Monday, May 18, 2009

The Greatest Automotive Flops of the Last 25 Years

The Greatest Automotive Flops of the Last 25 Years - MSN Autos: "“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” —Truman Capote

“My other Maserati is also a piece of s**t.” —bumper sticker seen on a Chrysler’s TC by Maserati in Berkeley, California

As nouns go, “flop” is a good one—short, peppy, and to the point. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines a flop as “an act or sound of flopping,” or “a complete failure.” It implies a cheeky, jovial kind of bad, a light-hearted crappiness of fate that goes beyond simple notions of success or defeat.

By the same token, in the automotive world, a flop isn’t necessarily a bad car. Bad cars come and go all the time, but flops are something more—they’re an unholy convergence of economic, corporate, and design conditions; a perfect storm of bad luck, bad planning, and—say what?—engineering. Four-wheeled flops don’t have to be miserable to drive or vomitous to look at (although it certainly helps); they just have to be a no-questions-asked sales disaster."