After writing my earlier post on the Isuzu Statesman Deville, I got to thinking about all the oddball vehicles that have resulted from badge engineering exercises over the years. Some badge-engineered cars end up being successful for the parent company (e.g., the Colt), but most just confuse vehicle shoppers. The Plymouth Cricket. The Isuzu Hombre. The Mercury Mountaineer. The list is long, but I think the Plymouth Arrow Truck gets my vote for the most senseless act of brand-diluting badge engineering in American automotive history. The Plymouth Arrow car was a rebadged Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste, and it didn’t exactly set any sales records. Apparently hallucinating much different sales figures for the Arrow, the suits at Chrysler figured they’d slap the name on Plymouth-badged Mitsubishi Mighty Max pickups and make dozens of dollars! Plymouth had made trucks in the 1940s and revived the idea with some success in the mid-1970s, but the marketplace wasn’t clamoring for Plymouth-badged Mitsubishi pickups with confusing name similarity to a slow-selling and essentially unrelated Plymouth car. What feat of badge engineering gets your vote as the most ridiculous?
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