Now that we’ve looked at the corpse of a GM product that flopped in the American marketplace, let’s exhume an example of a GM product that sold like crazy: the Middle Malaise Era Olds Cutlass. (Read More…)
In 1990, you could give your BMW salesman $24,650 and drive off the lot in a 325i coupe weighing 2,811 pounds and equipped with a 168-horsepower engine and 5-speed transmission… or you could hand $14,895 to your Oldsmobile salesman and drive off the lot in a Cutlass Calais International Series coupe weighing 2,823 pounds and equiped with a 160-horsepower engine and 5-speed transmission. Ten grand more for rear-wheel-drive, eight more horses, 12 fewer pounds, and a blue-and-white hood emblem? I had forgotten all about the Quad 4-powered Cutlass Calais International Series until I ran across this forlorn example in a California self-service wrecking yard last week. (Read More…)
It’s called “convergent evolution”, and it refers to cases in which two unrelated, or distantly related, animals evolve to similar shapes or capabilities due to the pressures of their environment. Examples can be found here, with the most interesting one being the “pronghorn antelope”. It really isn’t an antelope, you see. It turns out that when there is pressure in an environment, animals will eventually all adapt to their optimum form for that environment.
While there are many unforgiving environments around the world, from the Sahara to the Arctic Circle, few are as murderous as the American automobile market. It turns out that the aforementioned “optimum form” appeared some time ago, and everyone else has been evolving that way ever since..Don’t worry. You may not believe in evolution, let alone the Mitsubishi Evolution, but I will serve as your John Scopes in this auto-Darwinian voyage.