The A to Z of 26 Discontinued Automakers


The Upton Motor Company was a short-lived American automobile manufacturer that had two separate periods of operation, both under the direction of designer Colcord Upton. The first iteration of the company existed from 1900 to 1904 in Beverly, Massachusetts, and was known for producing steam-powered vehicles. After the initial company closed, a second entity, also named the Upton Motor Company, was formed in 1904 in Taunton, Massachusetts, and continued until 1907. This version of the company shifted from steam to gasoline-powered vehicles. Despite the innovative designs, both incarnations of the Upton Motor Company faced challenges related to the highly competitive early automotive industry and the difficulties of operating as a small manufacturer. Neither version of the company was merged with another automaker, and they both ceased operations due to financial difficulties. Others: U.S. Automobile, Union, and United.


Avions Voisin was a French luxury automobile manufacturer established by Gabriel Voisin in 1919. Originally an aviation company, it transitioned to producing automobiles after World War I, when the demand for military aircraft declined. Voisin’s vehicles were known for their distinctive, avant-garde designs and technological innovation. The C7, one of its most notable models, was popular among the European elite in the 1920s. Despite their artistic and engineering merits, Voisin automobiles were expensive to produce, leading to financial challenges. The company struggled through the Great Depression and ceased producing vehicles in 1939 when World War II began. After the war, Voisin attempted to resume car manufacturing with the economical Biscooter, but the project was unsuccessful and eventually sold to a Spanish company. The Voisin brand never recovered, marking the end of one of France’s most iconic luxury car manufacturers. Others: Vector, Victor, and Viking.


Willys Jeep
Willys Jeep

Willys-Overland Motors was an American automobile company best known for its design and production of military Jeeps (MBs) and civilian versions (CJs) during the 20th century. The company was founded in 1908 as the Overland Automotive Division of the Standard Wheel Company and it eventually became Willys-Overland Motors in 1912. During World War II, Willys produced about 360,000 Jeeps for the U.S. military, making a substantial contribution to the war effort. After the war, Willys transformed the Jeep for civilian use, pioneering the SUV market with the Jeep Wagoneer in the early 1960s. The brand did not exactly shut down; instead, it underwent a series of acquisitions and changes. In 1953, it was purchased by Kaiser Motors, which then became Kaiser-Jeep in 1963. In 1970, American Motors Corporation (AMC) bought Kaiser-Jeep and the Jeep became AMC’s best-known product until the company was purchased by Chrysler in 1987. Today, the Jeep is a brand of Stellantis, demonstrating the enduring influence of Willys-Overland Motors. Others: Welch, Winton, and Woods Electric.

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.

Leave a Reply