Driving The Undead: Millions Of Zombie Cars And Trucks On U.S. Roads – Forbes

Posted: Friday, October 31, 2014

Just in time for Halloween, do you wonder if your car is a zombie?

No, it doesn’t want to eat your brain. A “zombie” car is the cute – and seasonal – moniker Experian Automotive came up with for vehicles on the road that sport the names of discontinued brands. There are a whopping 14.7 million zombie cars driving around in the U.S. today, according to Experian Experian.

If discontinued brands are “zombies,” the Great Recession was something of a Zombie Apocalypse in the auto sector. A bunch of brands got the ax in the run-up to the recession and bankruptcy restructuring for General Motors and Chrysler in 2009. The U.S. auto industry has put those days behind it, but the cars produced under the nameplates they killed a few years ago keep shuffling on.

GM’s Pontiac brand is probably the most prominent victim. GM also killed Saturn and Hummer.

Some 32.1 percent of zombie cars on the road are Pontiacs. Pontiac has three of the Top 5 “dead” models on the road – the Pontiac Grand Prix, the Pontiac Grand Am and the Pontiac G6, according to Experian.

Ford Motor Co. had a close brush with bankruptcy in the recession as well. It dropped the Mercury brand in 2010.

According to Experian Automotive, 19.4 percent of zombie cars and trucks are Mercurys. The Mercury Grand Marquis is also among the Top 5 most numerous zombie models still on the road, the company said.

Zombie cars don't really look like the Hyundai "Santa Fe Zombie Survival Machine"; Hyundai photo

Zombie cars don’t really look like the Hyundai “Santa Fe Zombie Survival Machine”; Hyundai photo

Saturn is the next-most numerous zombie brand, at 16.1 percent, followed by 11.7 percent for GM’s Oldsmobile, and 4.9 percent for Suzuki. American Suzuki filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2012.


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