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Thursday, June 7, 2012






Say Farewell To These Well-Known Cars

One of the things that makes Toyota, Honda, BMW and Mercedes-Benz so efficient and successful in the auto industry is their ability to refresh the same cars year after year, decade after decade.

BMW is out with an all-new 3 Series, it's sixth, a car that has been called the same thing for 37 years. This fall, Honda will introduce its ninth Accord, which it has been selling for 36 years. Having that kind of consistency and commitment to a brand name is worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

How so? Auto companies launching a new car that has an all new name say that it can cost hundreds of millions to start to establish a new name in the consumer minds. Dodge is amidst a launch of an all new Dodge Dart, a name it hasn't used in the U.S. since 1976, but its residual awareness, say Chrysler officials, is worth maybe $100 million-plus versus starting from scratch with a new name.

Some old established names and cars have not been so fortunate. In 2012, we are seeing a couple of old, familiar, even ubiquitous vehicles, head off to the automobile cemetery. And we are also seeing the passing of a few Johnny-come-lately vehicles that just didn't have staying power-- vehicles with new names that fell on their fenders with the public, and the companies that designed and marketed them are cutting their losses.

Check out the dearly, and not so dearly, departed:

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