|Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News.|
The auto industry runs fast and furious. Each year there are winners and losers.
If you are looking for a New Year's Eve game to test your friends' automotive IQ, here's an idea. Get some pencils and paper, and ask them to write down what automaker, brands and nameplates were dropped in 2011.
Give 10 points for naming the automaker correctly, eight points for naming each brand, and five points for each nameplate.
This calendar year marks the end of one automaker, two brands and 26 models, according to a list that appears on the Motor Trend Web site.
Specifically, Saab's automotive history ended when the automaker filed for liquidation in a Swedish court recently.
Daimler AG pulled the plug on Maybach, its ultrapremium brand, and Ford Motor Co. dropped Mercury, a brand that was little more than a Ford.
By the way, while the Lincoln Town Car sedan was killed off, the Town Car name will appear on a livery version based on the MKT next year, so I did not include it on this list.
These are the nameplates -- some with a legacy of decades -- that were abandoned in 2011:
Ferrari 612 Scaglietti
Ford Crown Victoria
Mercury Grand Marquis
I hope you and your friends enjoy playing the game.
Happy New Year!