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What is the most badge-engineered car ever?

Prompted by the recent thread about badge snobbery, I was wondering which car design has been subject to the most extensive badge-engineering.

By badge-engineering I mean selling cars of identical or near-identical designs under different brands.

My contender for the most extensively badge-engineered car of all time is that BMC ADO16 - the old 1100/1300.

It was sold as an Austin, Morris, MG, Riley, Vanden Plas and Wolseley. It was also built under licence in Italy by Innocenti.

Interestingly, according to Wikipedia article, the ADO16 was known in Denmark as the Morris Marina, pre-dating the use of that name for the rear-drive Morris Marina announced in the early 1970s.

I guess that the most badge-engineered current production car is the Toyota Aygo / Peugeot 107 / Citroen C1. Platform sharing seems to be more the fashion these days, as with VW / Seat / Skoda.

Comments

ForumNeedsModerating    on 16 February 2010

History now, but I would suggest the R-R/Bentley 'Silver Shadow' era - not sure if it's urban myth, but it was said the only difference was the grille & badge (and bonnet ornaments).

piston power    on 16 February 2010

Honda built on the rover platform.

Seat on vw passat.

Daewoo did this have astra bits and bobs.

primeradriver    on 16 February 2010

For the most part Daewoos weren't badge-engineered or platform-shared. The very early UK cars were but for the most part when they were independent the cars were separately designed, with some parts raided from GM's back catalogue.

Now of course they're in the same boat as SAAB, Vauxhall, Opel, Holden and the rest of them. Same basic car, built in Korea.

pmh3    on 16 February 2010

A quick google reveals that you have missed out on variants of the ADO16 for Spain. Australia, South Africa, North America and Switzerland with a variety of names

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMC_ADO16



Waino    on 17 February 2010

A quick google reveals ........... >>


Thanks for the Wiki link. It confirms that there was a batch of 50 of the 1100 van variant produced in November 1967 that never made it into production. My mate bought one of these from a BMC employee who said that the hydrogas (?) suspension was found to be unsuitable for load carrying.

I have memories of re-wiring the back end of it late into the night before we used it to tow our sidecar outfit up to Darley Moor back in 1975. In welding the tow-bar on, matey had completely fused the wiring harness together. As he was also responsible for maintaing the sidecar outfit, you might guess that I was a nervous passenger!

Peter S    on 16 February 2010

The Seat Exeo must be one of the most recent 'just change the badge and see if anyone notices' examples of badge engineering. IMO though the Aston Martin Cygnet must be the one that stretches brand credibility and badge engineering to new boundaries!!

Peter

idle_chatterer    on 17 February 2010

The Seat Exeo must be one of the most recent 'just change the badge and
see if anyone notices' examples of badge engineering.


Saw one of these rare cars today, my '07 B7 A4 felt 'old' (being based on a 2001 platform) 3 years ago so goodness knows what the Exeo must feel like now it's ostensibly a 9 year old design.

TheOilBurner    on 16 February 2010

The question is, when does platform sharing end and badge engineering begin?

Marc    on 16 February 2010

"My contender for the most extensively badge-engineered car of all time is that BMC ADO16 - the old 1100/1300"

Think you may have nailed it with that one. My intitial thought was the Leyland Princess (ADO71) but that only had four guises - Austin, Morris, Wolseley and BL Princess

cheddar    on 17 February 2010

The question is when does platform sharing end and badge engineering begin?

>>

A good question that! IMO:

Badge engineering is when the cars are virtually the same:
Jaguar XJ / Daimler Sovereign
Morris 1100/ Austin 1100 / Wolsey 1100 / MG 1100

Platform sharing is when major chassis elements and mechanicals are shared:
A3/Golf/Leon/TT etc
A4/Passat
Mondeo/X-Type
Focus/V40/V50
900/Cavalier (Vectra A)
9-5/Vectra B
9-3/Vectra C

etc



TheOilBurner    on 17 February 2010

>> The question is when does platform sharing end and badge engineering begin?
>>
A good question that! IMO:
Badge engineering is when the cars are virtually the same:


Can't argue with that.
Platform sharing is when major chassis elements and mechanicals are shared:


Ah, but - if the cars are virtually the same save for different shaped interiors/exteriors but fundamentally the same components laid out in the same way (as platform sharing usually implies) isn't that *very* close to badge engineering?

b308    on 17 February 2010

Certainly very close, but in the cases of the 1100/1300, A55 and RR examples the bodies were virtually identical, (different bonnet on the 1100?), whereas on the VAG examples, and the Fiat one at the end of the thread, only the platform and running gear was the similar

I'd have said that "badge" engineering would be just that... you change the badge and some minor trim (dash, grill, overriders on bumpers(!)) and thats it... the car, in all its guises, should be recognisable as the same base car...

Edited by b308 on 17/02/2010 at 08:10

Brit_in_Germany    on 16 February 2010

How about the Aston Martin Cygnet?

BIG

Sofa Spud    on 16 February 2010

QUOTE:..."History now, but I would suggest the R-R/Bentley 'Silver Shadow' era - not sure if it's urban myth, but it was said the only difference was the grille & badge (and bonnet ornaments).""

Indeed. A relation of mine worked for RR so I often used to get to see the cars and occasionally ride in them. The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and the Bentley T were identical apart from the grilles, badges and the bonnets, which differed to match the outline of the grille. There was one other curious difference, though. The speedometer on Bentley T's read up to 140 mph, whereas the one on the Roller only read to 120 mph, despite the engines and transmissions being the same!!!

The same went for the previous models - The R-R Silver Cloud and Bentley S type - although I think the a handful early Bentley S1 models were built with manual transmission.

Another strange 'was it or wasn't it?' badge engineering conundrum was the Jaguar Mk 2 and the Daimler 250 Saloon. The Daimler used the Jaguar bodyshell and even the grille was almost the same shape, except with the Daimler fluting along the top. BUT the Jag had the XK twin-cam 6 cylinder engine whereas the Daimler had a 2.5 litre V8. That Turner V8 was strange too as it was designed as an air-cooled Tatra-type engine but was modified to be water-cooled.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 16/02/2010 at 23:39

Sofa Spud    on 16 February 2010

Mind you, Rollers and Bentleys in those days had lots of badges - even the alloy rocker covers had the name cast into them, so they had to be different on the two brands (or 'marques' as they say in the world of luxury cars). I think the instruments all had badges on too - so there was scope for Crewe turning out a car with Rolls-Bentley mongrel! Of course, that never happened!

AlanGowdy    on 17 February 2010

Quite a few BMC variants must be in the running such as the Farina designed Austin A55 and its Morris, Wolseley, Riley and MG stablemates.

gmac    on 17 February 2010

FIAT 124.

Introduced in 1966
Stretched to the FIAT 125 in 1967
1967 also, Spain, the Seat 124 as a Saloon and Estate
April 1969 Seat 1430.

1968, FSO in Poland started the production of the Polski-Fiat 125P (technically based on the Fiat 1300/1500), in 1971 came a Wagon and later a Pick-up.

In Russia the VAZ 2101 Zhiguli (Export: Lada 1200), based on the Fiat 124 Sedan was introduced in November 1969, followed by the 2102 (Wagon) in February 1972; in January 1973 the 2103 (Lada 1500) was introduced, in August 1974 came the 21011 (Lada 1300), replaced later by the 21013 (Lada 1200s); in December 1975 came the 2106 (Lada 1600, later built as Lada 1300s and 1500s). Next to this line came in 1980 the 2105 (also as Lada) with new sheetmetal beneath the greenhouse, followed by the 2107 with enlarged grille in 1981 and the 2104 (Wagon) in August 1985. In certain countries the 2105 and 2104 were known as Lada Nova and Lada Riva. The 2105 and 2107 are still sold, since 2004 as Lada in Russia also, the latter is also assembled in Egypt since 2002.

Fiat-Concord in Argentina started production of the Fiat 1600 in 1970, based on the Fiat 125. The car was renamed Fiat 125 by 1973 when a Wagon and later a Pick-up were added (different from the Polish versions).

In former Yugoslavia the Polish 125P was built by Zastava as 125PZ from 1970 (Sedan).

Asia Motors in South Korea started production of the Fiat 124 in 1970.

In February 1971, Tofas in Turkey began building the Murat 124, renamed Serce by the middle of the 80s.

Finally, in the autumn of 1985, Premier in India built the 118 NE, based on the 124 with a Nissan engine, in the mid of the 90s accompanied by the 138 D with Diesel engine.

Clk Sec    on 17 February 2010

Wolseley 6/80 and Morris Six. The Wolseley, which looked like a large Morris Minor, was my first car in the mid-sixties.

Clk Sec

Lud    on 17 February 2010

I used to think the Riley and Wolseley-badged small cars, some even on Mini floorpans, were fairly absurd, but what about the Chevrolet Spark? If that's a Chevvy I'm a banana.

JH    on 17 February 2010

Sofa, you may have nailed it with the 1100/1300 but I'd suggest the Morris Oxford aka Austin Cambridge / Wolseley 15/60 / Riley 4/68, MG Magnette and maybe a few more but I'd appreciate some help from our older readers to flesh the list out. I'm sure there was a Van Den Plas (?) too?

JH

Bilboman    on 15 March 2010

I have another contender! FWD Cavalier from 1980 was marketed as...

Vauxhall Cavalier (UK) / Opel Ascona (rest of Europe) / Isuzu Aska (Asia) / Holden Camira (Aus/NZ) / Daewoo Espero-Daewoo Aranos* / Chevrolet Aska (South America) / Buick Skyhawk / Cadillac Cimarron / Chevrolet Cavalier / Oldsmobile Firenza / Pontiac Sunbird (last five in North America)

*The Daewoo Espero name was changed in some markets e.g. Spain because the name (meaning "I hope/wait/expect") was thought unsuitable !

It really did end up as the "World Car" GM had wanted !

Unnecessary newlines removed. Rob

Edited by rtj70 on 15/03/2010 at 21:15

Avant    on 15 March 2010

JH, if you're still around - the A55 group were just the five you mention. There was a Vanden Plas version of the bigger Austin Westminster / Wolseley 6/99 and 110, originally the VDP 3-litre, then the 4-litre R with the Rolls-Royce engine.

colinh    on 15 March 2010

Surely the Astras & Insignias are the ultimate badge engineering. in that the Opel and Vauxhall versions are literally a change of badge. At least with BMC there was a bit of tin-bashing to produce variants; likewise Aygo/107/C1

retgwte    on 16 March 2010

for sheer marketing price difference it has to be jags and daimlers

when i worked at jag serveral specs of car went out with both a jag and daimler badge in the boot for the dealer to fit whichever he could sell, the only difference being price the daimler being multiple 10s of thousand more expensive

Sofa Spud    on 16 March 2010

for sheer marketing price difference it has to be jags and daimlers

when i worked at jag serveral specs of car went out with both a jag and daimler badge in the boot for the dealer to fit whichever he could sell, the only difference being price the daimler being multiple 10s of thousand more expensive

Which makes me wonder whether any Jaguar Mk 2's went out with Daimler 2.5 V8 engines by mistake!!! That would have been very embarrasing!

Gordon17    on 16 March 2010

The first VW Alhambra, Ford Galaxy and Seat Alhambra were built on the same line and were virtually identical. I was involved in transporting them away from the factory and we used to joke that they decided what each one was after they had completed it, e.g. "this one's pretty good, we'll call it a VW, this one's a bit ropey, that'll have to be a Seat, etc..."

And then there was the Ford Maverick/Nissan Terrano - as far as I could see the only difference was that if you bought it as a Nissan you got a 3 year warranty, but as a Ford it only had 1 year.

MadPete    on 18 March 2010

As well as plain Jaguars and Daimlers, there were the Vanden Plas variants, which were an extra-luxe version of the Daimler. My series 3 XJ12 was originally made for the Middle East market, where Mercedes-Benz held the rights to the Daimler name, as in the USA. So my 'Daimler' VdP was made instead as a Jaguar VdP, complete with correct vin coding. Only one in New Zealand, as far as I know, but some also made for Canada with emissions, and a few for Europe (without emissions, like mine). Best of both worlds, really, all the good stuff, and a Jaguar!

retgwte    on 18 March 2010

ha ha you are jogging my memory

Jags were made without windscreen wipers for some markets, that always made me laugh. Some VIP cars had sunroofs fitted where sunroofs were not officially available on that model, I could name names but I wont, causing issues for the poor workers in production.

Emissions was the biggest variant, so many different kinds of emissions needed for each engine for each country cars were sold into, all indicated by coloured stickers stuck on the end of the engine, one red sticker and two blues would be one kind of emission, three yellows would be another, one pink and two yellows would be another, and so on. Of course stickers would fall off and the wrong emission engine would get stuck in a car. The poor foremen would do anything to keep the tracks going and with no buffer stock of engines and axles (just in time theory done not too well) so any old engine would be stuck in sometimes just to keep the track going. And the broom cupboards were full of illicit stocks of engines and axles as the foremen tried to keep the show on the road despite nonsense from the management.

Jag were done a number of times by the US authorities when cars were discovered over there with the wrong emissions set-up. Tip of iceberg though.

Better not give too much more away or somebody might figure out who I am.

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