Posts from ‘Isuzu’
The American auto market place tempts many a foreign car builder, and for good reason–Americans buy a lot of cars, and well-equipped cars at that. Margins on cars sold in China, for example, are about half that for vehicles sold here in the States.
Fact: You can’t sell a station wagon in the United States anymore. Fact: You can dress a station wagon up like an SUV and sell that, as evidenced by the popular Subaru Outback.
Americans tend to enjoy their engine cylinder counts in even numbers. Engines of 4-, 6-, and 8 cylinders have powered an overwhelmingly large majority of the vehicles ever sold in the U.S, and for good reason.
I was pumping gas for a living in 1986, a job that enabled me to do more than my fair share of car watching. Thus, it saddens me a little to compile this list of forgotten rides.
General Motors wasn’t having an easy time getting the buying public to take its small-car offerings seriously in the 1980s. Its J-Car lineup, launched for the 1982 model year, provided all five retail-car divisions—including Cadillac—a modern entry into the subcompact arena. Sadly, the little front-drivers were plagued by quality issues and often dismissed by younger shoppers.
Where have these cars gone? There’s no hard science to this–it’s purely anecdotal–but I well remember seeing these vehicles, and I don’t anymore. They’ve seemingly vanished.
Based anecdotally on conversations I’ve had recently, a good number of people believe that many American-brand vehicles are built by foreign companies. I actually heard one person claim, “They’re all built by the Chinese now anyway.” Sadly, I was related to this person.
For those keeping score, 2014 represents a low point for compact pickups in the U.S. With the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon on hiatus, only Honda, Nissan, and Toyota currently offer vehicles in this class.
Fact: Japanese automobile manufacturers were just as willing as American makers to build fuel-thirsty trucks, they just weren’t as good at selling them. Had early versions of the Nissan Pathfinder or Toyota 4Runner sold nearly as well as the Ford Explorer, history might recall said companies less as the “green” good guys they came to be considered.