Badge-engineering is the last refuge of the uncreative product planer, and the walking corpse of Mercury will soon join Plymouth and Saturn as a dead brand doomed by it. What's the worst badge-engineered vehicle?
Is there really any answer we'd give other than the Cadillac Cimarron? It's not even just a bad vehicle — although something based on the same J-Body platform as the Oldsmobile Firenza can't be considered a good anything — it almost destroyed a brand. And not in the slow way vehicles like the Topaz and Tracer sunk Mercury. We're talking one vehicle devastating one historic entity overnight. Just 7,000 were produced as Cadillac quickly realized its folly, but each model stands as a testament to the risks involved in swapping out one badge-and-grille for another.
Now that we've tackled the obvious answer it's time for you to be more creative. What's the worst example of cross-platform, badge-induced reputation dilution?
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