There are plenty of lists of “the worst cars of all-time” floating around the Internet. But we want to zero in on what we think is a more egregious failure than simply turning out a bad car.
What separates bad (as in “worst”) from dumbest? In our judgement, the “dumbest” cars to be foisted upon the pubic are those that leave the would-be customers saying “What were they thinking?” These are the cars, and trucks, that are largely the result of colossal management ineptitude, hubris, ego-maniacal incompetence and organizational inertia.
So let’s take a look at the top 10 dumbest cars of all time :
10. 1990 Chrysler Imperial
Built on the legendary K-car platform that saved Chrysler in the 1980s, the platform and package was pretty out of date by the time 1990 rolled around. Still, Chrysler designer Tom Gale and president Bob Lutz had devised packaging to make it at least respectable for the Chrysler old guard. It wouldn’t have been sexy, but it also wouldn’t have been an embarrassment.
But then Lee Iacocca strolled into the design studio near the end of the program and ordered up, on the spot, opera windows to be installed in the rear seating area, and velour/velvet button-tufted interior upholstery that gave the Imperial’s interior the look of a Turkish brothel stall.
Iacocca, for all his business and PR acumen, should have been banned from the styling studios at this point. Remember, he also gave the world the Pinto-based Mustang in the 1970s. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate Lido’s legacy.
Why it’s so dumb: Bad taste, driven into a project by an authoritarian CEO is bad business and bad leadership, not just a bad process.