So yesterday I was driving down the road and nearly crashed when an old Peugeot 505 passed me going in the other direction. I had not seen one of these things in years, let along spoken to anyone who actually owned and drove one. The car appeared to be in shockingly good shape with shiny paint and no visible smoke belching from the exhaust pipe. It was like seeing Elvis ride by on a unicorn.
Peugeot had a terrible reputation by the time they folded up their American operation in the early 1990s. So bad that they have not ever considered returning to the United States to this market, even 20 years after the waved the white flag in the first place. This whole scene got me to thinking about the many car companies which have failed, both the companies based here and those that came to the US market and failed. The list is really long. Kaiser-Fraser, Renault, Austin, Yugo, Alfa Romeo, Bricklin, Fiat (the first time around before they owned Chrysler), the aforementioned Peugeot, Rover, Triumph, and on and on.
With respect to the failed American brands, their problems seemed to be less based in quality of construction and more based in quality of competition and the simply cost of doing business. The larger companies simply spent the smaller ones to death. The others, well look at that list again. The foreign brands produced some truly hideous crap in the 1970s and 80s before people finally gave up buying their junk.
Today’s question of the day: What failed car brand has the worst Reputation in America?