Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Ford Edsel

The Edsel was an automobile marque by the Ford Motor Company during the 1958, 1959, and 1960 model years. With the Edsel, Ford expected to make significant inroads into the market share of both General Motors and Chrysler.

The Edsel never gained popularity with contemporary American car buyers and sold poorly. The Ford Motor Company lost millions of dollars on the Edsel's development, manufacturing and marketing.

The very word "Edsel" became a popular symbol for failure.
Ford announced the end of the Edsel program November 19, 1959. Total Edsel sales were approximately 116,000, less than half the company's projected break-even point. The company lost $350 million, or the equivalent of $2.8b in 2014 dollars. 118,287 Edsels were built, including 7,440 produced in Ontario. By U.S. auto industry standards, these production figures were dismal, particularly when spread across a run of three model years.

One of 76 convertibles built in 1960 with power from the optional 300hp, 352-cu.in. Super Express V-8. Sale price $ 70,000k
Historians have advanced several theories in an effort to explain the Edsel's failure. Popular culture often faults the car’s styling. Consumer Reports has alleged that poor workmanship was the Edsel's chief problem.

Marketing experts hold the Edsel up as a supreme example of the corporate culture’s failure to understand American consumers.