It wasn’t the Cadillac Cimmaron. Some insiders who actually cared about Cadillac’s reputation had it badged “Cimmaron by Cadillac,” the implication being that it wasn’t a Cadillac.

      The Caddy V8-6-4 wasn’t bad as long as you replaced the engine management chip and ran it as a V8.

      I’ve had GM, Ford, Chrysler and a half dozen foreign marques. The GM cars were adequate for the price. The only car I thought absolutely belonged in the 10th circle together with the people who made it was an Audi.

      • Snarkysnake says:

        “Some insiders who actually cared about Cadillac’s reputation had it badged “Cimmaron by Cadillac”

        Uh. Huh. If they really cared , they could have went down the assembly line marking the price down by the 40% premium charged over the identical Cavalier. Or, they could have pried the glue-on “by Cadillac” emblem off the nameplate. The ones that they missed would fall off soon anyway.

    • CFinWV says:

      @Snarkysnake: The thing about the Chevette though is that it sure sold well, it may have been a crappy car but people grabbed them up.

  10. stpauliegirl says:

    I drive an Aztek. It was cheap as hell used and I can haul tons of stuff in it. Also, it is extremely easy to find in a parking lot!

  11. catnapped says:

    Anyone remember those “I got a HUMMER–just because I’m better than YOU” commercials?

    • CFinWV says:

      @catnapped: Funniest PA Turnpike moment was seeing an H1 bringing gas to a stranded oversized pickup on the PA Turnpike. I hope they had an extra can for the H1…

  12. SacraBos says:

    Okay, I know it’s fun to pick on automakers cars when the company is tanking. Then jumping to the conclusion that “they didn’t make cars people wanted”. Well, I guess no car company makes cars people want, since they are all having problems.

    Did everyone suddenly decide that no one makes cars they want at once? Or did everyone suddenly decide the economy is shaky enough to not make the 2nd largest purchase people generally make? On an “asset” that depreciates rather quickly, as well? And consider holding onto the one they have, or opting to buy used?

    I’m right there with you, thinking the Aztec is really strange looking. However, let’s not make false attributions of causation here.

    • sean98125 says:

      @SacraBos: They sold 8 to 10 million cars a year that people “didn’t want”.

      The issue wasn’t the numbers of cars sold. The issue was their debt load.

    • jayphat says:

      The problem is GM didn’t just not make cars people wanted in the last 9 months. This started years ago. Can anyone remember the last time GM posted a profit? There’s your answer right there.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:


        There’s a stroke of genius.

        Look above you. GM was selling many, many, millions of cars and trucks per year.

        It’s amazing how people lose their brains and start saying “well, they didn’t make cars people want to buy.” Bullshit, and here’s your sign. Wear it with pride.

        ATTENTION MORONS: 8 to 10 million people per year categorically did not buy GM cars that they didn’t want. And the reason why GM wasn’t selling electrics or hybrids? PEOPLE DON’T WANT THEM. Period.

        A small vocal majority tries to pin the auto industry (note: auto industry…not American auto industry) collapse on not having offered “cars people want” and then add “like hybrids and e-cars.” Stupid, stupid rat creatures.

        Americans wanted, and bought, the cars and trucks that the American automakers built. That is BLINDINGLY obvious. Those who disagree with that fact weren’t content to just border on the ridiculous…they invaded and annexed the surrounding territory.

        GM, Chrysler, and to a lesser extent Ford, are dying because of debt load. Primarily due to ridiculously exaggerated salaries and benefits for it’s union labor and pensioners.

        You want to know who is responsible for killing off the American auto industry? 1. Unions. 2. Mortgage-crisis fueled financial collapse, causing the automakers to no longer be able to breathe under the staggering weight of #1.

        So, congratulations to all you proud union workers. You’ve screwed yourselves and potentially millions of others out of an honest living.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:



          Rant fail: “A small vocal majority”

          …that would be a “small vocal minority” – although it’s an interesting exercise, in a way, of trying to imagine how a majority could be small. Maybe the ruling class at a midget convention.

          I know. I’m going to hell for jokes like that. It’s ok…all my friends will be there.

        • ARP says:

          @YouDidWhatNow?: I disagree with you on a few fronts.

          Yes, people wanted SUV’s and trucks and GM gave them to them and they sold well. The problem is that GM didn’t think ahead. Everyone knew that eventually rising gas prices would make those cars unaffordable. So while the rest of the market planned ahead and began offering fuel efficient cars when gas prices climbed, GM was caught on their heels. Gas prices are low because the economy is bad. Once the economy improves, gas prices will rise again and make the big cars economically less appealing

          Part of the problem is that GM didn’t fund the pensions when the should have. Instead they paid themselves fat bonuses and deferred funding. Eventually they dug themselves a huge hole.

          • YouDidWhatNow? says:


            I disagree with both of your points. GM makes plenty of smaller, efficient vehicles. Also, there was no way that they could have funded the pensions properly…it was a grave that was dug at the get-go.

            I’m not exonerating management or anyone else. But GM had/has a huge offering of vehicles all over the map, covering all markets, and their labor costs were far and away not only their most over-inflated cost, but realistically the only operating cost they could have hoped to have any control over.

            It sickens me that the unions still exist. I am very sick and tired of seeing the towns and companies dead and dying in their wake.

    • RamV10: The Axeman Returneth says:

      @SacraBos: In my opinion, there’s only three segments that GM makes a vehicle in that are at all enjoyable.

      Both segments are not segments that I’d shop in.

      Small car: Focus is quite a bit nicer than anything they’ve got
      Midsize car: Though lots of reviewers really love the malibu, I find it to be really ugly and really uncomfortable
      Large car: CTS-V is something I’d buy. If I was 60. And I couldn’t afford an A8/S class/700 series

      Small SUV: The Explorer is the vehicle i’d look at in this class.
      Large SUV: Really can’t beat a Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon, GM wins here, but it’s too bad nobody is buying these anymore.
      Small trucks: The ranger has been built on the same platform and the same motors for eleventy billion years, you can’t beat that. If you want big power, you buy a Dakota since it’s the only thing in the segment with a V8
      Half ton Trucks: No Hemi, no way. Dodge takes this one easy
      3/4 ton/1 ton Trucks: The allison tranny is great, but add much more power than what they have from the factory and they become grenades. The new navistar diesel that ford uses is good, and their tranny isn’t crap, but Dodge takes this segment as well with the Cummins, Quality tranny, and of course, looks.

      Super Crazy performance: Vette ZR-1 is one of the coolest cars ever. I’m definitely a fan, even though I get wood for the Viper ACR’s howling v-10

      This is a long and rambling post, but I think that the reason I wrote it was because I’ve been making fun of GM for building shitboxes for years…I unfortunately drove several Celebrities for many years. Don’t think I’ll be nicer to them now, they still make crap.

  13. dohtem says:

    Is it bad that I crack a slight smile every time I read about how horribly GM has failed?

    The only thing Detroit did well was to latch onto fads.

    Big trucks? We’ve got bigger!
    You want chrome? You get a chrome grill stock on Focus and Fusion. Bling bling baby!
    The recycled retro look? See the new HHR, Corvette, Mustang and the entire Dodge line!

    Well I own Ford stock so here’s hoping there are people gullible enough to keep that ship afloat. :(

    • ARP says:

      @dohtem: Exactly, but since it takes a few years to design a car, they were always a step behind. They never bothered to think what the market WILL be, only what it is now. They’re like that person who’s wearing all the trendiest fashions…from five years ago.

    • redkamel says:

      @dohtem: not to mention they were, or at least had a reputation for being, compeletely unreliable compared to a Toyota or Honda which never broke. In my experience this has been true as I have never heard of a Japanese car me or my friends own needing major repairs, while rangers, suburbans etc need tranny replacements.

      • econobiker says:

        @redkamel: Toyota/Honda still had their problems but not enough as the US models. Oil sludge problem in Toyota engines anyone?

  14. starrion says:

    The cars didn’t bankrupt GM.

    Poor management, stupid UAW contracts and spotty quality killed GM. Individual products either work or they don’t. If they don’t make money they eventually go away. Try this as the top ten list: (in no particular order)

    1. Quality; A general failure for years to make cars that outperformed the competition. And by outperformed I mean getting the customer from point A to point B reliably for more time than the other guy. Going beyond fit and finish, after ten years GM cars don’t stack up well against the competitors, unless you’re in the salvage yard.

    2. The jobs bank; Paying workers who you had to lay off almost their entire salary. Talk about making it hard to save money when you needed less capacity.

    3. Labor contracts; going beyond the “OMG don’t blame the workers wharggarbl”- you cannot pay someone $75,000 to put nuts on a tire. Plus pick up gold standard healthcare for him and his family until he dies. The job is simply not worth that kind of pay.

    4. Executive opulence; Lavish executive compensation cannot be maintained at companies that are not making a unit profit. Nor lavish offices, lavish executive jets, or executive lavs.

    5. Health Care; This is a national problem, but GM failed miserably to deal with the costs. Ultimately companies should not have the burden of paying for health care for workers or retirees.

    6. Competing with yourself; This might have made sense when they owned 50% of the market. Not SO Much at 20%. I love my Pontiac, but they should have cut to 3 brands a long time ago.

    7. Their dealer network; GM’s failure to police their dealers led to lousy service. The dealer is the face of GM to the customer, and that face wasn’t very pretty.

    8. Worker efficiency; The work rules and the worker’s ability to abuse them added costs to every vehicle that rolled off the line. Unions need to learn that there is a difference between protecting the workers and saddling your gravy train with useless mouths.

    9. Fuel efficiency; They have it now. They needed it ten years ago.

    10. Stupid spending; Saab. Hummer. Buying brands that don’t really bring anything to the table instead of innovating allows burning all the excess profits you make. Too bad you needed that innovation when times are lean.

    I hope they make cars that people want to buy. I’ve gotten ten years out of each of the pontiacs I’ve owned. Sad to say there won’t be a third.

    I also hope that the government does push GM in a direction that leads to complete liquidation. One hopes once the new GM is up and running, that the government steps back and lets it run.

    I don’t expect that will happen though.

    • ARP says:

      @starrion: To suppliment your list:

      1) GM didn’t anticipate trends, they reacted to them and made cars people didn’t want because the demand passed three years ago.

      2) The union and executive standoff. The unions saw the executives living the good life, so their reaction to any concession was, “why should we give up anything?” The executives saw all the pay and benefits a regular union Joe was getting and said, “he’s just some slob, I should make a lot more than he does.” So neither side gave an inch.

      3) +100 on health care. We’re at a competitive disadvantage because we DON’T have universal healthcare.

      • OMG! Con Seannery! says:

        @ARP: I’m firmly against universal healthcare. I find that government is far too inefficient, cumbersome, slow, and wasteful to be trusted with something that important. A better choice would be tax breaks to allow the people to buy private insurance. Additionally, universal healthcare has a tendency to drive out the good doctors.

        • stanner says:

          @OMG! Con Seannery!: Please provide some metrics for this claim of driving out good doctors.

          The ones I know show that health care in the US significantly more expensive than any other industrial country, and the health care is generally worse (as measured by life expectancy trends, infant mortality, per capita GP ratio, etc.) If there are actual numbers (as opposed to anecdotal stories) that show our system is better somehow, I’d like to see them.

          • redkamel says:

            @stanner: well actually, the infant mortality figueres are usually skewed as US includes babies that in other countries are not even delivered or attempted to save. The other numbers are true, however we generally have a poorer state of health and an obesity epidemic.

            In terms of universal healthcare, I used to think government couldnt handle it, but now I do, mostly since all the free market/private insurance stuff is BS, and we all know the insurance companies have absolutely no incentive to provide health care, bog with paperwork, and literally have NO understanding of what is medically neccesary. Unless you have a top of the line insurance plan, its pretty bad. The VA I’ve worked at, for example, may be understaffed, but all the patientcs get all the stuff they need. Anyways this is OT so I’ll leave it at that.

            • doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

              @redkamel: “…no incentive to provide health care…”
              How true, actually the complete opposite is true. Their incentive is to DENY health care.
              Universal healthcare would work and be CHEAPER than what we have now, as it could be run at cost if done right.
              And ‘driving out’ good doctors? I would think most doctors are as alarmed about what THEY have to pay for health care as well.

              The only people in this country who don’t worry are in CONGRESS, WHO ALREADY HAVE THE HEALTHCARE EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE.

              • Trai_Dep says:

                @doctor_cos: We’d have universal, single-payer health care about fifteen seconds after a law was passed saying Congress and Executive members couldn’t have for themselves what they deny for everyone else. And the Conservative wing would the the ones agitating the hardest and loudest.

        • starrion says:

          @OMG! Con Seannery!:

          Notice that I didn’t call for universal healthcare. I said it’s a national problem that companies are on the hook for their worker’s healthcare.

          We need a new model of some form of private insurance, and an insurer of the last resort that doesn’t involve companies. We are putting our companies at a competitive disadvantage by saddling them with ever-increasing costs.

          GM simply said “Yes” too often during the good times that left it destitute when times were bad. Sound familiar?

    • QADude says:

      @starrion: You hit the nail right on the head. GM’s problems started a long time ago and only now has snowballed into such a mess that they can’t get out of it.

      It’s easy to point fingers at unions, but you also have to remember that unions and management *CAN* work together. It takes two to tango.

      • OMG! Con Seannery! says:

        @QADude: I think we need to put some restrictions on the power these unions yield. Go bust some unions up, equalize the power. Unionize, fine. But when that union can bring an entire industry to a screeching halt on a whim, we have a problem.

  15. Jim Topoleski says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: Except they didnt, even WITH the financial burden of legacy costs, the hourly rate of a GM employee was only 5 DOLLARS more than the equivalent Toyota and Honda employee.

    And lets get into those legacy costs why dont we, and point out the fact the only reason they where so high was because GM DIFFERED PAYMENT ON THEM while paying its excessive management pool bonuses during the good years. Thus they stacked up years of heath care costs that they then had to pay, after paying out the excess profits they made during the truck boom to a bunch of managers who didn’t even need to be working for GM as they where DOING NOTHING.

    You know that job bank, the one that people like to bring up, do you realize how no one actually really used it? People love to say it was a huge burden, but in practice it was basically unused and was in the proses of being phased out anyway, and nothing Honda didnt do themselves as well but for the UAW to insist on it, it was BAD!

    Seriously why does the public INSIST on believing the very lies being told by the same people who insisted there where WMDs in Iraq?

    • Todd Miller says:

      @Jim Topoleski:

      It’s been widely known for a long time that auto workers make insane hourly amounts. If the unions didn’t keep forcing the makers to pay these wages and other incentives they would have been better off.

      I know people who work at the GM Plant in Arlington, they’re wallets are quite fat.

      • veg-o-matic says:

        @Todd Miller: “talking point” ‚↠“widely known fact”

      • HiPwr says:

        @Todd Miller: I’ve dealt with UAW people as well (I bought my last two used cars from them as well as other acquaintances) and they seem to have an attitude that they are paupers as long as someone else in the company makes more money than they do. And all of them made more than this college-educated Air Force veteran. Cry me a river, UAW.

      • ARP says:

        @Todd Miller: The number you’re referring to around $72/hr is completely wrong and made up by the auto industry and Fox News. That assumes that these guys pocket retiree’s health benefits (which is impossible). The wages is around $32/hr base. That’s a few dollars higher than the $28/hr at Toyota.

        GM decided to defer payment into the UAW’s pension and give the executives big fat bonuses. But once they fell behind in a big way, then they decided to start whining about wages?

        • Trai_Dep says:

          @ARP: And I’d bet that even that $4/hr wage differential is swallowed by regional cost of living figures.
          Parenthetically, I’ll bet the sputtering rage most of these guys express is based upon the fact that, unlike working stiffs such as themselves, unionized households enjoy a moderately better life, which must burn them so very, very much.

        • HIV 2 Elway says:

          @ARP: A $5 increase on $28 is still 17% which is crazy fucking high.

          @Jim Topoleski: There are lots of people that can be blamed, including the UAW and the management they negotiate with. Its easy to blame only one group to better serve your politics but issues like this a little more convoluted than that.

          I work in manufacturing for a defense contractors. Our line workers make a minimum of $19 an hour and our company is cost competitive. Few could argue that $19 an hour for someone with only a GED is poor pay. Amazingly, all of this is accomplished without a union.

          • GildaKorn says:

            @HIV 2 Elway: Exactly. $5 is a ton of money here. And GM is paying workers to sit around and do nothing at all, magnifying the problem.

            The UAW doesn’t get the full blame here, but their protectionism turned in to overprotectionism, and certainly helped bring the company down. If the UAW was really concerned with protecting employees, they would be finding new jobs for their workers after they’re laid off, instead of coming up with ways for them to rot indefinitely in the GM Job Bank.

          • Trai_Dep says:

            @HIV 2 Elway: Wait. So you have the same job situation as the former Communist countries’ workers? Isn’t it quite the contradiction to preach Free Market to everyone else, loudly, when your livelihood is solely paid for by the State?
            Wow, it makes sense now, in a fashion. It really does.

            • HIV 2 Elway says:

              @Trai_Dep: We sell commercially (at a higher profit margin) and sell to other governments in addition to the US.

              • Trai_Dep says:

                @HIV 2 Elway: Nonetheless, you choose to work with a company that sells to the State, and probably lobbies quite a hefty sum to keep those phat government contracts – that’d be “pork” – rolling in.
                It’s ironic that this tie-dye wearing, ganga-spewing hippy has always worked in vibrant, free market based jobs (happily, successfully) while the government-hating Free Market Fundamentalisting, Randian cowboy, at the end of each and every day, suckles tenderly up to the government tit.
                Sense the contradiction, the irony?

                • HIV 2 Elway says:

                  @Trai_Dep: But I’m happy, succesful, and smoke tons of ganja…

                • HIV 2 Elway says:

                  @Trai_Dep: Further, there are many conservatives like myself who are quite moderate and fully understand that a certain level of government is needed. We need roads, Jonny Law, fire departments, and most importantly a strong military.

            • HIV 2 Elway says:

              @Trai_Dep: Further, spending 5 years working with the gov has reinforced my free market beliefs. No industry is as inefficient. Want a minor safety deviation to run some tests? Minimum of 6 months to get through government approvals. So progressive its regressive.

  16. veg-o-matic says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: “drastically higher?”


    via Detroit Free Press..

  17. veg-o-matic says:

    So.. does this mean no more horribly sexist/classist “one-ups(wo)man-ship” Hummer H2 commercials?

    Or, wait.. was I supposed to buy an H2 to prove I’m better than the commercials?

  18. jayphat says:

    Who had the balls to put the Hummer H2 on there? That thing has made so much money for GM its unreal. Hell, it probably paid for 1/3 of the loss’s on that list.

    • HiPwr says:

      @jayphat: It certainly must not be profitable now or GM wouldn’t be discontinuing them. You have a point, though, that when comparing the money lost during poor sales times versus the profits made when they were selling like crazy taken in totatility, did this line make money for GM, or not?

      But then, this Jalopnik guy doesn’t offer any evidence that these cars “bankrupted GM”, so I suspect it is mostly conjecture-based.

      • oldtaku says:

        @HiPwr: I think it’s one of those things where an asset turns into a liability. Like 30 pounds of ugly gold chains around your neck when you fall into the water. It /was/ a huge hit with men with virility issues, which seems to have unhealthily fixated GM on that strategy (and not just them – nothing like Toyota of all people coming out with McLargeHugeTrucks just as the market for them tanked).

    • Justifan says:


      bingo, people complain about american suvs but those are the vehicles people voted for with their wallets. those kept the production lines running, the workers in employment and healthcare and all that good stuff. people didn’t buy the smaller cars, even the good ones.

    • dhmosquito says:

      @jayphat: A number of years ago I went to a local Hummer-Subaru dealership to compare a Legacy and an Outback. It was a hot summer day, and the fellow who drove me to the back of the lot in an airconditioned Legacy where the Subarus were located was, I think, the dealer’s son (he had the same last name as that of the dealership). As we passed a lineup of about 2 dozen Hummer H2s I made the comment, “Man, there’s a sucker born every minute.” He turned to me–with a straight face–and said, “Every thirty seconds”. It’s a free country, and ownership of these vehicles is legal, but I have yet to understand the appeal of a Hummer. On a more general note, the only car GM has sold in the past ten years that I thought was nifty looking was the Cadillac Catera, and even that was German. And it, too, apparently had reliability issues.

      • redkamel says:

        @dhmosquito: I knew someone who was so proud to show off their H2. When I got inside, the interior was plastic, ugly and poorly made and it had less room that a regular sedan. You dont even get what you supposdly paid for.

        • econobiker says:

          @redkamel: The Suburban-based Hummer’s were only ever a pale comparison, mass produced want-to-be version of the Lamborgini LM-002 4×4. The original civilian versions of the military Hummer was close to bad azz…

  19. CaptainConsumer says:

    Wow, Consumerist dogging GM twice in one day, say it ain’t so. How many times has Consumerist run articles on Honda and Toyota both asking for billions in Japanese government bailouts? How many articles has Consumerist run on Toyota losing more money than GM last year? How many articles has Consumerist run on the restructuring necessary at Toyota because of poor decision making? Buick passing Lexus in reliability? Crickets are chirping at Consumerist

    Of course you won’t your editors are something we in the auto industry call fanbois

    • jayphat says:

      @CaptainConsumer: “Buick passing Lexus in reliability”

      from the starting gate, yes. Alot of GM’s car can say that. Problem is, GM can’t hold water to any of the foreigns in terms of longevity. 10 yr/50K mile warranty when your competitors offer a 100K. Theres a reason it stops at 50K.

    • P_Smith says:

      @CaptainConsumer: That’s quite a two-fer of immaturity you’re displaying there.

      When exactly has Toyota asked the US government for a bailout? They haven’t, they’re asking their own.

      And “fanbois”? Why the code word and innuendo? If you want to call Consumerist a “bunch of cocksucking faggots” – your meaning, not mine – just say it and get yourself banned.

  20. Jim Topoleski says:

    @HiPwr: @wgrune: @Todd Miller: Please read some of the other comments here.

    The simple fact is, you are wrong and you will CONTINUE to be wrong as long as you insist on reciting RNC talking points and Rush’s lunatic rantings.

    • HiPwr says:

      @Jim Topoleski: Well, it’s hard to debate such a reasoned argument as yours. At least you didn’t use any profanity.

    • OMG! Con Seannery! says:

      @Jim Topoleski: So, let me see if I, with my simple non-Democrat mind, can grasp what you’re saying here. Is it “LALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU! You disagree with me, thus you are an ignorant and evil Republican who is incapable of forming their own opinions. You are wrong because I am right and no amount of factual and mature debate can ever change that. All glory to Pelosi and Obama, Peace Be Upon Them!

  21. I Love New Jersey says:

    Only ten? I would have to say that their redundant product lineup was the problem that was created by their redundant product lineup that was the problem that created this bigger problem.

  22. Jim Topoleski says:

    @OMG! Con Seannery!: I dissagreed with the people here because they are WRONG, not because I care what politics have to do with it.

    The simple fact is that the RNC talking point since DAY ONE has been this is all the unions fault, while covering up all the information that points at it being mismanagement and having very little to do with unions.

    The facts from people here are wrong. Its as simple as that. I am right because the facts being presented by the opposing side are lies that have been disproved on a consistent basis at this point yet continue to be used as the argument points of the other side.

    Just parroting remarks by people, without backing them up in no way makes them facts. I and others have produced evidence here why you are wrong. You have just produced talking points.

    Come back with facts and we can have a discussion. I doubt you will because you can’t. There ARE no facts that support the idea that unions killed GM, because the facts that there where an excess in management, a excessive amount of brands, a constant battle against progress (of which Saturn is the PRIME example, a brand who’s very existence was meant to roll out manufacturing ideas of the Japanese in the US that continue to work very well for them but where ruled a “failure” by management), and the fact that GM did differ legacy payments for a later date while forking over record bonuses to executives.

    Couple with ridiculous costcutting on vehicles that made them “cheap” despite being on excellent platforms that would preform superbly, the insistence on pumping out large SUVs, the purchase of HUMMERs consumer brand from AMX despite hints toward a public wanting to get smaller vehicles, insistence on badge engineering, and insistence on closing brand new US plants to move manufacturing overseas despite it costing more to import the vehicles in the end (case in point, the Astra)

    Management killed GM. Not Unions.

    • OMG! Con Seannery! says:

      @Jim Topoleski: Your entire argument still comes down to “I’m right because I am and everything you say otherwise is simply a lie.” You sit here and tell me that the public wasn’t buying SUVs like hotcakes for the longest time, there. They WERE. GM had their manufacturing tooled to what the people wanted, the shit hit the fan, and the people stopped wanting that. GM went all in that the people would come back to the SUV, which they very well may have. GM lost that bet. Thus, GM couldn’t afford to keep up the excessive burden placed on them by the demands of the UAW that they stupidly agreed to. Nobody’s innocent here. Nobody. Not management. Not the public. Not your precious unions.

  23. metsarethe... says:

    @Jim Topoleski: IF GM failed, guess who’s fault it is. The UAW and Mgmt

  24. humphrmi says:

    For a couple of cars, it seems like they just listed cars they didn’t like, without much real reason why it contributed to GM’s bankruptcy:

    Saab 9-2x: So a fun car with a great performance deal did what to GM? Made them look like they didn’t have a mission? Huh?

    GM B-Body: So here’s a platform that was successful and sold lots of cars, and somehow it diluted the brand? Sure, cross-plating cars led to GM’s downfall but I don’t think that was the singular fault of the B-Body. They sold a ton of B-Bodies, probably for a lot of profit. Then they killed it, that was the real problem.

  25. HIV 2 Elway says:

    I was more manufacturers offered wagons. The only companies that seem to be putting out wagons are Volvo (been there) and Sie Germans (been burned by Bimmer’spost ’93 autos). I want to be able to haul shit but don’t want a pickup, I have to think there are others in this target market.

    • HIV 2 Elway says:

      @HIV 2 Elway: *I wish

    • elysse says:

      @HIV 2 Elway: I agree. there’s also got to be some kind of in-between for “I’m not an SUV person” and “I’m not a minivan mom”, wagons fit that in-between perfectly. There seems to be a lot of stigma about wagons, most people who hear that I drive one immediately think of those old woody Buicks with the bench seats, think of their parents driving them on long trips con vacation Elbow and cringe (personally, I relish the thought..oh, if only those behemoths got good gas mileage!).

      My opinion is way biased because I’m also a wagon fan-, uh, grrl. I have a GM Saab ’01 9-5 SE wagon, bought used in 04 for 12,500 and while it has seen it’s share of meltdowns (when it craps out, your wallet screams… DI Cassettes will be the death of that car), I also happen to have some really great people, dealership included, that love what they do when it comes to Saabs and can get it fixed in a hurry. It also helps to have a Tech-II handheld to check the onboard and determine whether it’s a part that’s easily done yourself. That 60$ handheld has saved me SO much time and money it’s crizay-zay.

      • redkamel says:

        @elysse: station wagons are awesome, Im in the market for one right now, and Im a single young person. They hold a ton of stuff, drive like a car, look good with roof racks and they arent a van nor are they a SUV which has less room, and I dont go off road, nor do I pretend to.

  26. locakitty says:

    All I know is that I am going to miss Saturn. Well, the Saturns circa 98-03. Mine just got totaled out this week. I had that car for 7 years and probably would have had it for 5 more.

    I hope that whoever winds up buying it can actually revive it. GM failed by not actually using that brand to its advantage. It was almost a cult!

    • econobiker says:

      @locakitty: Saturn was the “small car” company that could have saved GM had they not let it die on the vine when trucks/SUVs were flying out the doors.

      GM created millions of dollars in brand loyalty with Saturn and proceeded to flush it down the toilet.

      Saturn Homecoming, indeed…

      (Written from about 50 miles away from the former Saturn assembly plant in Spring Hill, TN.)

  27. th1nwhiteduke says:

    @Jim Topoleski: You sound like the kind of person who gives Michael Moore movies a 10/10 rating on IMDB.

    Actually, are you Michael Moore, you look quite a bit alike and make about as much sense.

  28. layton59 says:

    A VERY SIMPLE WAY TO SEE WHO IS CORRECT: Since GM likes to put cars out with dual names, for instance PONTIAC AZTEK and BUICK RENDEZVOUS are/were the same car, GM should build cars at a UNION factory. At the same time GM should (be allowed by the UAW) build the same car with different name badge at a non-union plant. Now sell them at the ACTUAL COST each costs to make with a similar profit margin for GM. Which car would be the bigger seller? Let the public decide if it wants a Union-made car or a non-Union made car. Sadly, I doubt the UAW would ever let this happen. I wonder why? The UAW crowd is saying that they only get $4 more per hour over a similar Toyota employee. Even if taken at face value, why is $4 more per employee a bragging point for a bankrupt a company? If you can learn a job in ONE DAY or even ONE MONTH, it is far from SKILLED labor and should be payed accordingly. I blame GM management, UAW workers and a lame U.S. government for GM’s failings. A 3-way cross placed on the taxpayers shoulders.

    • econobiker says:

      @layton59: Quit the “UAW gets paid to much versus Walmart workers” squawking. GM made to many garbage products that would have tanked even if put together by Chinese slave labor.

    • giggitygoo says:


      Your last 2 sentences are right on target. It really took all 3 to bring the company down. GM management made incomprehensible screwups time and time again. The UAW could give lessons to Wall St firms about greed. (Retirement on half pay at 48 for relatively unskilled work???) And the government regulation stopped them from importing popular cars from overseas markets to the US. Even better is all 3 pointing fingers at the 2 others.

  29. Blueskylaw says:

    If the title is:
    10 Crappy Cars That Blew Up GM, why are there 11 cars shown in the article?

  30. P_Smith says:

    There’s blame for everyone, not just GM. Americans are too insular and unaware of what’s going on in the rest of the world.

    It’s commonplace to see good looking small cars in Europe that get 40, 50 or even 60 – yes, SIXTY – miles per gallon (there’s a SEAT that gets 69.3). But do you see any of them in the US? No. The media won’t talk about them, US auto companies block competition, and Americans (usually) don’t want to drive foreign-made except for brands that have name value (BMW, Mercedes) or those that established themselves during the 1970s’ OPEC oil crisis.

    Even Japanese companies like Honda and Toyota are at fault here – how many of their current US models get 50MPG? None, yet they sell cars in Europe that do get that sort of mileage. There are plenty of good cheap cars in other markets, but American people don’t know about them and won’t buy them, and American companies won’t build them. And the really stupid thing? Ford in Europe is building some of these cars, but won’t sell them Stateside.

    If the US doesn’t grow up and get attitude change (dropping the “sense of entitlement”), the whole system is going to collapse and the GM takeover is just a bandaid.

    • groverexploder says:

      @P_Smith: Nothing to add, but great post!

    • econobiker says:

      @P_Smith: “Even Japanese companies like Honda and Toyota are at fault here – how many of their current US models get 50MPG? “

      My point exactly!!! A brand new Honda Fit gets about the same mileage as my POS 1995 Dodge Neon with 250,000 miles. So no reason why should I buy.

    • tard says:


      You post is really lacking some basic information.

      First off, Europeans don’t drive small cars because they want to, they drive them because fuel costs 4x what it does in the US. When I was in Europe you occasionally see SUV imports from the US driven by people who can afford them.

      Second, these cars that get 50+mpg are all diesels. Of course the US has much more strict standards in terms of diesel emissions, particularly sulfur which makes it less attractive as a fuel.

      Third, the myriad of regulations on importing cars make it very expensive for Ford or GM to bring any of their foreign produced cars to the US. Do you have any idea what kind of hoops you have to jump through just to bring a Canadian car to the US?

      America doesn’t need an attitude change and I don’t see any sense of entitlement. If people want to pay the $$ it costs to have a less fuel efficient vehicle that’s find by me.


  31. u1itn0w2day says:

    The cars didn’t ruin GM or the American Car industry for that matter it was just about everything but.

    I think the Japanese/imports starting looking really good because of the quality, quality that left you with NOT having to deal with the company or the dealerhips . The imports weren’t that superior per say except for gas milage but when you could buy it and just drive it WITHOUT having to take it back to the dealer for a bunch of bunk that the company should have eliminated at the factory the door was wide open for competition . In the US quest for quantity the sacrificed easily obtainable quality that gave away their industry on a silver platter .

    And then the competition thrived off of PERCEPTION , the perception that it was superior . The Japanese mindset/PROCESS for quality is was put GM and the US Auto Industry in the hole . The money issues became self perpetuating when the competition took market share and dollars that would’ve have funded the status quo .

  32. chrisjames says:

    I’m so bad for liking the Aveo. Though, I’ve only driven it as a rental, on my honeymoon. It was our little piece of shit that got us around town for a week. I love that piece of shit.

    I’d get my own, but really I just want to track down the rental and snag it for myself.

    Damn, but it was red! Oh, the gods must be crazy.

  33. KMan13 still wants a Pontiac G8 says:

    I still want a Pontiac G8, regardless of bankruptcy.

  34. Alexis Morin says:

    There’s actually 11 cars…

  35. Hands says:

    In the early 80’s Cadillac came out with a subcompact called the Cimarron…

    First time I saw one I laughed so hard I nearly got into an accident.

    But let’s also give credit to crappy customer service. Again, in the 80’s, I’d bought my third Firebird in a row {loved that car} but it never worked right out of the showroom and the dealer and regional office treated me so badly that I swore off all GM products. Last month I bought a new car 25 years after that episode and I never set foot into any GM showroom.

    Grudge much? Yes I do.

    • econobiker says:

      @Hands: Your Firebird example is the reason GM is in the tank. It is one thing to buy a used GM product for $1500- you expect stuff to go wrong and to go to the junkyard or autoparts store to fix it. Now bought brand new you expect nothing to go wrong and not to be treated like a sucker by the dealer/automaker…

  36. c_c says:

    Anyone else love the fact that Walter White drives an Aztek (that sounds like it’s about to fall apart) on “Breaking Bad”? It’s like we get it, his life sucks!

  37. SoCalGNX says:

    The Buick Grand National, Corvette, Silverado truck, 57 Chevy, Camaro, Firebird, GTO and others pretty much negate the ones listed. Poor management pretty much took GM down. They were alerted in the 70s that many people would like a small, comfortable, gas sipping car. They ignored that and lost a lot of market shares to other companies.
    You also fail to mention other companies “oops”. How about an article about the price of replacing headlights on some of the Prius models? (hint-its over $500)
    How about some info on about people in China wanting to purchase Buicks? The US might undervalue its own products but not everyone else does.

  38. Anonymous says:

    All this talk of multiple cars on one platform makes me sick. Do people really know what the platforms are? Doubt it. Toyota and Lexus use the same base, two different trims (like the Aztek vs. Rendezvous) for two different price ranges. So bash them as well. OOh, Ohh better yet, the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix. Oh right, those ARE different platforms… NOT! Lesson here is which plant builds the better cars. I haven’t seen much difference, but the Pontiac price is lower with more expensive (???) UAW labor.

    So is the buyer really an educated source for what is hurting right now? Did they see what was coming with all the outsourcing manufactures ( not just auto) has done? And you can’t depend on learning “… would you like to super-size those fries?”

    So how about some solutions! A) Don’t borrow to live beyond your means of a paycheck. B) Buy what you know is good, the press doesn’t know anything more than you else they wouldn’t be going out of business either. C) Even Consumerist has to keep up with customer demands.

    Have a wonderful day

  39. giggitygoo says:

    You’re right in that GM had some great cars, (mostly a long time ago) however the Prius example (and I dare say nothing in the history of the quality Japanese makers like Toyota/Honda/Nissan/Datsun) is nothing compared to such bombs as the Chevy Vega or the Cadillac V8-6-4. I remember a quote from a Cadillac dealer in the early 80s that says it all. “How do I tell customers when they come in with problems that there’s nothing I can do to fix their car?”

  40. Squeezer99 says:

    i think it was a lot more then just 10 vehicles. more like, their entire line up.

  41. Bs Baldwin says:

    GM and the unions blew up GM, not most of these cars. The Saturn brand was just given up on. Hummer should never had been even considered. Saab was just turned into any other brand. Caddy never should have a truck or SUV, never never. Ev-1 death, enough has been said. The Aveo is just a Daweoo in disguise.

    But this list needs more cars. How about the caddy citrogen?

  42. EBBlond says:

    The sliding cargo roof on the SUV was actually a pretty good idea. Most of us know what it’s like to try and transport something that turns out to be four inches too tall for the vehicle.

    I think one of the underlying problems for the auto industry has been, for many decades, an almost complete absence of interchangability when it comes to parts. Every model, every brand, every new model year, gets redesigned almost from scratch, and nothing will interchange from one to the other. There are a lot of basic parts where three or four different versions would be enough for all varieties of car and truck. Change the styling, if necessary, but not the internal workings. A door handle, for instance, is different for almost every car, from the inside out. By contrast, when I want to replace a door knob at home, all I have to pick is the style I want, and they’ll all interchange. The bicycle industry, where I used to work, has this right. If you disassemble a Trek mountain bike and a Schwinn mountain bike, most of the parts can be swapped at random. When you buy accessories for a bicycle, the mounting points for things like racks, fender, water bottle cages, etc, have been standardized throughout the industry. The auto industry could learn a lot from this. Every car doesn’t need for the internals of the headlights, instrument panel, engine compartment, etc, to be entirely different for each model and year. It means that they have to stock repair parts in far greater quantities than they would if there were, let’s say, three or four alternators, water pumps, differentials, steering boxes, radios, headlights, windshield wiper motors, dip sticks, seat mounts, and stuff like that used throughout the entire industry or, at least, throughout each individual company, not changing every year and for every model. And the public isn’t going to stop buying a car just because they used the same bumper for three consecutive years. Remember the VW beetle? It succeeded simply because the stuff was simple and interchangable. Similarly, the PT Cruiser succeeded despite sharing its chassis and running gear with the Neon.