June 18 Weekly Open Thread: "Introduction To 'Badge Engineering' Week(s)"
Dear readers, here we go again with yet another Theme Week at Car Lust. This time, we set sail on a course of consumer disgust and corporate collapse... at least in many cases. But we had so much fun putting this theme week together, we might even go for two weeks.
In our next post, Cookie the Dog's Owner will give greater detail on what badge engineering is all about. But today's reading is a preview of what's in store for the week. We'll also dig into the Car Lust archives to show why badge engineering is usually not a good thing to do.
Just to the right here (it's kind of hard to read), that headline under the cars says, "GM Look-alikes: Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Buick, Pontiac." The first emotion I get after reading that is that half of those remarkable brands have now gone to that big auto assembly plant in the sky. And it goes without saying that the title, "Will Success Spoil General Motors?," was mildly ironic at best.
Those GM A-body cars may be the most iconic example(s) of badge engineering ever. Sure, there were slight differences between the brands, but it took some lookin' to find them. And though this may be a post on "twin" cars, that image makes the GM clones look more like a "litter."
Of course, we car nuts are not stoopid. We can easily see through this charade and can actually have some fun by exposing the knock-offs. So here's a few past examples of this corporate "trickery." Can you name all of them? If not, the answers are at the bottom in the image credits:
OK, the last one's a joke. The one on the right was never sold here. But these titanium Teutonic treasures are pretty cool, eh?
There are many more "twin" vehicles out there, and we'd love to hear some favorites (or least favorites).
And since it's again Monday, this is the place to rank and rave and scream and holler and kick and yell about anything that's even remotely car-related. In a completely civilized and proper manner, of course.
--That Car Guy (Chuck)
Image Credits: Fortune Magazine, August 22, 1983 cover: Jesda.com. Plymouth Duster: WhidbeyCruzers.com. Dodge Dart: ClassicCars.com. Chevy Chevette: Jalopnik.com. Pontiac T1000: Sadly, I owned that. GMC pickup: AutoTraderClassics.com. Chevy pickup: EWNickels.com. Rolls-Royce: CarsForSale.com. Bentley: RealCar.co. VW Dasher: TheSamba.com. Audi Fox: Dayerses.com. Chevy Vega: AutoInTheNews.com. Pontiac Astre (Canada): ProductionCars.com. VW New Beetle (Image flipped): Flickr.com. Porsche 959: Porschew.com.