Thursday, October 21, 2010

50 years since the Ford Edsel

In October 1960 the line up of new Ford car models for 1961 notably did not include an Edsel. The model had been introduced with considerable fanfare in October 1957 (see picture) but was a notable marketing disaster and loss maker. Robert McNamara, Ford's chief "bean counter" - and later Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy administration - is credited with getting rid of it.

The front grille design - compared to a fish sucking a lemon and a woman's pudenda - is what most people attribute its failure to, although other factors can also be blamed. The Edsel is often treated as an example of how not to market something.

Nevertheless, the extra production capacity Ford created for the Edsel was used to the max with the Ford Falcon and the Ford Mustang in the 1960s.

Today only about 6,000 Edsels are left and are highly valued

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