The 2011 Worst-Selling Vehicles Forecast Low Used Car Value

by Don Elliott on January 25, 2012

Auto manufacturers hate when mass production vehicles don’t get produced in mass. Historically, production runs of 20,000 or more are optimal build rates. Exceptions can be found in some exotic and luxury vehicles, but for the most part, low sales when a vehicle is new indicates either poor results at resale or a good used car value on a car that nobody else wanted.

Zach Bowman at Autoblog sifted through last years sales numbers to find the ten worst selling vehicles. Zach eliminated any cars that were not in production for the whole year along with the limited production exotic vehicles.

#10 – Subaru Tribeca: 2,791 sold, MSRP: $30,595. This midsize crossover SUV is small for its class with lackluster styling and an unappealing 16/21 MPG rating, making it a low volume seller.

#9 – Mazda Tribute: 2,696 sold, MSRP: $20,555. The Mazda Tribute is a rebadged Ford Escape without all the toys and special features. It is also lacking the performance and styling cues evident in the rest of the Mazda line.

#8 – Mercedes-Benz R-Class: 2,385 sold, MSRP: $52,690. Shoppers confused the SUV intended but minivan-looking R-class, preventing it from being differentiated. It is also the most expensive in those particularly crowded segments.

#7 – Suzuki Equator: 2,127 sold, MSRP: $17,899. Brand recognition and a small dealer network kept this mid-sized truck from doing as well as its production twin, the Nissan Frontier.

#6 – Cadillac Escalade EXT: 2,036, MSRP: $63,060. The Escalade Ext is the only full-sized luxury sport utility truck, identifying a specific sales category, but ignoring credit for other better selling similar trucks in the GM family.

#5 – Toyota Land Cruiser: 1,662 sold, MSRP: $68,920. Unchanged from the 2010 model, this classic full-sized SUV retains all the beef and capability you’d expect from this vehicle’s pedigree in a changing market.

#4 – Acura ZDX: 1,564 sold, MSRP: $46,020. The ZDX is another repackaged crossover SUV. In this case it adds styling to the MDX, but sacrifices cargo space and actually loses performance capabilities. #3 – Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback: 1,662 sold, MSRP: $18,395. The Lancer tests out pretty well versus the competition. The Sportback model is an effort to get the entry-level price down. However, it wasn’t able to get the message out with limited advertising dollars.

#2 – Hyundai Azera: 1,524 sold, MSRP: $25,495. The Azera is like the average girl who is out on the town with her gorgeous friend, the Sonata. A new and improved Azera is on its way, so not a lot of effort went into selling the 2011 model.

#1 – Acura RL: 1,096 sold. MSRP: $47,700. The aging RL is overdue for an upgrade to remain an option in the competitive luxury sedan segment.

While these vehicles weren’t popular when originally sold, you may be able to get a car with a good used car value at a lower price. With such a low price and an auto loan, it will make owning a car that much more affordable!

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