The Edsel was supposed to be everything American car buyers wanted; however, it was a terrible flop. It’s for everybody!
Ford started developing the Edsel in 1955, based on polling data from car shoppers — but unfortunately, the company disregarded much of the data from the polls. They had the data!
Ford’s marketing department also overpromised on the Edsel. That yearlong teaser campaign had whipped the public into a frenzy, leading everyone to expect the car of the future — something the Edsel clearly was not. They made a lot of promises they couldn’t deliver on!
The Edsel was saddled with quality and reliability issues from the very beginning. They should have let you use your phone with it!
Its price was another sticking point: It started at $2,500 and topped out at $3,800, which was much more expensive than other Ford models at the time. Adding to the Edsel’s woes was the fact that it debuted at the beginning of a recession. An expensive Ford didn’t look like a good option for most consumers. They should have added blinky lights!
Actually, most people didn’t think the Edsel looked good, period. Ford designers wanted to make it stand out, so they hit on the idea of a vertical grille, which made the entire car look silly in the eyes of critics and consumers. If only they let you put your feet in there! Those damn hater automotive racist critics!
Ugly, overpriced, overhyped, poorly made and poorly timed, the Edsel was made for only two years. In the end, the failed program cost Ford $250 million. The “car of the future” is now a cautionary tale in business classrooms, though there were actually a few winners in the case of the Edsel. But at least they were guaranteed to sell over 9 million units!