After a fight with his executives whom he felt were out of touch with the needs and wants of the American car customer, Herbert asked Homer to design a car the average American would want to buy. However, Homer's views were much different to that of the average American. At the launch of Homer's car (named The Homer) it was revealed the car would cost $82,000. The result is that the company went bankrupt with Herb losing his home, business and everything he ever worked for. Powell Motors is last seen being overtaken by Komatsu Motors due to its bankruptcy. Although commercials for Powell Motors were never shown, Herb later says the company jingle was "Whether you are going near or far, Powell makes a pow-pow-powerful car."
Behind the Laughter
Being a Detroit based automaker, Powell Motors was likely based on one or more of the Detroit "big three" automakers, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. Most likely a parody of the 2 latter, It is based in the city of Detroit, as GM is. For designing and producing "The Homer" automobile, Powell Motors could also loosely be based on the failure of the Edsel, a car built in the late 1950's by Ford.