Classic Cars / Edsel

Edsel History


This is the history of the brand Edsel since the establishment of the company and up to the most modern of vehicles produced under this brand.

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Launch of the brand Edsel - one of the biggest failures in the history of the automobile, considered one of the classic examples of marketing mistakes. In the United States, the word "Edsel" became a household word and unequivocally associated with a complete failure.

Edsel, which is an independent division of Ford (along with Mercury and Lincoln), had a production program of a complete range of four models (Citation, Corsair, Pacer, Ranger) with a full choice for those years, body types, the fifth model, more precisely, a full range of "compact" cars Edsel Comet, and has not been launched in the series as the Edsel, but only after the elimination of the unit has been implemented and serviced through a network of dealers just as Mercury Comet, without incurring indicate the identity of the brand, and enjoyed great popularity (in the first year it sold more cars of this model than the "Edsel" for all three years of their production as a whole).

In an innovative design and calling "Edsel" was controversial elements that not many have taken to heart - this applies to most models of 1958. Particular criticism is unusual to American buyers of those years the vertical grille (in about ten years, a similar grid is used quite successfully in the "Pontiac", and in Europe, echoing the style of cladding have cars like Alfa-Romeo, Jaguar or BMW).

Also, customers do not like these features of the model 1958, a dome speedometer, gear shift buttons on the steering wheel hub (where the buttons normally chime), turn signals and station wagons, which had the form of arrows pointing to the center of the vehicle, and so when poor visibility created the false impression that the driver's intent, to signal a turn. It should be noted, however, that the model in 1959, most of these shortcomings has been eliminated, and the grille was much more traditionally decorated and aesthetically pleasing.

The build quality also was not up to par. Production of "Edsel" in order to save money was distributed by different plants, collected the parallel model "Ford" and "Mercury" - in addition to the already existing orders. Thus, the production of the "Edsel" has never been concentrated in one factory involved in the production cars only this brand and which had a specially trained staff for this purpose. This has led to great confusion on the production lines and, combined with the lack of quality control, in the end - to a low build quality.

Moreover, many of the "Edsel" left the factory in a semi-assembled form, with the missing parts in the trunk and instructions for installing them for mechanics dealerships. It did not add any quality vehicles, no credibility in the eyes of the dealers, mechanics and ordinary consumers. It should, however, be noted that in the United States adopted in the annual changes in the design of cars such cases are rare, in principle, not in the future - are often the first production series beginning model year fell to dealers established in part without finishing or partially finished with previous model year. These defects they had to fix their own.

Despite careful selection of the name for the new unit (examined about 6,000 alternative names), the name "Edsel" selected, even against the negative attitude of Henry Ford II, the son of Edsel Ford to use his father's name as a car brand, recognized by many hard pronounceable and dissonant, in addition, was consonant with the name of the tractor Edson.

As a result, began about two years before the start of serial production of a powerful advertising campaign and intense debate in the media, in the absence of the promotional materials sufficiently clear information on the future of the car, the consumer is expected from new cars fundamentally new properties and qualities.

When the first series of "Edsel" began to arrive in showrooms of dealers, consumers were disappointed - they were just "one more" ordinary American car brand, maybe not worse, but not better than others. Knowingly inflated because of too early and started too strong advertising company expectations of buyers have been deceived.

In combination with the already mentioned errors in marketing and design, as well as the original is not very high quality workmanship because of confusion in the workplace, it was loud enough for the failure of the model in 1958.

As for the subsequent models "Edsel" is concerned about the high costs and do not pay off, corporate vice president Robert McNamara significantly cut the funding for their development, making lineup in 1959 was twice already (all models "moved" by production platform "Ford" and received a single wheel base instead of its two variants of the models in 1958), and the "Edsel" 1960 model year offered as a single model Ranger (plus wagon) and in fact were just bodies serial "Ford" with a slightly modified finish.

In most buyers' expectations of those years would match scheduled for production in 1960 model year, the so-called "compact" model Edsel Comet, which is at a slightly reduced dimensions of the passenger compartment was much smaller, more economical and easier to manage than conventional American car of the year .

However, in the spring of 1960, shortly before the beginning of production, she was taken out of the lineup, "Edsel" and subsequently sold already as part of the model line "Mercury" without explicitly stating the brand, taking advantage of the very great success against the background typical of that period, the total increase interest in the "compact" cars. In the first year it sold more cars of this model than the "Edsel" for all three years of their production as a whole. Later, she was officially designated Mercury Comet. Could the model would save the Comet brand "Edsel," whether it is released under this brand - diskutivny question to this day.

After three years, releasing only 110,847 cars Edsel (originally planned to produce 100,000 vehicles a year), Ford Motor Company tried to forget his failure, has focused on style and affordability, and in the early 60s has achieved great success, launching the "people's car "- compact Ford Falcon. In 1964, on the platform of the "compact" the company released the legendary Ford Mustang.

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