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Badge
Badge
engineering, sometimes called rebadging, is the practice of applying a different badge or trademark (brand, logo or manufacturer's name/make/marque) to an existing product (e.g., an automobile) and subsequently marketing the variant as a distinct product.[1][2] Due to the high cost of designing and engineering a new model or establishing a brand (which may take many years to gain acceptance), economies of scale make it less expensive[3] to rebadge a product once or multiple times than to create different models. The term badge engineering is an intentionally ironic misnomer, in that little or no actual engineering takes place.[4][5] The term originated with the practice of replacing an automobile's emblems to create an ostensibly new model sold by a different maker. Changes may be confined to swapping badges and emblems, or may encompass minor styling differences, as with cosmetic differences to headlights, tail lights, front and rear fascias and outer body skins. More extreme examples involve differing engines and drivetrains. The term badge engineered does not apply to vehicles that share a common platform architecture but are uniquely designed so that they may look completely different from each other. This is achieved by not sharing visible parts, and maintaining a host of underlying parts specific to their respective applications. Although platform sharing often involves rebadging, it also often extends much further than that, as an automobile platform may be used with many different applications; for example, using a single platform as the basis for sedan and sport utility vehicle model variations. Rebadging
Rebadging
in the automotive industry can be compared with white-label products in other consumer goods industries, such as consumer electronics and power tools.

Contents

1 History 2 Different types 3 Downsizing 4 Luxury vehicles 5 Problems and controversy 6 Models produced under licence 7 See also 8 References

History[edit] The first case of badge engineering began in 1917 with the Texan automobile assembled in Fort Worth, Texas, that made use of Elcar bodies made in Elkhart, Indiana.[6][7] "Probably the industry's first example of one car becoming another" occurred in 1926 when Nash Motors' newly introduced smaller-sized Ajax models were discontinued in 1926 after over 22,000 Ajax cars were sold during the brand's inaugural year.[8] The chairman and CEO of the company, Charles W. Nash, ordered that the Ajax models be marketed as the "Nash Light Six", Nash being a known and respected automobile brand.[9] Production was stopped for two days so Nash emblems, hubcaps and radiator shells could be exchanged on all unshipped Ajax cars.[8] Conversion kits were also distributed at no charge to Ajax owners to transform their cars and protect the investment they had made in purchasing an automobile made by Nash.[10]

1925 Nash

1926 Ajax

Starting with the beginning of General Motors
General Motors
in 1923, chassis and platforms were shared with all brands. GMC, which historically was a truck builder, began to offer their products branded as Chevrolet, and vehicles produced by GM were built on common platforms shared with Chevrolet, Buick, Oldsmobile
Oldsmobile
and Cadillac. Exterior appearances were gradually upgraded between these vehicle brands. For 1958, GM was promoting their fiftieth year of production, and introduced Anniversary models for each brand; Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Chevrolet.[11] The 1958 models shared a common appearance on the top models for each brand; Cadillac
Cadillac
Eldorado Seville, Buick Roadmaster Riviera, Oldsmobile
Oldsmobile
Starfire 98, Pontiac
Pontiac
Bonneville Catalina, and the Chevrolet
Chevrolet
Bel-Air Impala.

1958 Chevrolet
Chevrolet
Bel Air Impala Convertible

1958 Pontiac
Pontiac
Bonneville

1958 Oldsmobile
Oldsmobile
98 Convertible

1958 Buick Roadmaster Riviera

1958 Cadillac
Cadillac
Eldorado

A later example was Wolseley Motors
Wolseley Motors
after it was bought out by William Morris. After World War I, the "Wolseley started to lose its identity and eventually succumbed to badge engineering."[12] This was repeated with the consolidation of Austin Motor Company
Austin Motor Company
and the Nuffield Organisation (parent company of Morris) to form the British Motor Corporation. The rationalization of production to gain efficiencies "did not extend to marketing" and each "model was adapted, by variation in trim and accessories, to appeal to customer loyalties for whom the badge denoting the company of origin was an important selling advantage ... ' Badge
Badge
Engineering', as it became known, was symptomatic of a policy of sales competition between the constituent organizations."[13] Different types[edit] Badge
Badge
engineering often occurs when an individual manufacturer, such as General Motors, owns a portfolio of different brands, and markets the same car under a different brand. It may be done to expand the ranges of different brands in one market without developing completely new models, such as selling one car as a Chevrolet, a GMC and a Cadillac
Cadillac
by GM in the United States; for example, the Chevrolet
Chevrolet
Tahoe, GMC Yukon
GMC Yukon
and the Cadillac
Cadillac
Escalade. It may also be done to sell the same model in different regions and markets simply under a different name. For example, cars built by Daewoo, now owned by GM, are no longer badged as Daewoos. Instead, they are now badged as Chevrolets. Similarly, in Australia
Australia
and New Zealand, where Daewoo was unsuccessful, they are now rebadged as Holden
Holden
models. The Australian car manufacturing industry experienced major badge reengineering during the 1980s and 1990s as part of the failed Button car plan.

Holden
Holden
VZ Monaro CV8Z

Pontiac
Pontiac
GTO

Vauxhall Monaro VXR

In Japan, Toyota, Nissan
Nissan
and Honda
Honda
used this approach to expand vehicle production by offering one car at multiple Japanese dealerships. Toyota
Toyota
took the Corolla, which was exclusive to Toyota Corolla Store locations and sold it as the Toyota
Toyota
Sprinter, which was exclusive to Toyota
Toyota
Auto Store locations. Nissan
Nissan
followed suit with the Nissan
Nissan
Cedric, and sold an identical bodystyle of the Cedric, called the Nissan
Nissan
Gloria, and sold the Cedric at Nissan
Nissan
Bluebird Store, while the Gloria was sold at Nissan
Nissan
Prince Store. Honda
Honda
also pursued this marketing approach with the Honda
Honda
Accord, sold in 1984 at Honda
Honda
Clio locations and sold it as the Honda Vigor
Honda Vigor
at Honda
Honda
Verno locations. The difference to this method as opposed to the North American and European implementation of selling one product under different brand names with minor changes to exterior bodywork is that the Japanese sold the same car under the same brand name, but with a different model name.

Toyota
Toyota
Corolla

Toyota
Toyota
Sprinter

Honda
Honda
Accord

Honda
Honda
Vigor

Nissan
Nissan
Cedric

Nissan
Nissan
Gloria

Another way badge engineering may occur is when two separate companies trade off products that each brand lacks in its line-up. A prime example of this would be the first-generation Honda
Honda
Odyssey being rebadged as an Isuzu Oasis
Isuzu Oasis
because Isuzu
Isuzu
needed a minivan, while the Isuzu
Isuzu
Rodeo was rebadged as the Honda Passport
Honda Passport
because Honda
Honda
had the need for an SUV. Another example is the Mitsubishi GTO/3000GT, which was sold as the Dodge Stealth
Dodge Stealth
in the North American market.

Mitsubishi 3000GT

Dodge
Dodge
Stealth

Badge
Badge
engineering may occur when one company allows another, otherwise unaffiliated, company to market a revised version of their product, as with Volkswagen
Volkswagen
marketing a re-skinned version of the Dodge Caravan
Dodge Caravan
or Chrysler Town and Country
Chrysler Town and Country
as the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Routan, or the joint venture of Mitsubishi and Chrysler
Chrysler
resulting in the short lived Diamond-Star Motors.

Chrysler
Chrysler
Town & Country, Generation V

Dodge
Dodge
Grand Caravan, Generation V

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Routan

Lancia Voyager

Two different automakers can also pool resources by operating a joint venture to create a product, then selling it each as their own. For instance, General Motors
General Motors
and Toyota
Toyota
formed NUMMI. The vehicles produced from this venture (though not necessarily at NUMMI
NUMMI
itself) included the Toyota
Toyota
Sprinter/ Chevrolet
Chevrolet
Prizm, and later the Toyota Matrix/ Pontiac
Pontiac
Vibe. Another example was the cooperative work between Volkswagen
Volkswagen
and Ford
Ford
to create the VW Sharan, Ford
Ford
Galaxy and SEAT Alhambra.

VW Sharan

Ford
Ford
Galaxy

SEAT
SEAT
Alhambra

Chevrolet
Chevrolet
Venture

Oldsmobile
Oldsmobile
Silhouette

Opel Sintra/Vauxhall Sintra

Pontiac
Pontiac
Montana

Buick GL8/Buick Terraza

Proton Inspira

Mitsubishi Lancer

Proton Perdana

Honda
Honda
Accord

Downsizing[edit] General Motors
General Motors
used extensive re-engineering starting with the Chevrolet
Chevrolet
Caprice to produce smaller and more efficient cars which retained the nameplates and brand equity of larger cars, effectively using the same name on an entirely new car.[14] An alternative strategy to give the impression of improving the efficiency of a new car without the expense of engineering changes was to move the badge of a larger car to a smaller vehicle, sometimes with mild styling changes, as nameplates such as the Ford
Ford
LTD and Plymouth Fury
Plymouth Fury
were successively applied to smaller previously midsize and then compact platforms. Luxury vehicles[edit] Badge
Badge
engineering occurs in the luxury-type market segments. An automobile manufacturer will use a model from its mainstream brand, upgrade it with more features, technology, luxury and/or style, then market it as a more expensive model under a premium marque. The luxury models may have more than just cosmetic differences; they may receive improved engines and drivetrains. An example of this is that the Ford
Ford
Motor Company took its well-known Ford
Ford
Fusion, and sold it as the Lincoln MKZ, or the Ford
Ford
Expedition being sold as the Lincoln Navigator. Another example is General Motors rebadging the Chevrolet
Chevrolet
Tahoe, a shorter version of the Suburban, as the Cadillac
Cadillac
Escalade and GMC Yukon. An example of "Fake Prestige" was the Cygnet city car marketed by Aston Martin, with a price of more than $45,000 in its most basic version, but the vehicle was actually the Toyota
Toyota
iQ and, except for the Cygnet's special trim and special luggage set, sold for $17,000.[2][15][16] The business strategy of Volkswagen
Volkswagen
is to standardize platforms, components, and technologies, thus improving the firm's profitability and growth.[17] For example, Audi
Audi
uses components from their more pedestrian counterparts, sold as Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Group's mass market brands.[18] As an effort to place Audi
Audi
as a "premium" marque, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
introduces new technologies in Audi-branded cars before fitting them to mainstream products (such as the Direct-Shift Gearbox). Nevertheless, Volkswagen
Volkswagen
uses platform sharing extensively. For example, the basic A platform underpins the Golf, Jetta, New Beetle, Audi
Audi
TT and A3, SEAT
SEAT
Leon and Toledo, as well as the Škoda Octavia, while the "top end" D platform served the VW Phaeton and Bentley Continental GT in steel form, and the Audi
Audi
A8 in aluminum form during the 2000s.[19] Japanese carmakers have followed this practice of rebadging as well, such as Honda's Acura
Acura
line, Nissan's Infiniti
Infiniti
brand, and Toyota's Lexus
Lexus
marque, as the entry-level luxury models were based on their mainstream lineup. For example, the Lexus
Lexus
ES shares the drivetrain and is based on the same platform as the Toyota
Toyota
Camry[20] (and from the 2013 model year, on the stretched version used by the Avalon[21]); the Lexus
Lexus
LX is an upgraded rebadge of the Toyota
Toyota
Land Cruiser, and the Acura
Acura
TSX is a rebadge of the JDM Honda
Honda
Accord.

Saturn Astra

Opel Astra

Holden
Holden
Astra

Vauxhall Astra

Chevrolet
Chevrolet
Astra

Problems and controversy[edit]

Opel Omega

Vauxhall Omega

Cadillac
Cadillac
Catera

Although intended to save development costs by spreading design and research costs over several vehicles, excessive badge engineering can be problematic if not implemented properly. Having multiple car brands can greatly increase selling cost, as each brand must be marketed separately and often requires its own dealership network. Badge engineering can also hurt overall sales by resulting in "cannibalism" between two or more brands owned by the same company, by failing to develop a distinct image for each brand, or by allowing the failure of one version of a model to carry over to its rebadged "siblings." The failure of the short-lived Eagle brand sold by Chrysler
Chrysler
is often attributed to it being crowded out by the company's other more established divisions and the failure to effectively incorporate the new marque into Chrysler's dealer network.

VW Lupo

SEAT
SEAT
Arosa

Origins of General Motors' badge engineering dates back to the early 1970s when the Chevrolet
Chevrolet
Nova compact was rebadged by the upscale Buick Apollo (Skylark after 1975), Oldsmobile
Oldsmobile
(Omega), and Pontiac (Ventura II and Phoenix) divisions as entry-level cars. By the late 1970s, GM's downsized B-, C- and D-platform cars set the standard of the inevitable when badge engineering and platform sharing were fused together to trim excess production expenditures--similar-looking bodystyles with distinctive appearances which was a trend throughout the 1980s. This trend continued with subsequent platforms from the J-car to its redesigned front-wheel drive full-size sedans - later to include minivans, SUVs, and crossovers e.g. minivan versions of the GM10 platform (Lumina APV, Trans Sport, Silhouette) along with the Oldsmobile Bravada
Oldsmobile Bravada
(an upscale variant of the S10 Blazer and Jimmy) which was a competitor to the upscale variants of the Explorer (Mercury Mountaineer, Lincoln Aviator) and Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee. The ill-received Cadillac
Cadillac
Cimarron is one of the most widely cited examples of problems with badge engineering. The car was essentially identical to the Chevrolet
Chevrolet
Cavalier except for cosmetic differences, which resulted in poor sales, as the company found few buyers willing to pay nearly twice as much for a car that offered little more than the Cavalier. This resulted in damage to the Cadillac brand image. Other manufacturers have given badge-engineered cars distinct branding and style, high-quality interior materials, wide range of convenience features and performance powertrains, as these are key to distinguishing them from mass-market equivalents and making these appeal to consumers; successful luxury cars following this formula include the Lexus
Lexus
ES, Acura
Acura
TL, and Audi
Audi
A3.[22][23][24] For Toyota, "Camry's reliability and quality - and Lexus' dealership experience" helped the Lexus
Lexus
ES succeed in the market, but it reinforced negative connotations of Lexus
Lexus
vehicles being largely more upmarket Toyotas.[25] The Lincoln Navigator, derived from the Ford
Ford
Expedition, proved very successful. However, the Ford
Ford
Explorer-based Lincoln Aviator
Lincoln Aviator
failed. The fact that the Aviator was virtually identical to the Navigator in all regards but size made it difficult to generate attention among potential buyers, and the Mercury Mountaineer
Mercury Mountaineer
had already proved sufficient to cater to buyers wanting a slightly more upscale alternative to the Explorer.

Freightliner Sprinter

Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Sprinter

Dodge
Dodge
Sprinter

As the U.S. entered into a recession, the Big Three automakers discontinued brand divisions as a cost-cutting measure. General Motors discontinued the Pontiac
Pontiac
and Saturn models in 2010 (which was done earlier when the Oldsmobile
Oldsmobile
brand disappeared in 2004), and Ford
Ford
sold its Volvo division (which was previously a separate carmaker in its own right) to the Chinese manufacturer Geely Automobile
Automobile
(after it had sold its other luxury brands of Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin). Its Mercury brand was also phased out in December 2010.

Opel Vivaro

Vauxhall Vivaro

Nissan
Nissan
Primastar

Renault Trafic

In Indonesia, the Timor, derived from the South Korean Mazda 323-based Kia Sephia, proved very controversial. The fact that the Timor was not assembled in Indonesia
Indonesia
but was imported completely built-up, stirred up annoyance among the car companies, especially Toyota, that were producing many vehicles in the country. The same problem arose in 2008 onwards, when the so-called national car "Esemka" was found to have significant similarities to a Chinese car, the only different components being the grill and emblem. Its two products, namely Esemka Digdaya and Esemka Garuda 1, is believed to be rebadged Foday
Foday
F22 and Foday
Foday
Landfort, respectively. This made the Indonesian public, who wanted Indonesia
Indonesia
to produce a national car, dissapointed.[26] Models produced under licence[edit] A variant on rebadging is licensing models to be produced by other companies, typically in another country. One example of this is the British Hillman Hunter, which was license-built in Iran
Iran
as the iconic Paykan, as well as Naza, building vehicles under license from Kia and Peugeot
Peugeot
( Naza
Naza
206 Bestari).

Fiat 124

SEAT
SEAT
124

Premier 118NE

VAZ-2101
VAZ-2101
/ Lada

Tofaş
Tofaş
Murat 124

Another example of licensed badge-engineered products would be the Volga Siber, a rebadged version of the Chrysler
Chrysler
Sebring sedan and the Dodge
Dodge
Stratus sedan produced in Russia from 2008-2010. See also[edit]

Builder's plate Car model Captive import Debadging White-label product

References[edit]

^ Chambers, Cliff (4 November 2011). "What is badge engineering?". motoring.com.au. Retrieved 6 April 2015.  ^ a b Fingleton, Eamonn (7 April 2013). "Same Car, Different Brand, Hugely Higher Price: Why Pay An Extra $30,000 For Fake Prestige?". Forbes. Retrieved 6 April 2015.  ^ Sedgwick, David (4 August 2014). "Carmakers bet on big global platforms to cut costs". Automotive News. Retrieved 6 April 2015.  ^ Orlove, Raphael (3 May 2014). "The Ten Best Examples Of Badge Engineering". Retrieved 6 April 2015.  ^ Martin, Murilee. " Badge
Badge
Engineering". The Truth About Cars. Retrieved 6 April 2015.  ^ Locke, William S. (2007). Elcar
Elcar
and pratt automobiles: the complete history. Mcfarland. p. 53. ISBN 9780786432547. Retrieved 26 August 2012. The Texas Motor Car Association had started building Elcars into their own Texan automobiles before the Great War  ^ Locke, p. 320. "The Texan automobile used Elcars with 'badge engineering'" ^ a b Kimes, Beverly R.; Clark, Jr., Henry A., eds. (1996). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942. Krause Publications. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-87341-428-9. Retrieved 26 August 2012.  ^ Lewis, Albert L.; Musciano, Walter A. (1977). Automobiles of the World. Simon and Schuster. p. 280. ISBN 978-0-671-22485-1.  ^ " Nash Motors
Nash Motors
cars, 1916 to 1954". Allpar com. Retrieved 26 August 2012.  ^ Image of 50th Anniversary promotional photo ^ Smith, Bill (2005). Armstrong Siddeley Motors: The Cars, the Company and the People in Definitive Detail. Veloce Publishing. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-904788-36-2.  ^ Church, Roy A. (2004). The rise and decline of the British motor industry. Cambridge University Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-521-55770-2.  ^ Chevrolet
Chevrolet
– the Story of a Global Brand
Brand
Archived 3 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Meiners, Jens (December 2009). "2011 Aston Martin
Aston Martin
Cygnet The only Aston with a CVT". Car and Driver. Retrieved 6 April 2015.  ^ Estrada, Zac (10 January 2013). "The Aston Martin
Aston Martin
Cygnet Is Dead And Now We Want One". jalopnik. Retrieved 6 April 2015.  ^ Seabaugh, Christian (20 December 2011). " Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Parts, Platform Sharing to Intensify Across Brands". Motor Trend. Retrieved 1 September 2013.  ^ Cunningham, Wayne (2 February 2012). "New platform brings Volkswagen and Audi
Audi
models closer". CNET. Retrieved 1 September 2013. Volkswagen developed its MQB, or Modular Transverse Matrix, platform to improve manufacturing efficiency. Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, and Skoda models will be built on the MQB platform  ^ Csere, Csaba (June 2003). "Platform Sharing for Dummies". Car and Driver. Retrieved 1 September 2013.  ^ Elias, Mark (6 November 2012). "First Drive: 2013 Toyota
Toyota
Avalon [Review]". Left Lane News. Retrieved 24 November 2012. The new Avalon shares powertrains and platforms with its little sister, the Toyota Camry, and its cousin, the Lexus
Lexus
ES 350.  ^ Shenhar, Gabe (27 June 2012). "First drive: 2013 Le xus ES attempts to spice up its upscale sedan recipe". Consumer Reports. Retrieved 24 November 2013. For 2013, Toyota
Toyota
is bringing out a new iteration of its popular Lexus
Lexus
ES, that upscale relative of the Toyota
Toyota
Camry... Based on the rejuvenated and improved 2012 Camry platform, the ES350 remains about the same size but has added nearly two inches to the wheelbase.  ^ Frechette, Gerry (21 June 2010). "Test Drive: 2010 Audi
Audi
A3 TDI - Autos.ca". Autos Canada. Retrieved 2 June 2013.  ^ Flammang, Jim (22 June 2005). "2006 Audi
Audi
A3 Review". Cars.com. Retrieved 2 June 2013.  ^ Proudfoot, Dan (29 April 2010). " Audi
Audi
luxury compact is ready for the future". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2 June 2013.  ^ MacKenzie, Angus (November 2011). "The Big Picture: Saving Lexus
Lexus
- Toyota's luxury brand needs an overhaul". Motor Trend. Retrieved 2 June 2013.  ^ Purnama, Rayhand. "Komparasi Esemka Garuda 1 dan Mobil China Foday Landfort". CNN Indonesia. Retrieved 2018-

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