General Motors, or “GM” as it's abbreviated, is the world's largest automaker, and with that distinction, the company is sure to have made some mistakes a time or two. The automaker has experienced a huge amount of disappointment since the recession in 2008, and the company continues to teeter on the edge of demise. At one point GM had a plethora of brands which included Pontiac, but by the turn of the decade, all but four had been left. The GM brands have evolved a lot over the past few decades, but along the way, there have been quite a few mistakes.
General Motors has been known for lacking innovation in the last couple of decades. Which is why these features were often critically panned or just didn’t hold out very well. Features like the GM mark of excellence were instrumental in helping the company emerge from the 2008 recession. But, aside from that, the automaker has been lagging behind foreign competitors. The automaker has recently exited the passenger car market and with that change brings a reflection of some of the company's biggest regrets.
14. GM Quadra Steer
When the Silverado was redesigned the heavy-duty models were also given a facelift. GM Quadra Steer was a feature where all four of the wheels would turn. This gave the Silverado HD a pretty unique ability to tow. But, consumers weren’t interested in having all of the wheels turning at the same time and the Quadra Steer feature was dropped.
13. Body Cladding
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For years GM was notorious for adding too much body cladding to the vehicles. One of the most famous examples was the Pontiac Aztek and the Pontiac Montana. GM has since played off of the body cladding and current models don’t have any to be seen. The body cladding had to have been one of the worst features of the various car makes.
12. Grand Prix Trunk Rack
Pontiac was a mainstay of the GM portfolio for decades, but as the 80s rolled around the cars had some not so attractive features. The most notable feature was the trunk racks that were being installed on the Grand Prix and Grand Am sedans. These were not only ugly but they were also a useless function.
11. 6.5L V8 Diesel (Detroit Diesel)
The Tahoe ended up being a hit for GM during the SUV boom, but there was one option on the Tahoe that just made people scratch their heads. The 6.5L diesel version is known as one of the worst and most unreliable engines to hit the market. These Tahoes spent more time in the repair shop then they ever did on the streets. You’ll rarely find a Detroit diesel Tahoe for sale because the engine was that bad.
10. An SS Option To The V6 Monte Carlo
Let’s be clear, the V6 Monte Carlo was a joke. The automotive community panned this car for its lack of power. Although this generation of the Monte Carlo was a comfortable car to drive, the lack of a V8 irked diehard Monte Carlo drivers. The SS was eventually upgraded with a V8 model but this was toward the end of the car's lifecycle.
Long before we had smartphones or navigation systems there was OnStar. There was OnStar which GM added as a premium feature to many of the vehicles. But, OnStar never caught on with the automotive industry as a whole. Instead, buyers would use it until the free subscription ran its course and you wouldn’t see it in use anymore.
8. The Diamond Edition
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Before the next generation of the GM compact SUVs had hit the market the company decided to introduce the Diamond Edition. This first-generation GMC Envoy was a Jimmy that had a suit on. The SUV was handsome, but most of the interior was cheaply cobbled together which left a bad taste in the mouths of consumers who were shopping for a premium SUV.
7. Silverado Hybrid Powertrain
As the fuel crisis and recession hit, domestic automakers were hit the hardest. The Silverado was one of the full-size trucks that managed to get a few upgrades to it. The Hybrid version of the truck was a great concept, but at this time it just wasn’t a well thought out attempt to give the truck a more fuel-efficient design.
6. Retractable Antennas
GM was notorious for sticking retractable antennas on their vehicles throughout the 80s and 90s. The retractable antennas were generally faulty and didn’t work too well if you lived in an area with bad weather. In addition to that, the antennas were hard to replace and repair as well. This was a feature that GM probably regrets adding for several reasons.
5. Oversized Spoilers
There have been many GM cars that have hit the market with some obscene features, but one of the most obscene was oversized spoilers. The Cobalt SS was the most evident recent addition to feature an oversized spoiler. GM was trying to appeal to a younger demographic but the car just didn’t offer enough substance to justify the obscene looking accessory.
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The sports car market has changed a lot since the early days of the muscle car. But, one of the most iconic features that GM ever included on the F-Body platform was T-Tops. These removable tops were a cool way to drive, but in reality, they were very problematic with lots of leakages as well as safety risks that were associated with them.
3. Pop-Up headlights
GM was one of the last automakers to keep pop up headlights around way past their welcome. The Corvette C5 was notorious for having a pair of pop up headlights at a time when most other modern sports cars had moved on. The Corvette C5 was just one example of GM keeping products along that weren’t welcome.
2. Off The Wall Factory Paint Jobs
Who can forget some of the most iconic of the wall paint jobs that GM offered? The teal paint job on the GMC Typhoon is just one example. There was also that notorious looking turquoise color that GM seemed to throw on every Chevy around this period. Then you had the SSR, which looked more like a toy than anything else on the road.
1. The "GM" Mark Of Excellence On Every Vehicle
For the 2006 model year, GM began to add the mark of excellence to every vehicle. No matter what the make or model was you’d see this tiny silver badge. But, in reality, the badge didn’t mean anything when the cars were panned. The mark of excellence was one of the company's failed attempts at reassuring consumer confidence.
Sources: The Motorist