Sales Flops of 2005

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,400
Ran across this story about the vehicles with the biggest sales declines for the year.

Anything surprise you on this list:

No. 1: Volvo C70 convertible

Sales decline this year: 59.6%

No. 2: Land Rover Freelander SUV

Sales decline this year: 55.3%

No. 3: Mercedes-Benz CL-Class coupe

Sales decline this year: 53.2%

No. 4: Volkswagen Phaeton sedan

Sales decline this year: 52.1%

No. 5: Mercury Monterey minivan

Sales decline this year: 51.2%

No. 6: Jaguar X-Type sedan and wagon

Sales decline this year: 49.2%

No. 7: Audi TT convertible and coupe

Sales decline this year: 47.2%

No. 8: Mitsubishi Montero SUV*

Sales decline this year: 44.6%

No. 9: Chevrolet Monte Carlo coupe

Sales decline this year: 43.4%

No. 10: Mazda B-Series pickup

Sales decline this year: 43.0%


  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    ***While something like the current Lexus LS is a very 'nice' car, they sure haven't changed much in fifteen years in terms of basic shape, power or size, and now their neck-and-neck in price with a Mercedes E430, if not more costly.***

    That is true. However, unlike the Mercedes, they come with outstanding customer service and great reliability.

    I have been to both the Mercedes and the Lexus events this past year at Arlington Park and I hear two constant themes

    1) They don't make Mercedes like they used to.

    2) You get so much more from Lexus with fewer problems (and I heard that at the Mercedes event).

    One of the local businessmen always reminds me that he paid "$20k for a used Lexus with 80k miles and he's driven it for ten years and it doesn't look or ride any different than the day he bought it."
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Member Posts: 4,277
    No. 8: Mitsubishi Montero SUV*

    Sales decline this year: 44.6%

    Mitsu just can't catch a break... Just as well I guess, the Montero is OLD and maybe the Endeavor will pick up those sales.

    The Monterey decline is pathetic, but not surprising...
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    That list is interesting, but there is more to it for some of those models. Some have been dropped and/or are being replaced in a few months. As for the newer models on there, uh-oh.

  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,699
    Not really any surprises in there, except for that I didn't think they sold enough Freelanders in any year for there to be a measurably decline.
  • xkssxkss Member Posts: 722
    Why not just get the aluminum Audi A8?
  • navigator89navigator89 Member Posts: 1,080
    The Freelander is crap. They say it has poor reliability, and is small and overpriced. Someone in my garage has one, and by looking at it I can tell it is small with a total lack of headroom or legroom. I'd much rather buy a Torrent/Mariner/RAV 4.

    I'm surprised the Mercedes G Class isn't on that list. I rarely see them, even though they were released 2 years ago.

    Here in the Middle East the Montero/Pajero is one of the most popular SUVs, although in America its not probably because of the immense variety offered there. In any case here most of its popularity is due to fleet sales.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,400
    I've only seen a few G class as well. I'm guessing the sales haven't varied much on them one way or the other. The cars on the top ten list all had significant percentage sales drops.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,084
    Yeah some of those are old and due for replacement. Like the CL and the Monte, everyone knows a new one is coming, and most people who want a current one have already bought one.

    G-wagen came out here for MY 2001 or so, I see them fairly regularly in my neighborhood, but I'll admit it's not a normal place.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    No surprises at all. They are all, to a car, either tired old models that people are tired of, (Montero, Audi TT, Monte Carlo) or grossly mis-marketed cars IMO, that never had an audience to begin with (the rest of them. Also is no surprise that most of them have a very mediocre reputation. ( or worse, like the Jaguar X-Type and the Land Rover)

    There's not a car on that list that doesn't deserve to die for one reason or another.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    the cars that have been on the market a year or less, brought out with much fanfare, oftentimes to the tune of "THIS time, we really got it right and we're sure this will be a hit", only to find stagnant sales or even declines, or missing sales forecasts badly?

    I can think of a few off the top of my head, with varying degrees of up-to-datedness:

    Acura RL (running, I think, at roughly half the volume Acura was hoping for with the much-revised model)

    Subaru Tribeca (production cuts set at 50% beginning in the new year)

    Everything Saab that is a rebadged something else

    Heck, toss in the 9-3 for good measure: it has been around more than 12 months IIRC, but it certainly hasn't measured up to the hopes they had for sales

    Q45 - poor ol' Infiniti. I forget how long ago the last model update was, but it wasn't that long ago and there was a lot of fanfare with that one. They continue to sell at a rate of roughly 1000 a year - why bother?

    Need I mention the all-new Jetta, the car that was going to "grow up" the VW image overnight? Now the new Passat is busy following in its footsteps. And thank GOODNESS they cancelled the Phaeton.

    And for this space, same time next year, let's mention the Grand Vitara, released with more hoopla than I can remember from Suzuki in forever, and already every reviewer hates it. And the Range Rover Sport, another case of why bother. And possibly the Honda Ridgeline and the Buick Lucerne, both of which will sell in decent numbers but will fall short of their manufacturers' hopes and dreams by a goodly amount. Oh yeah, and add the Torrent on that last count. I would mention the new Mercury/Lincoln Fusion clones, but does Ford even have hopes and dreams for Lincoln/Mercury any more? Final entry and then I will quit: the new Jeep (what is it? Commander or something?). It is so similar to Grand Cherokee in mission, all it will do is suck a few sales away from the GC before falling into automotive oblivion.

    So sayeth the sage...


    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHMember Posts: 22,173
    It's too early to say if the Commander is a flop, likewise the Milan/Zephyr and the new Passat.

    OTOH the Buick Lacrosse is pretty rare even though it's been out for a year. The
    Infiniti M35/45 doesn't seen to be any more prevalent than the Acura RL so sales of them have to be disappointing.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,084
    I see the new M quite a bit in my area, much more than the strangely dull looking JDM style old M, and probably 5 or 10 times more often than a new RL. Around here, the G is very trendy, so I think this might be an offshoot.
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    The RL is on track track to sell about 18K units this year. They forecast 20K, IIRC. So they're off by about 10%. The Ridgeline is off by 6%.

    Have to agree with you on the Saabs, though.

    Andys120, I haven't seen recent sales figures, but the M35/45 was selling as well as the Lexus GS and others in the class. I dunno what Infiniti projected, but I gotta figure it's doing well enough.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,706
    more LaCrosses finally. Their popularity may be a regional thing, and I'm guessing a lot of them do still go into rental fleets, but I've heard that nationwide, the LaCrosse is selling about as well as the Century/Regal used to.

    I haven't seen the Grand Vitara yet, except for that commercial where the dude skydives out of his house. I almost hate to admit it, but I think it's actually pretty attractive! I think it's one of the better looking SUVs out there nowadays. There's just something nice and clean about its styling. Still, style will only get you so far, and according to the buff rags, there are much better buys out there.

    I don't see Acura RLs very often, but then they're styling just blends in. They're easy to miss. As for Infinitis, I don't think I see ANY kind of Infiniti on a regular basis, except for this green I30 that one of the secretaries at work drives.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Member Posts: 1,711
    Yes, the new Jeep is the Commander. And I think it will be a huge hit, especially with the Jeep faithful such as my dad, who thinks it is the most gorgeous SUV on the market.
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    I really doubt the Commander will be successful. It's only 2 inches longer than the Grand Cherokee and 4 inches taller.

    All reviewers have commented that the third seat is a joke for anyone larger than a small child.

    So unless you really like the squared off styling or have small children that can fit in the rearmost seats, there's really no point in buying one in place of the Grand Cherokee.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,706
    of the Commander is that they can advertise that third row seating. But it's basically the same as advertising a Mustang, Camaro, etc as a 4-seat sports car. Yeah, so it has a back seat. Doesn't mean you want to put anybody in it!

    FWIW though, I'm guessing that very few SUVs have a useable 3rd row seat. Even in my Mom & stepdad's Expedition, or even some Suburbans I've been in, it's not a very hospitable place to be.

    How safe is the 3rd-row seat on your typical SUV, anyway? Most SUVs that I've seen that get rear-ended basically cease to exist behind the rear axle. I imagine it would be almost as bad as the 3rd row seat you used to get in station wagons back in the day.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 15,306
    Geeze, they're as common as dirt around here, and no, they aren't all rentals. Seems my girlfriend started a trend. As soon as she got her car, LaCrosses have been popping up like mushrooms all over the neighborhood.

    Shame about the Q45. I bet it's every bit as good a car as the Lexus LS430. Well, if you don't want to run into your car on every block, get a Q45!

    Ooo! Ooo! I DID see a Tribeca today!
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,628
    ....with the higher end Japanese sedans now is twofold: when they first debuted (particularly in the case of the Acura Legend and Lexus LS400), they were new and different to the market, and because of the inflated deutschmark at the time, the Japanese cars were great values compared to the Germans. For about $24k new in '86, the Legend had a V6 and a lot more room for at least a couple thousand dollars less than a 190E 2.3; the '90 LS400 was about $36k at a time when a 6-cylinder Mercedes 300E was about $45k. Now, they don't compare nearly as favorably. Second, particulary in the case of Acura and Infiniti, their lower end cars are so nice, why pay an extra $10-20k for an RL or Q? Diminishing returns, big time, especially if you factor in resale on Infiniti Ms and Qs. While something like the current Lexus LS is a very 'nice' car, they sure haven't changed much in fifteen years in terms of basic shape, power or size, and now their neck-and-neck in price with a Mercedes E430, if not more costly. Their kind of Japanese Cadillacs now, most drivers I see are seniors.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Member Posts: 1,711
    I didn't know your girlfriend had a LaCrosse- when did she purchase it?
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 15,306
    She purchased it on March 18th of this year. She is extremely satisfied with the car. The Buick customer service so far has been excellent. I might go back there to check out a Lucerne.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,706
    how the Lexus LS and Infiniti Q-ship seem to have "grown up" and aged. IMO the old models, especially those first, grille-less Q's, seem down right youthful in comparison!
  • prosaprosa Member Posts: 280
    Pricing is probably the B9 Tribeca's weak point. While the 5-passenger base models can be had for under $30,000, they're few and far between. Almost every model shipped to dealers is a 7-passenger model with leather and is priced in the mid-30s. Come to think of it, Volkswagen is doing basically the same with the new Jetta and Passat, loading up almost all of them with expensive packages. I know, this load-em-up strategy worked fine for Chrysler when it brought out the 300, even today it's hard to find V-6 base models, but the 300 was a big enough hit that Chrysler was able to get away with it. Not so with the Tribeca and Jetta/Passat.
    As for the Lucerne, GM has excluded it from the Red Tag promotion, which might be a sign of strong sales.
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    As for the Lucerne, GM has excluded it from the Red Tag promotion, which might be a sign of strong sales.

    Maybe wishful thinking?

    In reference to Chrysler, the load-em up strategy failed miserably on the Pacifica.
  • au94au94 Member Posts: 171
    the Ford Freestyle and to a lesser extent the 500? I don't see many Freestyles around and it seems that customers just opt for one of the alternatives (SUV or sedan) rather than an attempt at a hybrid.
  • prosaprosa Member Posts: 280
    There have been rumors that Ford is going to drop the Freestyle. Dunno if they're true, but I certainly don't see many of them on the road. 500's are slightly more common but certainly not as common as they should be.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,706
    from their mistake on the Pacifica. Took them a long time to learn though, because they did the same thing with the Reliant/Aries in 1981, and the Aspen/Volare in 1976!

    When the 300 came out, Chrysler had more of a variety in stock. Also, it seemed like they didn't flood the lots with them at first...they let them trickle in to see which ones the customers wanted. And in a rare occurence, it turns out this was one model where a good chunk of the buyers WANTED the pricier trim level! For awhile, something like 40% of 300 sales were the Hemi C model, leaving the three cheaper lines to scrap for the remaining 60%. In contrast, the vast majority of Intrepids and Concordes were usually the cheapest trim line. And even with cars like the Accord, Camry, and Altima, the top trim levels usually only account for a relative handful of sales.
  • au94au94 Member Posts: 171
    thats the beauty of the Honda and Toyota marketing plans.

    They sell the high volume models (think Accord LX, Camry LE) at a great price and well equipped to the majority of their buyers. But for the percentage that wants a baby Lexus or Acura, they can have a V-6, leather clad offering available as well. All off the same platform, same factory etc.

    This allows them to make larger margins on the meat and potatoes of the line up, but still not turn off a potential buyer with a few more bucks in their pocket.
  • martianmartian Member Posts: 220
    Did I spell that right? I hardly ever see these SUVs on the road-are they selling well? Is the rebading issue hurting the cayenne's sales? Whatever, they appear to be very gas-thirsty and ugly to boot-why pay more for one of these when you can get a better SUV for less money?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,863
    actually, i see a relatively large number of cayenne's here in central Jersey. More often than i see toureags (i'm unsure of the spelling as well). As a matter of fact, the only Porsche I see more of is the Boxster. Its quite surprising.

    '21 Wrangler 4xE, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited, '10 Escape XLT v6. 56-car history and counting!

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,706
    I think I see the Cayenne a bit more often than the Touraeg ( I had to look it up :P ) as well.

    According to, the Touraeg does outsell the Cayenne...through August 31 the VW sold 11,994 units, vs 8,806 for the Porsche. Not a bad showing overall, though, considering SUVs were a new territory for both of them (well, there was the VW Thing!) I thought the Touraeg was cool from the moment I saw it, but I figured the Cayenne would be a total flop.
  • prosaprosa Member Posts: 280
    VW claims that Touareg sales are meeting expectations. Maybe so, but to keep things in perspective note that RX300 sales are triple that of the Touraeg's, and MDX sales more than double.
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    The Cayenne is selling just fine. I mean, it's sort of in a class of it's own. Porsche doesn't sell on high volume, so 1,000+ units each month is pretty good for them.

    The Touareg isn't doing quite so hot. Although a sister vehicle to the Cayenne, the Touareg competes more directly with the X5, RX330, and MDX. The V-dub's sales don't come close to what the market will bear.

    edit: Prosa beat me to the point. :P
  • goodegggoodegg Member Posts: 905
    the Aveo? (is that an 05?) - or the Cobalt (nobalt)- or the Terraza - the Lancer - the Outlander........ anything Isuzu - or the Ford F150 (just kidding)
  • volvodan1volvodan1 Member Posts: 196
    Somebody here will have the #'s, but I think the Aveo is doing well and the Cobalt is doing O.K.
  • chuck1chuck1 Member Posts: 1,405
    Aveo is doing well.

    I have read the Aveo is GM's biggest seller.
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    To me, it's all in the styling. IMO, Subaru and VW have shot themselves in the feet by picking basically fugly designs and slapping them on their entire line-ups. I wouldn't at all be surprised if both companies are forced to restyle much earlier than planned.

    If Ford still churning out Tauri? Once they axe that brute, the 500 should get a healthy fleet jolt.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 16,396
    speaking the cayenne, there was one at the auto show we went to yesterday. one of my kids came running over to me and said "you have to the the porsche suv over there." i said i had seen it before(previous show), so why again?
    she says, "it's the interior, it's sprayed on tan gone wrong!". when i looked at it, it was! barf. :sick:
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHMember Posts: 22,173
    Cayenne sales are in the tank.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • big_prizebig_prize Member Posts: 50
    For one who has never been a fan of VWs, I actually like the new Jetta and Passat, although I think the Passat is pricing itself out of many people's budgets. Plus, all of the that electronic switchery is annoying! Who needs an electronic parking brake? More like an electronic parking "break" to me.
  • dave82dave82 Member Posts: 43
    How about the Mitsubishi Raider? It can't be good if Mitsubishi is already offering $2000 rebates after just one month on the market...
  • saabgirlsaabgirl Member Posts: 184
    I was at the CT auto show on Friday with my daughter who sat in the Cayenne and said the mustard yellow interior was "Ugliest in Show." The steering wheel looked and felt cheaper than those in the compact pickups.
  • callmedrfillcallmedrfill Member Posts: 729
    A link to some sales numbers would have been more useful than a link to someone's random post.

    If the Cayenne sells 1000 a month at $60k, I'd say it was holding it's own! Lexus LX doesn't do that anymore.

    The Range Rover did better after it's redesign, but with the heavy advertising on the $75k Sport (I've never seen such an expensive vehicle marketed so hard!), I'd say the Sport is not doing what Range wants.

    Touraeg (I'm guessing) has many things going against it:

    1. Stupid name

    2. It's smaller than most mid-size SUV's (I've sat in one)

    3. Is part of the not-so-successful VW upscale afterbirth, which has claimed the lives of the Photon (another stupid name), and W8 Passat.

    4. Sells at premium prices without premium quality (Judging by J.D. Power, and the number of disgruntled VW owners)

    No one has brought up the STS?

    That Subaru SUV is a pretty bad idea:

    A. Too heavy for their CAR engines to support.

    B. Too pricey for their clientele to support.

    C. Too late to the SUV party!

    The H3 doing so well is a shock!!! :confuse:

    Wrong time, wrong engine, few incentives, and it has caught on?

    Too early to annoint Nissan Versa "Flop of 2006"? :blush:

  • chuck1chuck1 Member Posts: 1,405
    "If Ford still churning out Tauri? Once they axe that brute, the 500 should get a healthy fleet jolt."

    My company has always leased the Taurus as the company car. They have been told that they can nolonger get the Taurus, so a few of the guys have now received the 500. I have been told there isn't much difference in (fleet) prices for the 500 vs. the Taurus. I have a Taurus and it has some of the most uncomfortable front seats of any car I have ever owned in recent memory!
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    Too early to annoint Nissan Versa "Flop of 2006"?

    Why would the Versa flop? I think the time of mini-crossovers is arriving. These mini-mini-vans are practical, sporty, and stylish. I would certainly consider one as my next car, and I think a lot of other young people would be interested too.

    As long as Nissan, Mazda, etc. keep initial sales projections realistic, I think they will succeed. Chrysler was trumpeting absurd Pacifica sales from the start. They should have started low and let true demand determine supply.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    My company has always leased the Taurus as the company car. They have been told that they can no longer get the Taurus, so a few of the guys have now received the 500.

    The Taurus was available to fleets ONLY in MY 2005.

    The prices on the low-end Fusion and the Ford 500 are SIMILAR but *not* the same as the old Taurus. However, fleet prices are like anything - negotiable. For some reason, Ford will give you a lot better price if you agree to buy 2000 units than if you buy 20. (g)

    i have been running around in a 1997 Ford Taurus the past week as I have had to run some work errands. That model was not as uncomfortable as some of the earlier models (and the 2003 version). I've always hated the cockpit feel.
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    Anybody have any idea how well the Dodge Charger is actually selling vs. the expectations? I know I was surprised to see a fairly large inventory locally within just a few weeks of their introduction.

    Crossfire also comes to mind.

    Another slow mover seems to be the RX-8.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,863
    RX8 and crossfire are hurting, as far as I've read.

    Not sure about the Charger. I've seen a few on the roads, but not many. I think alot of people who would have bought the charger already owned 300s.

    '21 Wrangler 4xE, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited, '10 Escape XLT v6. 56-car history and counting!

  • prosaprosa Member Posts: 280
    Dodge is now starting to market specially equipped Chargers to police departments. That could be a sign that "regular" sales are below expectations and therefore that the Charger needs a boost, but I suspect not, if only because the planning for the police version must have started quite some time ago.
  • prosaprosa Member Posts: 280
    That Subaru SUV is a pretty bad idea:
    A. Too heavy for their CAR engines to support.
    B. Too pricey for their clientele to support.
    C. Too late to the SUV party!

    Pricing should not have been such an obstacle. Base model B9 Tribecas, the 5-passenger versions with cloth upholstery, can be purchased for about $29,000. That's less than some Outback models and is fully competitive with the competition. Unfortunately, as I've noted before, base models are very difficult to find. Almost all the 'becas on dealer lots are the 7-passenger versions with leather, priced in the mid-30's.
    Getting beyond just Subaru, what is this obsession with 7-passenger seating? Leave out for now the fact that 7-passenger seating usually means normal seating for five and two microscopic seats suitable only for small children. Birth rates are low enough that few families really need more than five seats. Those that do, can buy minivans or conventional vans. But it seems as if every SUV and crossover tries to shoehorn in those two extra seats - even the new RAV4.
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