Dead Brands: Oldsmobile 1897-2004

Brands come and go, we see it all the time. But some brands, even after their death, stick with us in the memory of their products and ads and brand communities. In the Blade Dead Brands Series we’ll be looking back at some of these brands that have left us, but made an impact before they did.

Dead Brand #1 – Oldsmobile

Oldsmobile was founded in 1897 by Ransom E. Olds – and shuttered in 2004 by General Motors.

It was almost a surprise to be reminded that Oldsmobile is in fact a dead brand. The more we thought about it, the more we realized that we hadn’t seen a new Olds on the road in more than a decade, but for the 100+ years before that we had seen so many that it seems unreal. Also, 12 years isn’t long enough for all of the Oldsmobiles to be off the road, so if you pay enough attention, there’s a chance you’ll see one daily.

Oldsmobile had a history littered with innovation, from the first mass-produced car, made from the first automotive assembly line (sorry Ford lovers) in 1901, to the first fully automatic transmission (the “Hydramatic”) in 1940, and the 1949 overhead V8 Rocket Engine!

However, in December 2000 General Motors announced their plan to shut down the Oldsmobile brand, and on April 29, 2004 the last Oldsmobile rolled off the assembly line. After being signed by all of the assembly line workers, changed hands during GM’s bankruptcy, and now the Alero GLS 4-door sedan now sits at the GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

Have a look back at some of the classic ads, logos, and cars from Oldsmobile. A dead brand gone, but not forgotten.

Oldsmobile Logo Evolution Banner

1902
1902
1906
1906
1910
1910
1959
1959
1966
1966
1980
1980

 

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Joshua Murray

Fuelled by ideas, opportunity and coffee, Joshua attacks the social media landscape every day with a purpose. His experience in retail, customer service and public relations have combined to give him a 360 degree view of social media for brands and he is committed to helping all of his clients leverage their voice in the social sphere.

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