The cars that time forgot – Part 4
Click here for Part 3
As the new generation gets ready, the first one didn’t have a brilliant career, with sales climbing to 100,000 units at its first full year in the market, but soon posting a continuous fall until the model was dropped. The model died in 2011 due to several reasons: quality issues, the US car industry crisis, and the arrival of Fiat to Chrysler Group in 2010.
The HS was Lexus attempt of having a dedicated hybrid model, conceived and sold only as hybrid. Unfortunately for the Japanese brand, the model sat very close to the Toyota Camry and the Lexus IS. As these cars were also available with hybrid engines, the HS had nothing different to offer.
Based on the Suzuki Alto, the Pixo was Nissan’s attempt to grab a piece of the city-car segment in Europe. Even if it used the Suzuki’s know-how, the Pixo didn’t meet the targets and soon it was evident that consumers preferred its twin. It was one of the several traditional segments abandoned by Nissan in Europe.
It was as beautiful as unpopular. The Suzuki Kizashi was a compact sedan tha found very few clients around the world. The reason: its brand. Suzuki is globally known for its city-cars and small SUVs. Even if the Kizashi didn’t have a direct successor, Suzuki launched the Ciaz/Alivio in 2014 with a different positioning.
It looked cool and was a totally new idea in the city-car segment. The Renault Wind sales never outpaced the 10,000 units mark and was discontinued only 3 years after its introduction. Consumers didn’t understand it because it was neither a city-car nor a sport car.
The Hoggar was the pickup version of the Peugeot 206. It was conceived for the Brazilian market, where the small pickups, based on subcompact cars, are very popular. But facing the competition from the Fiat Strada and Volkswagen Saveiro proved to be more difficult than expected.
The Freemont was the first rebadged product of Fiat Chrysler. Fiat brand wanted to replicate its success in Europe and Brazil by offering a midsize SUV with very decent prices. But the car was too big for Europe and too expensive for Brazil. The Freemont has been the biggest car to use the Fiat logo so far.
The Opel/Vauxhall Antara was nothing different from a Chevrolet Captiva. It played in the right segment but it was too American for the European taste, and didn’t feature the best interior quality. The all-new Grandland X is considered to be its successor.