Question of the Day: Is Badge Engineering Ever Good?

In the early 1970s, GM created versions of the Chevrolet Nova for practically all of its brands, spelling out N-O-V-A in the variants' names: Nova, Omega (Oldsmobile), Ventura (Pontiac), Apollo (Buick). It was downhill from there, as that strategy (minus the name scheme) turned each of the brands' lineups into virtual clones of each others' by the 1980s. It was no different at Ford and Mercury and Dodge and Plymouth and Chrysler, all of the Big Three attempting to benefit from economies of scale during one of the most difficult periods in the companies' histories. These days, we call such sharing badge engineering, or (in extreme cases) badge prostitution. We assume it's always bad, but is that accurate? Was there ever a case of a car company creating truly unique products or boosting its brand image by way of swapping models? Discuss.

[via Bill's Nova SS page]

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