5 Famous Car Brands That No Longer Exist

On March 18 1933, Studebaker declared bankruptcy. The company’s president resigned and later that year died by suicide. The company eventually rebounded from its financial troubles, only to shut down for good in 1966. Here are 5 other popular brands that are no longer exist.

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DeLorean Was a Lemon Widely viewed as the car with the quirkiest back story, the DMC-12 will be forever seared into 1980s pop culture for its role in the 1985 sci-fi film “Back to the Future.” Founded by auto industry bohemian renegade John DeLorean, DeLorean Motor Company produced only 9,000 of these sporty, stainless steel-bodied lemons with gullwing doors. As flawed as it was iconic, the DMC-12 was the only car ever built by Delorean before it went under in 1982.

Hummer Ran Out of Steam The origin in the Hummer comes from a contract AM General was awarded to develop high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles for the U.S. ground forces. General Motors bought the brand name in 1998 and produced the H1, H2 and H3 models. Rising gasoline prices, changing consumer tastes, and the Great Recession of 2008 put an end to the Humvee era. However, in early 2020, GM announced that it would design and release an electric pickup under the Hummer name. 

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Checker Made The Iconic American Taxi Cab Many people still associate the heavy, big yellow Checker taxi car with New York City of the ’60s and ’70s, but are likely not aware the car was actually produced in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A Russian immigrant founded the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company. One estimate from 1963 concluded that 35,000 of the nation’s 135,000 taxis were Checkers, used primarily in Chicago and New York but also in smaller cities. The company went defunct 13 years after the death of founder Morris Markin due to greater demand for fuel economy in the taxi business.

Pontiac Sold Its Last Car in 2010 Pontiac gave us cars like the Trans Am, GTO, and Grand Prix. General Motors created the Pontiac brand in 1926 as a companion to its more upscale Oakland brand. Pontiacs became more popular and entirely replaced the Oakland brand entirely by 1933. Marketed as a performance brand, Pontiac specialized in mainstream vehicles. However, financial problems and restructuring efforts at General Motors in early 2009 led to the brand being completely shut down by October 2010. The last Pontiac badged cars were built in December 2009, with one final vehicle in January 2010.

A Shaky Business Model Brought Down Saturn General Motors established the Saturn automaker in an attempt to compete with the growing popularity of Japanese auto brands, which were offering more reliable cars for the same price as U.S.-made cars. Saturn’s first car, the S-Series, was a mold-breaker for GM and was well received, as were other ’90s-era models. But difficulties the early 2000s and the Great Recession killed the brand.