Domestics Abroad, Part III: The Unmentionables

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Today marks the third and final entry in our Domestics Abroad miniseries. This is where we take a look at the models proffered around the globe that wear a domestic company’s badge on the grille, but are not offered in the brands’ domestic markets. This is ground zero for “you can’t get that here.” All nameplates you’ll see in this series are current production models.

We kicked off this series with Ford and its 13 qualifying models. Second was Chevrolet, which had 9 models accounted for, and one which I forgot (you can see it below the jump). The Unmentionables will cover the remaining international offerings from Buick, Dodge, and Ram.

Chevrolet Trailblazer

The B&B were quick to point out the one that got away from Part II of Domestics Abroad. Chevrolet still markets a TrailBlazer model in places which are not North America. The model is related only in name to the TrailBlazer on sale here from 2002 to 2009. This forbidden TrailBlazer has been on sale internationally since 2012, and it’s based on a truck General Motors is happy to sell you: the Chevrolet Colorado. It’s easy to dream up a couple of Tahoe and crossover-shaped reasons why GM chose not to bring this body-on-frame offering to North American shores.

Buick GL8

Since 2000, Buick has marketed the GL8 minivan in China. It started out as a GMT200 badge engineering exercise of a Chevy Venture. In 2005 it moved with the rest of the U-body vans to the GMT201 platform, but maintained its own sort-of-Terraza look with a different front clip. Finally, for the 2011 model year, the van moved into its third generation, and sits alone on a modified and fourth-generation U-body platform. It’s almost like the Oldsmobile Silhouette is still on sale! Check out the prominent fuel door highlighting going on in that image.

Dodge Attitude

Dodge has three models on sale in the Mexican market which we’ve never seen on our shores — sort of. The first of which is this Attitude, and can you tell what it is yet? That’s right, in Mexico the partnership between Dodge and Mitsubishi is alive and well. There, the Mirage G4 sedan gets a new identity by donning a crosshair grille.

I did some quick searching to answer your incoming question: Yes, the Mirage is sold in Mexico as well. Mitsubishi only carries the hatchback version, with prices starting at 176,900 pesos ($10,073). The Attitude starts at 182,200 pesos, or $10,375. You pay more for that premium Dodge badging and sedan profile.

Dodge Neon

Look at that familiar name! Mexico saw the return of the Neon name in 2016. Though this sedan has some Dart looks about it, it is unrelated to the failed compact. Underneath, one will find a Fiat Tipo, built in a Turkish factory. This same platform is shared with the Fiat 500L.

Dodge Vision

Another familiar (AMC-Renault-Jeep-Eagle) name from the past, this particular Dodge wears a little circular badge, and barely visible “DODGE” script in the middle. While obviously a rebadged Fiat of some sort, you may not know which one. This little red four-door is the Fiat Siena, and the Mexican market has received this Brazilian-built subcompact since 2015.

Ram 1200

The last entry on our Domestics Abroad list is the above Ram 1200. And just like the Attitude, this truck is a Mitsubishi vehicle. For sale only in the United Arab Emirates, this Mitsubishi L200 does Ram duty. Other places in the Middle East, it wears a Fiat badge on the front and carries the name Fullback.

So, there you have it, the third and final volume of Domestics Abroad.

[Images: TTAC; General Motors; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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  • Kyree Kyree on Jul 15, 2017

    The Neon doesn't look bad; I had seen that one before. As for the Vision, I know it's a rebadge, but the disjointed lines look very much like those on the short-lived 2nd-gen (2008-2011) North American. Focus sedan.

  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Jul 16, 2017

    I wouldn't called the Neon a "failed compact". It sold really well, and why they replaced it with the awful Caliber is beyond me. Compared to the Caliber and the recent Dart, the Neon was very successful.

    • NTGD NTGD on Jul 17, 2017

      I think the "failed compact" part was referring to the recently departed Dart not the original Neon.

  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.
  • ToolGuy Also on to-do list: Read the latest Steve S. fiction work on TTAC (May 20 Junkyard Find)
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