Pontiac Fiero vs. The World
Chevy had the Corvette and Pontiac had the Fiero. If you remember the 1980s, then you probably remember these two very different cars. Now, you know that only one of these sport two-seaters still remains available for sale on car lots today. The Pontiac Fiero was a ground-breaking car, but it failed to have the impact that the Corvette had and General Motors just could not get the Fiero to deliver.
The Next Corvette? Not Quite
While the Corvette remains one of the best sports cars available on the market today, most people are unable to add one to their garage because of the hefty price tag. The same problem existed in the 1980s. To combat that problem, General Motors created the Fiero – which had two sporty seats, an engine in the middle of the car, and a speedy looking exterior that hung from a safe frame and roll cage.
The car was a dream on paper and in the design studio, but when it finally hit the road, buyers were not impressed. The car was not a Corvette and it never would be. The original 1984 version only came with a four-cylinder engine while the Corvette of the same year came with 5.7 liter V8 under the hood. The Fiero did have something the Corvette did not: fuel economy – 50 miles per gallon to be exact. We all know that no V8 engine will ever get that many miles per gallon.
In 1985, the powers at General Motors added a V6 and a rear spoiler to give the Fiero a little more beef. But, it still did not give the car the oomph that it needed to really succeed. The trouble seemed to be in the marketing, because General Motors expected to sell over 100,000 Fieros each year, but could not sell over 30,000 annually. In 1988, the production ended.
The marketing plan seemed to confuse buyers. While the car was originally designed to be a contender with the Corvette, but the limited manufacturing budget put an end to that dream. It was more of an economy car, but it certainly did not look like one. So, buyers were left to their own devices to try to figure out why they needed the Pontiac Fiero.
Fighting the Minivan and the Japanese
The other problem with the car was not the car itself, but the changing automotive market. The same year that the Fiero was released, the Dodge Caravan was, too. In 1983, the Honda Civic was redesigned and it looked fantastic. The low priced foreign cars, like the Civic and the Toyota Celica, and the minivan craze, received more time in the spotlight. The Fiero got lost in the shuffle and General Motors just let the car fade into memory.