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Homecars and bikesBadge Engineering: why car models from different Manufacturers look similar

Badge Engineering: why car models from different Manufacturers look similar

You are seated in the traffic jam the car in front of you have a familiar shape it looks like a
certain Toyota owned by your neighbor, on second look it has a Subaru Badge. As traffic begins to flow you totally forget about the car but as you slow down at a bump you notice a Nissan with an Isuzu Badge, now you are curious, what is going on? Are car owners going mad changing car badges? No they are not, that is a concept called Badge engineering. As the motoring demands change some manufacturers are unable to keep with the pace of designing new vehicles. The process of coming up with a new car design takes years and Billions of money so as to achieve all the safety and emissions standards set around the globe.

To keep up with bigger car manufacturers and to remain relevant in the market, manufacturers approach each other and borrow cars at a fee. They then repackage the vehicle with their brand name and introduce it to the market as their own. The car manufacturers can even trade models with each other for example, Company X makes very good SUVs and company Z makes great small Commuter cars, company X can approach Z and make a deal where they will sell the commuters from Z under their name and offer their SUVs to Z for the same. Company Z won’t loose its reputation by making bad SUVs and it will have captured that particular market similar for Company X with the small commuter car market.
Some of the manufacturers also team up and design a vehicle model together and sell it
individually so as to split cost of manufacturing and design. This is very common for car
manufacturers that are owned by a bigger conglomerate so as to maximize on profits. There are also companies that are in alliances to manufacture vehicles together for example the . Some manufactures like Mazda flourish from partnerships with other companies in making vehicles, for example the partnership with Nissan to make the Vannete which Mazda sells as the Bongo, they also partnered in making the Mazda Familia which is the Nissan AD. Also major manufacturers team up when producing cars although this may not be exactly badge engineering for example the partnership between Toyota and BMW in the development of the 2020 Supra

Targeted Market
There is also another form of badge engineering here a manufacturer sells the same vehicle as different models by just slightly changing some cosmetic features for example Toyota used to sell the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota Sprinter as two different vehicles but they were practically the same car. Currently Toyota Sells the Probox and succeed as different cars although they are the same car except for minor changes on the looks and interior. This is done for a variety of reasons depending on what the manufacturer wants to achieve, some want to have plenty of options available, to capture certain markets, to preserve a certain brand model or just to try some changes on one models without affecting the reputation of the brand.
Some vehicle manufacturers have subsidiaries that they use as their luxury line or for certain markets where the brand is not well received. In the USA they pride in buying cars made by their local companies, to tap into that Toyota created the now defunct Scion brand to manufacture vehicles there which was basically rebadged Toyotas. The trend of having subsidiaries that sell or manufacture same cars has had major success with the luxury line, Toyota has Lexus, Nissan with Infiniti, Honda with the Acura even Volkswagen uses Audi and Porsche as its luxury brands so as to save on cost of design. The luxury brand of each manufacturer mostly features a standard vehicle from the manufacturer but with minor changes on the exterior and massive changes in the interior to make them more luxurious.
So next time when you see your favorite Vehicle brand looking like a certain unpopular brand don’t frown, it’s a partnership between the manufacturers to keep afloat and also provide you with the best from both of their manufacturing lines.

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