4. Chevrolet Cadavalier
Before Cruze there was Cobalt; before Cobalt came Cavalier. Chevy’s J-Body small car was introduced in the early 1980s and it lingered as a mainstay of the Bow Tie brand’s lineup until the middle 2000s.
Despite its longstanding service the car was not terribly competitive, especially in later model years; rivals continued to improve while the dreary Cadavalier stagnated.
This “loss-leader” was priced to sell. GM might have lost money on each Cadavalier sold but they’d make it up when patrons came back to purchase a more expensive model in the future. However, the plan backfired like a pilgrim’s blunderbuss. The only thing this corpse-like car was ever the leader of was losing customers as they flocked to more reliable and modern offerings from companies like Honda and Toyota.