The Oldsmobile Alero: The Carmaker’s Very Last Model

At one time, Oldsmobile was the oldest carmaker in America. Its final offering was the stylish Oldsmobile Alero in 2004.
Written by Katie Dyer
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
While there have been many different classic Oldsmobile cars over the years, after a long, storied history, the carmarker created its very last car, the Oldsmobile Alero. 
This practical midsize sedan or coupe offering from Oldsmobile was available between 1999 and 2004, with only minor changes over the years. It was praised for its styling and driveability, and capped off a long and interesting
history for Oldsmobile

Who actually invented the assembly line?

Ransom E. Olds started the “Olds Motor Vehicle Company” in 1897 in Lansing, Michigan.
Some experts
credit Olds with actually coming up with the assembly line idea before Ford did! 
The company later became Oldsmobile and part of General Motors in 1908. Oldsmobile sold more than 35 million cars, with a great number of them produced in Lansing. 
Oldsmobile was known for creative styling and technology over the years, and sales reached their heights in the 1980s. Unfortunately, when many foreign imports began hitting American markets in the 1990s, sales began to decline for Oldsmobile. 
The company finally closed its doors in 2004. It was the oldest American automobile company at that time, and one of the oldest in the world! The final model sold by the company was the Oldsmobile Alero.
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The final car, the Oldsmobile Alero

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This popular midsize car was offered as a four-door sedan or a two-door coupe. It was released in 1999 to replace the Achieva, which wasn’t selling very well. As
pointed out, the Alero revived the “coke-bottle styling” famous in the 1960s and 1970s with fenders that flared up and out. It shared a chassis and other parts with the Pontiac Grand Am. 

Features of the Oldsmobile Alero

The Alero came with three trim levels, GX, GL, and GLS. The two lower levels had a 2.4 L four-cylinder engine that produced 150 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. The top-level GLS model came with a 3.4L V6 engine that produced 170 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque. This larger engine was also an option on the GL models. 
The second model year offered a sport-tuned suspension option for the GL. In 2001, Oldsmobile added a five-speed manual transmission as an option on the four cylinder models. It also updated the braking system. 
The GX came with power door locks, AM/FM stereo, and later with a CD player, four speakers, manual windows and cloth seats. The GL trim level actually offered three different levels. Power windows, larger wheels, and options for a larger V6 engine were available at this trim level. 
The top-of-the-line Alero GLS offered AFM/FM with cassette and CD, and later MP3 capability, eight speakers with premium sound and amplifier, keyless entry, leather seats, and a power driver seat among other features. The V6 engine was standard for this trim level. 
According to
the large trunk storage capacity of 14.6 cubic feet was generous, and the V6 engines were praised for their zest. The Alero was practical and comfortable. The suspension allowed for an enjoyable ride, and it provided enough comfort for long drives. 
The main complaint of the Alero was that the leather seats didn’t feel as
as many of the Alero’s competitors, and the brakes could feel overly stiff. 

The last 500

According to
Car and Driver,
the final 500 Aleros built were labeled 1 through 500, featured vintage logos and a dark cherry metallic paint color. 
The final car, number 500, was the last Oldsmobile ever built. It was signed by the employees of the General Motors plant in Lansing, and left the plant in April 2004. 
It went to the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, where it was featured until it was sold at auction in 2017 for $42,000. 
If you want to own a piece of history, you can still find an Oldsmobile Alero for sale today for around $3,000-$6,000. They aren’t extremely common, so you might have to travel to get one. Also, since it is difficult to get parts for them now, it can be costly to make repairs on them.

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