Founded in 1908, GM grew exponentially to become the largest automobile manufacturer from 1931 to 2007, with plants in 35 countries. By 2016, GM had reached the 10-million milestone. Over the course of its existence, GM has raised many divisions and subsidiaries—some successful, some not. It’s the same company that produces our favorite Camaro and Corvette.
Ford, on the other hand, was found five years before GM. Its founder was more famous, and rightfully so. Founder Henry Ford did some amazing things in his life. While you’d be wrong to think that he invented either the automobile or the assembly line, you’d be right to think he was the one who commercialized them after helping shape their future for the greater good. One of his lasting contributions was the production of very affordable cars—so you can thank him for being able to afford that Mustang.
Both of these companies seem to have done a good job or, at least, for a few of their lineups. However, it’s kind of a pity to realize that both of these companies had put people’s lives at risk just to make some money in the ‘70s and the ‘80s. They knew what was the right thing to do but didn’t do it. And that was just the US. Imagine what they did in third world countries, where regulations were lax if not nonexistent.
Let’s look at how they punished themselves by producing these cars.
20. 1990 Ford Escort
It’s funny how various perspectives can exist. Ford thought this was going to be the “World Car.” Ford already had this nameplate doing business in Europe and brought, to the US a different Escort—a fresh, US-oriented Escort. It looked like it had all the things on paper. But the car itself was rather bad. There was nothing to it. What was written on the paper didn’t quite manifest itself in the car. The exterior is fine—it’s not the ugliest car you’ve ever seen, but neither is it the best-looking car. The problem was with the cabin. The cabin was noisy, and the equipment and options weren’t appreciated at all. It was a “meh” car. That was the perspective of consumers—definitely not the “World Car.”