[YesAuto News] At the turn of the year, when there is a welcome to the new year, there is a farewell. People are accustomed to looking forward to a bright future and generating some good expectations when the new year arrives, but I am more willing to look back at the past at the end of the old year. It is not only a reflection on regrets and mistakes, but also a recollection of the good Moreover, it is at the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century. In the past 10 years, we have ushered in exciting models and megatrends, and we regret to bid farewell to many popular models and brands. This article will review the brands and models that have entered history from 2010 to mid-2019. .
In 2008, there was not only the Beijing Olympics, but also the financial crisis that hit the global economy. Affected by it, General Motors announced a series of brand group restructuring plans in 2009, including the closure of the brand Pontiac, whose marketing performance continued to be sluggish. On October 31, 2010, Pontiac officially entered history.
Although this brand is not so close to our lives, it is not as far away as we thought. Pontiac, who has not made a large-scale entry into China, has not low visibility in the streets and alleys of the motherland. From the early days of Trans Sport, also known as the “bullet”, the later Buick GL8 sister car Montana, and the later Solstice, a small sports car, all have a certain degree of visibility in China. If these are not familiar, it doesn't matter, there are many well-known Pontiac in film and television works.
Some viewers aged around 30 or even older may have the impression that in the early 1990s, my country introduced an American TV series called “Knight Rider”. In the play, the car can talk, can autopilot and even launch rockets. The magical car “KITT” is based on the third-generation Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am. The Trans-Am model is a performance-enhanced version based on Firebird launched by Pontiac in 1969. The most important change is the more powerful engine options.
If you think “Knight Rider” is a bit far away, then the popular American drama “Breaking Bad” a few years ago should resonate with more audiences. The dilapidated Pontiac Aztek owned by Mr. Walter White, the protagonist in the film, really highlights the dilemma of a fallen chemical genius after suffering from cancer. In fact, when this car was released before the millennium, it was targeted at the younger generation of users who have many needs in life scenarios, so ample space and futuristic design language are its main features. It is a pity that not many people can understand the chief designer Tom Peters 20 years ago. Once the car was launched, it was criticized by the media and consumers: this car is too ugly!
Helplessly, such an avant-garde car with an avant-garde concept and an overly avant-garde style came to an end after just 6 years of production. The sales volume of less than 120,000 vehicles is of no help to the increasingly distressed brand. To make such a failed product in an era when SUVs are blooming after the millennium, Pontiac should really think about its own way out. Pontiac's other products at the time were either OEM production or cooperative research and development, but after all, there was no bright sales data. Coupled with the last straw of the financial crisis, Pontiac finally failed to celebrate its 85th birthday.
◆ Edit one sentence comment: This is a case of demise caused by the old car companies not being fully prepared when the new era comes.
Unlike Pontiac’s situation, Saab, a Nordic brand in China, really has a bunch of loyal fans. I can still see many Saab 9-3 and 9-5 running happily on the street. Owners Practical actions have proved that the cars manufactured by Saab are worthy of their own efforts.
There is a small partner who once owned the Saab 9-3 convertible by my side. According to him, the most enjoyable thing is to open the hood and go for a ride on the winding road by the sea on a sunny day. Saab is excellent The handling, especially the directivity of the front of the car, is really unforgettable. And this also reflects to some extent some fascinating aspects of this calm, pragmatic and eclectic Nordic brand.
In addition to the memorable handling experience, Saab also focuses on technological innovation and the safety of drivers and passengers. In 1969, Saab developed a set of starting devices that can ignite near the handlebar. This design can prevent the driver from being injured by the key on the steering column in a frontal collision. The design of the time when the key is used to start the vehicle is very considerate. In 1970, Saab released a set of cleaning devices for vehicle headlights, including headlight wipers and sprinklers. This design achievement was earlier than any other car company. If you open a forum for Saab fans, you will find that there are many other similar innovations. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why car fans love Saab.
Many technological breakthroughs mean that R&D funding is rising. The parent company GM has repeatedly told Saab from the company’s management perspective to invest precious R&D budgets where it is more needed. Unfortunately, the paranoid Swedes did not understand the meaning. . In 2011, Saab finally ran out of money. Of course, the suppliers whose payment was in arrears rejected Saab's supply request, so the Saab factory had to stop work. This stop stopped Saab's future.
◆ Edit a one-sentence comment: It seems that car companies' excessive indulge in their own product tonality and neglect to keep pace with the times will also cause the brand to die.
● Double ring
I am still full of regrets and regrets about the disappearance of the first two brands, but the disappearance of Shuanghuan does not make me feel sorry at all. It should be noted that the Shuanghuan brand did not actually go bankrupt or cancelled in a real sense, but there was no more news after the last model SCEO was discontinued in 2012.
In 1988, a veteran founded the Xiangyang Automobile Repair Factory to start a car manufacturing business, but because there was no technical reserve and the production materials were too crude, the initial production only started with imitation, and the object of imitation was the famous BJ212. But in that era when cars were still scarce resources, people were eager to own cars, but they also had no idea about what a good car is. The shoddy imitation 212 was even sold out.
The large amount of funds brought by this quickly enabled Sunsun to have more advanced production equipment, but the original accumulation of technology is still weak, so even if it receives a task from the province, the answer sheet still cannot withstand the test. Later, Xiangyang changed its name to Shuanghuan, and the story since then is familiar to everyone. In 2004, Shuanghuan launched Noble SRV. The appearance can be regarded as a unequal-scale elongated version of the second-generation Honda CR-V. In 2005, Shuanghuan brought SCEO, and the appearance “borrowed” from the first-generation BMW X5. The last piece of Shuanghuan is the little nobleman, a mini car with two rows of seats that looks very similar to the smart fortwo. Shuanghuan also claims that the little nobleman is definitely not a simple imitation of smart.
Making a copy of a routine has reached the “peak” on Noble SRV, and this small business has occupied people's sight, but simple plagiarism can meet the needs of a small number of consumers in a short period of time. There is almost no benefit for enterprises in terms of technology accumulation and process improvement. As a result, we have also seen that Shuanghuan’s products have never taken off the shoddy hat. Such a brand will be gone if it is gone.
◆ Edit one sentence comment: China in the new era does not allow companies that can be fooled by shameless plagiarism.
● Volkswagen Santana Classic Edition
When the Chinese auto market was still in its infancy, the term “the third kind” was born, one of which was Santana, which was later called “Poussin”. When the first Santana produced (assembled) in the motherland rolled off the production line, the company that manufactured it was also called Shanghai Automobile, which was in 1983.
In that era, under such a social environment, whoever could enter the Chinese market first was more than half successful. Volkswagen took the opportunity to cooperate with SAIC Motor and brought Santana to the Chinese people, thus opening a legend for nearly 30 years. From a technical point of view, “Poussin” is not so proud, but with relatively reliable quality, easy-to-maintain characteristics and less powerful competitors, “Poussin” won a considerable number in the era when there were fewer car models. Consumers. Special vehicles for leaders of government agencies, reception vehicles and even wedding vehicles were common identities of “Poussin” in the early years.
Later, with the gradual increase in output and the gradual increase in the localization rate of parts, “Poussin” gradually entered the life scenes of more ordinary people. Taxi, driving school coach car, life's first car, etc. are all the new missions of “Poussin”. During my study of driving license, I have touched 10 different “Poussin” in the driving school. Although their clutch joints are different, the excellent vision and easy-to-use functional layout are still familiar to me as a novice. What is it like driving on the road, the same thing should have happened to thousands of people in the motherland. I even heard a saying that “Poussin” is no less than the classic Beetle to Mexico to China.
Of course, if you look at the “Poussin” from today's perspective, it is just an old car with the design concept of the late 1970s. The storage space, riding space, safety performance and power level are enough to be newly developed by today. The product has no slag left in seconds. But in any case, the unpretentious character and partner traits of “Poussin” are attractive enough, and its position in the history of Chinese autos is enough to be remembered as a highlight. Today, the mantle of “Poussin” has been taken over by the new Santana. Whether it can continue the legend of the old “Poussin”, we will not be too late to judge after 20 years.
◆ Edit one sentence comment: Classic products are worth keeping, but old models are also naturally eliminated when the product cycle is over.
● Toyota Reiz (Overseas Version)
Putting aside the two elements of V6 and rear-wheel drive that are talked about by car fans and modification enthusiasts, the approachable temperament of Toyota Reiz is also very fascinating.
In 2005, the first generation of Toyota Reiz was officially put into production at Toyota’s Tianjin plant. The unique body proportions brought by the front-engine rear-wheel drive layout combined with some dynamic exterior designs made Reiz a presence in the mid-level sedan market at that time. A piece of sky. Compared with the opponents who stick to the old rules, the blessing of rear-wheel drive also lays a good foundation for unlocking more possibilities of driving. As a model of Toyota's shared platform with Crown, Reiz even carries some senior executive car pedigree in its bones.
The 2.5-liter/3.0-liter V6 naturally aspirated engine on the Reiz is also the object of people's miss, mainly because of its soft, silky and confident output characteristics. At that time, medium-sized cars equipped with 6-cylinder large-displacement engines were mostly designed to improve the driving texture, and provide a more advanced subjective feeling with more abundant power and less vibration. Although the output level of the 5GR-FE engine used in the 2.5-liter model sold by the domestic Reiz is lagging behind the local Japanese model, it does not prevent it from accumulating a good reputation with users with reliable operation.
It is a pity that domestic Reiz was discontinued in 2017 due to higher energy consumption levels, but this does not prevent it from continuing to shine in Japan. In the past two years, Toyota has even released two Mark X models with a 6-speed manual transmission (that is, Nikkei Reiz), coupled with the special adjustments provided by the Toyota GR racing department, making these models a hot spot in the eyes of car fans. goods.
On December 25, 2019, the last Japanese version of Toyota Reiz was officially rolled off the assembly line at the Motomachi plant in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture. After 365,000 vehicles were produced, a popular Toyota model officially entered history.
◆ Edit one sentence comment: A group of vertical rear-drive +V6 engine cars represented by Reiz have all moved towards the “Cretaceous” in automobile history.
● Dodge Viper
This model, which was born in 1989, has attracted too many fans with its visually striking appearance and the largest displacement engine in Chrysler's history. However, as an American netizen said in a message: People love Viper, but just not enough to buy them. (People love vipers, but they haven’t loved them enough to buy them)
Research and development officially started in March 1989, but the initial test car was only equipped with a V8 engine, and the V10 engine planned to be equipped was only trial-produced in February 1990. The first version of the production version officially met with the public at the end of 1991. The production car uses an 8.0-liter V10 naturally aspirated engine with a maximum output of 400 horsepower and a peak torque of 630 Nm. The surging power is less than 1.5 tons of vehicle weight, and without the help of any driving assistance system, the Viper's rebellion was established from the beginning. In 1996, the remodeled model added a hardtop model and equipped with an airbag for the first time, and this generation model first introduced the ACR (American Club Racing) configuration as an optional package.
On the second-generation Viper, Dodge also introduced ACR and ACR-X versions that are more focused on the track. Compared with the ordinary SRT-10, the ACR model not only reduces the weight of 14 kg, but more importantly, the newly designed aerodynamic package can provide 450 kg of downforce at a speed of 240 km/h. This improvement also allows ACR ran in New North with a good time of 7 minutes and 12 seconds.
The third-generation Viper was launched in 2013. The maximum power of the 8.4-liter V10 engine is 640 horsepower and the peak torque is an astonishing 813 Nm. As usual, the ACR version was also launched in 2015. But what is helpless is that the soul of the Viper is getting harder and harder to be felt by people. In July 2017, the FCA Group officially announced that it would stop producing the Viper. Just after the news of the suspension of production of the Viper was released, the special edition model launched by the Viper sold 28 vehicles in 40 minutes and 206 vehicles in 5 days. Compared to the total sales of 247 vehicles in the previous five months, this number is quite impressive.
Fortunately, without the Viper Dodge and Hellcat, Dodge can still use traditional methods to bring consumers classic products in this increasingly demanding situation. From a spiritual perspective, this is already very touching. Up.
◆ Edit one sentence comment: The generation of American high-displacement naturally aspirated sports cars represented by the Viper has died, leaving only Corvette still struggling to support the final spirit of American sports cars.
to sum up:
No one can stop the wheel of history rolling forward. Energy saving, environmental protection, high efficiency, and economy are all the driving forces that drive this wheel. Therefore, we will see many unprepared veteran automakers and companies that stick to their camps being ruthlessly crushed by this huge wheel, and only the rut behind it is still telling people the stories of the past. The car is still the car, the vehicle that helps people get from point A to point B. Fun and feelings? That's just something a few people care about. Just be sure to believe that the times are advancing, and the cars we drive will get better and better. As for the brands and models that have disappeared in time, it is good to miss them in your own way. After talking about what we said goodbye in the last ten years, in the next issue, let's take a look at what we have gained in this ten years. These gains have quietly appeared around us.