The automotive marketplace is a highly competitive environment. Further, it is always shifting and changing. New technologies come—old technologies go. To have any hope of success, an automotive product planning team must be capable of looking five, seven, even ten years into the future to predict what emerging trend(s) will help ensure success. When the team nails it, a legend is born—a car whose praises are sung by both critic and consumer alike.
When they miss, their product winds up on a list of the ten most undervalued cars.
Sometimes, even when the planning team hits it dead on, obscurity still swallows their product whole. History is rife with brilliantly executed automobiles, which, for one reason or another, simply got overlooked. Whether it was timing in terms of when it hit the market, the lack of a strong marketing effort, or the limitations of their dealer network, good cars sometimes fall by the wayside.
The past ten years have been particularly brutal on the new car market. In addition to all of the reasons listed above, tough economic times really have a tendency to separate the players from the layers. Sadly, a number of potentially really good players never got a chance to show what they could actually do.
The good news is this makes these cars excellent values on the used car market. Because people paid very little attention to them when they were new, they have taken a rather heavy depreciation hit, and are considerably undervalued.
What follows are our picks of ten such cars from the last ten years (2004 – 2014).