Can You Identify These Failed Car Brands in 7 Minutes?

By: Robin Tyler

One of America's great motoring brands, Pontiac formed part of the General Motors group from 1926 till 2010. A massive drop in sales saw General Motors cut the brand.

Based in Detroit, Hudson Motor Car Company was founded in 1909 by Joseph L. Hudson. It produced vehicles until 1954, when financial problems saw the brand fold although Hudson models were made until 1957 but under the American Motors Corporation banner.

A division of Ford, Mercury was established in 1939. Ford established the brand to produce premium entry-level cars. Ford Motor Corporation ended the Mercury brand in 2011 so as to focus on their other two brands, Lincoln and their namesake, Ford.

It was fun while it lasted. Hummer burst onto the scene in 1992, providing civilian versions of the Humvee military vehicle. The brand was purchased by General Motors in 1998 and eventually closed in 2010 following the global economic crisis of 2008.

This American company was formed in 1978 and built supercars to compete with the likes of Ferrari. Production of these vehicles took place for four years only, between 1989 and 1993 before the company closed.

Studebaker was founded in 1852, initially making wagons. Eventually, the company moved onto making motor cars and did so up until 1964 were failing sales saw the end of the Studebaker brand.

This luxury American motoring brand was established in 1899 in Detroit. Sadly, it ended in 1958 after sales had significantly dropped during the '50s.

Oldsmobile was the oldest American marque by the time parent company General Motors closed the brand in 2004. It was formed in 1897.

A General Motors brand, Saturn was introduced in 1985 as an attempt by the company to compete with the range of Japanese vehicles flooding the US market. After a massive drop in sales, General Motors closed the brand in 2010.

Part of the Chrysler Corporation, Plymouth was established in 1928 and built vehicles until 2001. Marketed as entry-level vehicles, Plymouth saw sales drop below 200,000 vehicles per annum in the '90s, which eventually led to their closure.

Started by Preston Tucker, the Tucker Motor Company didn't last long. Only 51 of these cars were ever built before Tucker went out of business after being accused of stock fraud, something he was acquitted of. The company itself lasted from 1947 to 1948

The American Motor Corporation was formed with the merger of Nash and Hudson in 1954. A period of success followed with Renault and then Chrysler buying the company. Sales slowed over time and by 1988, AMC was no more.

The Edsel brand, a division of Ford, was short lived. Established in 1957, it lasted until 1960 and failed based primarily on the fact that the Edsel model, named after Henry Ford's son, failed miserably and just didn't sell.

Established in 1975 by John DeLorean, the DeLorean Motor Company is best known for the failure of the DMC-12, a 'supercar' that wasn't super at all. The company went bankrupt in 1982 while the DMC-12 gained a cult following a few years later thanks to it appearing the 'Back to the Future' trilogy.

Established in 1928 as part of Chrysler, DeSoto manufactured vehicles in the mid-price range. It was closed by Chrysler in 1961 after selling over 2 million vehicles worldwide.

Formed in 1916, Nash ran until 1954 where it merged with Hudson to form the American Motor Corporation. Nash was responsible for a few important firsts in US motoring including the first seatbelts, first compact car and first muscle car.

A producer of luxury cars, Stutz started in 1911 and lasted to just before the World War II, closing their doors in 1939, a real shame for the company that gave us the first real American sports car.

A short-lived brand, Kaiser-Frazer was formed by Henry Kaiser and Joseph Frazer. Their company produced vehicles between 1947 and 1951 before Frazer left the company after regular disagreements.

Based in Buffalo, New York, Pierce-Arrow was an American motor car company that produced models between 1901 and 1938. Most were luxury vehicles, although the company also made motorcycles, fire trucks and bicycles.

Duesenberg produced vehicles in the United States between 1913 and 1937. Most were luxury models and following the Depression, a massive drop in sales saw the brand go bankrupt.

Although Suzuki still manufactures vehicles for markets around the rest of the world, their North American operation closed in 2012 following a drop in sales of 75% from their peak in 2007.

Auburn vehicles were produced from 1900 to 1937 and was formed by Charles Eckhart. Sadly, the depression saw sales of Auburn models dip and the company folded in 1937.

Cord vehicles were manufactured between 1929 and 1932 and then from 1936 to 1937. The company was founded by EL Cord and formed part of the Auburn group.

Eagle was an American car brand established in 1988. A division of Chrysler, following their purchase of the American Motor Corporation, Eagle folded in 1999.

British auto manufacturer Sunbeam first started in 1905. During the World War 1, the company made aeroplane engines but returned to cars and motorcycles afterward. The last official Sunbeam vehicle was built in 1936 but the marque itself has appeared on other vehicles

After John North Willys purchased the Edwards Motor Company in 1913, he moved the operation to Ohio and changed the name to Willys-Knight. The company produced cars for the American market between 1914 and 1933.

The Singer company was originally founded by George Singer in 1874 in England and produced bicycles. From 1901, they entered the automobile business and were the first company to make a smaller version of an already existing car model. The last Singer rolled off the production line in 1970.

Established in England in 1901, the Hillman Motor Company existed until 1931. As with many automakers, the company first started out producing bicycles.

The Rambler brand has been associated with the Thomas B Jefferson company from 1900 till 1914, Nash from 1950 to 1954 and finally, AMC from 1954 to 1969. Vehicles with this marque were also produced outside the United States, for instance, in Australia and New Zealand.

Maybach, based in Germany, was formed in 1909 by Willem Maybach. The brand lasted until 2012 before it was closed by parent company, Daimler.

Although Isuzu still manufactures vehicles for markets around the rest of the world, their North American operation closed in 2008. The brand had initial success with a range of pickups but sales slowed significantly in the 2000s, with General Motors eventually dropping the brand.

Established in 1945, Swedish automakers Saab went bankrupt in 2012. Part of the General Motors brand from 1990 to 2010, the company was sold to Spyker, a Dutch car maker, who ended the brand after sales dropped significantly.

The iconic Checker taxi cabs are this company's claim to fame. Checker Motors first started out in 1922 and made taxis right until 1982. Other than taxicabs, Checker did make a few commercial models.

French manufacturer Simca produced vehicles between 1934 and 1974. Eventually, as part of Chrysler Europe, the brand came to an end in the 1970s.

Clement-Talbot produced cars in London from 1903 onward. The brand folded in 1958 only to be revived by Peugeot in 1979 before again disappearing in 1994.

Founded in 1932, the Auto Union brand fell away in 1969 after a merger with NSU and Audi.

Marketed by General Motors, Geo was a number of SUVs models as well as smaller car options. They were built between 1989 and 1997 where the models were eventually merged into the Chevrolet line.

Established in 1908, Corbin was one of America's earliest car makers. The brand didn't last long, folding in 1912.

Rover was founded in 1878, Rover started making cars from the early 1900s. The marque lived on independently until 1967 although the Rover name has been used since, for example as part of Leyland Motors. Currently, the name is not in use on any vehicles but remains a registered trademark in the hands of Jaguar Land Rover.

Created by Royce Seevers, the Autoette microcar was made from 1948 to the 1970s.

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Image: Wiki Commons by Norbert Aepli

About This Quiz

In the world of motoring, the line between success and failure is very small.

Over the last century and a bit, many auto manufacturers have started all over the world. And not all of them can be like Toyota, Ford, Chevy and all the other successful brands that produced incredible models that sell in their thousands, hundreds of thousands and in some cases, millions.

There are those that started with the intention of providing their models to the masses, of turning the car manufacturing business into a profitable business only to last a few short years before going bust. And we won't get into the factors that led them there.

And then there are those auto manufacturers that make it, have a long history of producing cars loved by the public. But then, something goes wrong. A repositioning, increasing the cost of their vehicles and many other factors have brought down what seemed to highly successful car makers. Often, however, the causes are beyond their control. In the 1930s, for example, the Depression saw to the closure of many car makers. Granted, they were making luxury models at the time, which after the Depression just would not sell. They could not readjust and read the writing was on the wall.

But do you think you will be able to identify those car brands, both past and present, that have come and gone?

Let's see how well you do in this quiz, shall we?

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