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hotfocus 04-26-2004 08:15 PM's The most overhyped cars
Ford revealed the 2002 Thunderbird on Jan. 8, 2001 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The car is rated one of the most overhyped cars of today by

• Ford Thunderbird
When Ford resurrected the Thunderbird in 2001, it hailed the event in a statement as "the long-awaited rebirth of an American icon." Three years later, the vehicle's retro looks have grown stale. Ford designed the Thunderbird for comfortable touring, not sporty driving, so the car lacks performance chops on which to fall back as Ford continues to debate killing it. It is the worst-selling Ford by far. In 2003, the company only managed to sell 18,100 T-birds, a decline of 5.2% from 2002. Last year, Ford sold more units of the Escort, a model it was phasing out of production.

• Hummer H1
Sales of both the Hummer H1 and its suburbanized protégé, the H2, were down 25% in the U.S. in the first quarter. As popular as the H2 was last year, high inventories and slowed sales for H1 and H2 indicate that the Hummer trend was shorter-lived than General Motors (Hummer's parent) had expected. The H1, a military vehicle made street-legal, caught people's attention but no longer looks very fresh. The Jeep Wrangler, which has a similar history and purpose, is famously uncomfortable too--but it doesn't cost over $100,000.

• Jaguar X-Type
The highest-volume Jaguar is not bad, but it's not great--and it's on the slide. Last year, X-Type sales in the U.S. were down 19% to 26,772. Critics fear that a Jaguar is becoming a really nice sort of Ford, and the X-Type is their chief piece of evidence. Jaguar is a Ford subsidiary, and the X-Type is derived from the Ford Mondeo, a European nameplate whose American analog, the Ford Contour, is out of production. The X-Type is also what critics are describing when they say Jaguar has diluted its exclusivity with higher volumes.

• Pontiac Aztek
Poor Pontiac. It must have known in its heart how ugly the Aztek SUV was, yet genuinely believed that Americans wanted a vehicle on which to affix a tent. The Aztek's optional camping package speaks to the vehicle's overall theme: postapocalyptic survival, surrounded by postapocalyptic styling. Now that the Aztek has as little residual value as a car can have, it is bound for the graveyard. Pontiac sold only 27,354 Azteks last year, which is terrible for a mainstream American SUV. (By comparison, the best-selling SUV, the Ford Explorer, saw 373,118 unit sales in 2003.

• Volkswagen Phaeton
The Phaeton may be the most current example of an overhyped car, but it is actually quite decent. It looks nice and has a wonderful interior, German engineering, and engines that are big and powerful. Too bad nobody asked for a Volkswagen like this. The main problem is that Volkswagen has no reputation for dealing luxury cars. In fact, its American dealer network has a mediocre reputation, and that developed before the company started selling expensive cars. If the company's dealers can't sell and service an $18,000 Jetta to your satisfaction, why would you trust them with a $95,000 car?

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mofocus 04-26-2004 09:29 PM

i like the T Bird though..

Lil PZEV 04-26-2004 09:34 PM

I always thought the Aztek was a bad call. One of my friends used to go to Northeastern U in Boston and she said Pontiac had some marketing students look at the Aztek plans and offer some ideas, some elite experience opportunity. She said they all told Pontiac the car looked mildly retarded but I guess it took the general populace to voice the same opinion for them to stop production (they did stop making this right?).

Zarelli6 04-26-2004 09:43 PM

i couldnt agree more with all of those except the H1, thats just a badass truck. but the jag is nice but sold less than the aztek (how did that happen?)

lwnslw 04-26-2004 09:50 PM

I just don't understand how a car manufacturer can approve production of such an ugly A** car/suv? Did they really believe it would sell? Talk about love being blind!!!!! You definitly would have to be vision impaired to love that so called suv....
Just my .02...

Infra3sv 04-26-2004 09:58 PM

SVT needs to play with the Tbird.

Chick 04-27-2004 12:31 AM

Show me a pic of the Volkswagen Phaeton. I've never seen or heard of it.

SVT4ME 04-27-2004 12:47 AM


Originally posted by Infra3sv
SVT needs to play with the Tbird.
They did, but Ford decided to cancel the project, since the plan was (is?) to discontinue the T-Bird. Woulda been a cool car...

Ashley, this is the Phaeton. Doesn't look like it in the pictures, but its a pretty BIG car, especially for a VW.

Chick 04-27-2004 12:55 AM

Doesn't look too bad.

But that price turns me away....errrr.

Thanks for showing me SVT4ME :)

vanace 04-27-2004 08:41 AM

I just don't understand how a car manufacturer can approve production of such an ugly A** car/suv

can you say honda element? or toyota scion? Those are even uglier than the aztec. But wait!! they are japanese.. so it is ok!! duh. Those cars are so ugly they are not cute. But peoples attitudes about jap cars makes them sell.

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