Do You Remember Cars: Geo Brand & The Ford Edsel

By: Sean Sporman
By: Sean Sporman

One of the two brands/vehicles featured was an economic compact car and another had a name that would become synonymous with failure.

The Geo was introduced as a sub-brand of Chevrolet under General Motors in 1989. Co-manfuactured by the United States and Japan, the Geos were primarily economy-based compact cars. The flagship vehicle of the Geo fleet was the Geo Metro. The Metro was originally a hatchback-based design in its early years, itself based on a Japanese vehicle—the Suzuki Cutlus. The Metro saw strong sales initially, but dwindled to just above 55 thousand by 1997. Other Geo models included the Prizm, Spectrum, and Storm. A single SUV under the Geo brand was also produced, the Geo Tracker.

It was to be a top-selling car, and it was even named after Henry Ford's son: The Edsel! The Edsel brand was launched in 1958, with four models. The Edsel vehicles included several innovations such as warning lights for low oil and a push-button transmission gear switching system on the steering wheel. The Edsel also came with seatbelts, commonly sold for extra at the time, as well as child-proof locking mechanisms for doors. Despite these features and a big marketing push, the Edsel ended only two years later, in 1960. The company lost the modern equivalent of nearly three billion dollars on a brand that only had just over 110 thousand vehicles made. There are many arguments as to why the Edsel failed including confusion over the name, an economic recession near the time of release, and even the design and styling itself.

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