The A to Z of 26 Discontinued Automakers

Qvale

Qvale was an independent Italian car manufacturer founded by the American Kjell Qvale in 2000. The company’s most notable product was the Qvale Mangusta, a sports car initially developed in collaboration with De Tomaso, another Italian carmaker. The Mangusta was a unique model featuring a “roto-top” hardtop convertible design, but only around 284 units were produced. Qvale’s operations were relatively short-lived, as the company sold its manufacturing rights to British sports car company MG Rover Group in 2001. This sale led to the end of the Qvale brand, and the Mangusta design was subsequently incorporated into the MG XPower SV. The short lifespan of Qvale as an independent automaker can be attributed to low sales volume and the financial challenges of operating as a niche sports car manufacturer. Others: Queen, Quick, and Quinby.

Rambler

1960 Rambler Six
1960 Rambler Six

Rambler was an American automobile brand that was first used by the Thomas B. Jeffery Company between 1900 and 1914. The Rambler name was later revived by Nash Motors in 1950 for compact cars. In 1954, Nash Motors merged with Hudson Motor Car Company to form American Motors Corporation (AMC), which continued producing compact cars under the Rambler brand. Rambler became particularly well-known for the Rambler American, a popular compact car introduced in 1958, and the Rambler Classic, a mid-size car. Despite the brand’s success in the late 1950s and early 1960s, AMC decided to phase out the Rambler name in the U.S. by 1967 to promote the AMC brand itself. The Rambler brand continued to be used in several international markets until the early 1980s. The decision to phase out the Rambler name in the U.S. was part of AMC’s strategy to compete more directly with the Big Three automakers (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler) in all segments of the market. Others: Regal, REO, and Ruxton.

Studebaker

Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe
Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe

Studebaker was an American wagon and automobile manufacturer founded in 1852 by Henry and Clem Studebaker. Originally a producer of wagons for farmers and the military, the company transitioned to automobiles in 1902, becoming a renowned and significant automaker with models like the Commander, Champion, and Avanti. However, despite a long history and initial success, Studebaker faced financial difficulties due to changing market conditions, strong competition, and management issues. After a merger with Packard in 1954 to form Studebaker-Packard Corporation, the company struggled to compete with the “Big Three” American automakers. The last Studebaker automobile was produced in March 1966, marking the end of the brand. The company then transitioned into Studebaker-Worthington Leasing, a financial firm, marking a significant shift away from its roots in automobile manufacturing. Others: Saturn, Sears, Standard, and Stutz.

Talbot

Talbot was a British-French automotive manufacturer that originated in the early 20th century. The brand was founded in 1903 when Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 20th Earl of Shrewsbury, teamed up with Adolphe ClĂ©ment to form ClĂ©ment-Talbot Limited, which would later become Talbot. The marque is known for a variety of models such as the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus, a hot hatch that had notable success in rally racing. Following a complex series of mergers and acquisitions involving companies like Sunbeam, Darracq, Rootes Group, Chrysler Europe, and Peugeot, the Talbot name was used for various cars in the 1970s and 80s, under Chrysler and later Peugeot ownership. The Talbot brand was phased out by Peugeot in 1987 on passenger vehicles and in 1992 on commercial vehicles, primarily due to declining sales and Peugeot’s decision to consolidate its vehicle lineup under its brand. The complexities of its corporate history and lack of a clear brand identity contributed to Talbot’s demise. Others: Terraplane, Thomas, and Tucker.

Matt Keegan
Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

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