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Overall, 2011 was a good year for the auto industry. Ford had huge profits, Volkswagen opened a billion dollar plant in Tennessee and the government got paid back some of the money it put out to save GM and Chrysler. Lots of good news all around but that doesn’t mean everything was rosie.

Fiat’s great return to the US market with widely heralded 500 was generally regarded as a flop. Americans didn’t take to it like they did to the Mini, which was the 500’s target. Fiat had an initial sales target of 50,000 units in 2011. As of the end of November, barely 20,000 had been sold.

 Honda’s halo lost a bit of its glow in 2011 also. With the elimination of the sport S2000 and Acura’s NSX, the company no longer had any high performance cars in its line-up. They came under fire for corporate complacency and offering boring cars throughout their range. Add reduced parts availability due to the tsunami into the mix and 2011 is a year that Honda would like to forget.

 My vote for the biggest automotive failure for 2011 is the Chevrolet Volt. I know corporate hired guns and government moles have been touting it since its announcement a few years ago but, in reality, it's just a mild evolutionary step up from a hybrid. On top of that, there was a whole fiasco about the possibility of them catching on fire in the event of a side impact. All in all, Chevy out-Priused Toyota, and that’s not a good thing.

 What do you think was the biggest automotive failure of 2011?


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan Smith January 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm

I would have to agree with the Chevrolet Volt wasn't as successful as they thought it would be. With all the hybrids out nowadays it can be difficult to create a new type of vehicle that could compete with a hybrid. Why buy a fully electrical car that you have to charge. Most people have problems charging there phone. A car will just create more problems for these type of people. It's not a good reliable car that you can take far you are limited to were you can go. The hybrid incorporates both gas and electric when the battery is charged it drives on electric then when it's running low on battery the gas engine starts to recharge the battery, and then the car is run on gas for a little while. I don't think electric cars will ever get anywhere until the world stops using gas and turns all gas stations to electric stations.

larry d. January 7, 2012 at 8:49 am

It's pretty much a no brainer, isn't it? It's early yet, but the Volt may be the biggest automotive failure of the century.

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