Introducing Edsel for 1959.

59edsel-759edsel-159edsel-10After a disastrous launch in 1958, (the fact is, it wasn’t that bad of a launch, second only new car line to DeSoto in 1929) Ford reduced the line up by two dropping the Citation and Pacer models. However 1,200 new dealerships were created in a very competitive declining market. Not the same market when conceived in 1955. All around poor planing and marketing with a car that that failed to capture the car buyer imagination. It wasn’t a bad car, it was the wrong car at the wrong time.
The car’s poor mechanical reputation was because of the confusion on the assembly line. It didn’t have a dedicated factory.
The legacy? It soiled the great name of Henry’s only son. Edsel is now a corporate synonym for failure.
My opinion is if the dealer had managed to hold on for another year thing would be completely different. The 1960 models looked great and the Edsel Comet was ready in 1961. That car alone would have saved and expanded the dealerships. However, to car buyers it was too much of a gamble and only 2,800 were built. 116,000 total over the three year run. Ford’s loss, $350 million, in today’s dollars $2.8 billion.
Innovations that Edsel brought to the market place would last well in to the 80’s.

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