Posts from ‘Isuzu’
This is an installment in a series of posts looking back on show cars that we feel deserved a little more attention than they got. If you have a suggestion for a Forgotten Concept topic, please shoot us a line or leave a comment below.
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.