2. Cadillac Catera
It’s no wonder that the Cadillac Catera is one of the worst-selling cars in US history. Firstly, it’s unclear what possessed Cadillac, a car manufacturer prized for its American-ness, to choose to import a rebadged Opel of questionable quality (to be polite) in the first place. If they were hoping to improve the brand’s reputation for quality, they were wrong.
The Catera was riddled with mechanical problems, and after a few recalls, buyers quickly made a decision – the Catera was more hassle than it was worth.
The next problem seems to have come directly from the marketing department at Cadillac. The Catera was supposed to be an entry-level car from the luxury brand, to appeal to younger drivers. The tagline “The Caddy That Zigs” is odd in itself – almost slightly patronising.
Don’t even get me started on the weird advert. Cindy Crawford, a gothic setting, a cartoon bird-like mascot and music out of a bad Butlin’s clown act. All of this to promote a luxury brand car at young people (read “over the age of 18”).
Frankly, it looks more like the start of a low-budget children’s TV program. By 2001, sales dropped to an all-time low, and the world waved goodbye to the Catera and that weird bird mascot.