Detroit’s modus operandi for much of its early existence was not so much to listen to what the customer wanted, but rather tell them what they needed. Naturally, there were times when this prescriptive perspective fell dramatically out of step with the market at large, which resulted in some very public failures in the showroom.
Of these, the 1955 Dodge La Femme is one of the most striking. Chrysler at co. clearly had no idea what women were actually looking for in an automobile. Rather than actually ask even a single female what features might make a vehicle more appealing, they instead offered up one of the most condescending, and slowest selling, vehicles of the period.
Check out my feature on the La Femme and its fall-out for Hagerty.