By on May 2, 2018

The news lately has been plenty full of speculation and angry comments about Ford’s decision to kill off anything with a trunk (save the Mustang, for now).

Generally, the consensus among the B&B seems to be that Ford is making an ill-advised and short-sighted decision. Well, today’s your chance to build your own lineup of profitable, future-proof vehicles in a game I just invented.

The idea is pretty simple: Create a brand lineup that you think would sell well and be profitable for at least the near future (10 or so years). Like any fun game, there are some rules.

  1. You must have exactly one entry for each of the following segments: sedan, small CUV, mid-size CUV, large CUV, sports/convertible, truck, another truck, SUV.
  2. Selections can be from any brand you like, as long as they’re currently in production today somewhere in the world.
  3. Pick a single brand from which to sell all these vehicles.

That’s it, Three Simple Rules. Each vehicle selected will be rebadged, and go on sale at all the dealers of whichever brand you choose. Said brand’s lineup will be replaced with your picks, and will not sell any other cars.

Be wise with your selections, and build that perfect brand.

[Image: Polestar]

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73 Comments on “QOTD: Can You Build an Ideal Manufacturer Lineup?...”

  • avatar

    Your rules confuse me. How can it be the perfect car lineup if it doesn’t include a compact shooting brake (3 door wagon) modeled on the weight of the Echo Hatchback and the Everything Else (handling dynamics, feel, power, interior accoutrements) from the 1993 Acura Integra with 2 extra manual forward gears (total of 7) and flat underbody panels for fuel economy and driving refinement?

    I don’t think I can play the game without one.

  • avatar

    sedan – Tesla Model 3
    small CUV – Lexus UX
    mid-size CUV – Mazda CX-5
    large CUV – Mazda CX-9 or Ford Explorer (no mini van required)
    sports/convertible – Buick Cascada
    truck – Ford F150
    another truck – Ram 3500 Dually
    SUV – Toyota 4runner

  • avatar

    All under the Porsche brand:

    sedan: Panamera
    small CUV: Q3
    mid-size CUV: Macan
    large CUV: Q7
    sports/convertible: 911
    truck: 2019 Ram with the fancy rear suspension? Or whatever is supposed to be the nicest, most technologically sophisticated pickup truck on the market
    another truck: Ibid
    SUV: Cayenne

    I’d add that a small premium sedan would be really nice. I would love if Porsche built something the size of an M3 sedan but with 911 hard parts, build quality, and durability… like a 7/8 scale Panamera.

  • avatar

    Sedan: Charger
    Small CUV: Macan
    Midsize CUV: QX70 (it is still on their website)
    Large CUV: Durango
    Sports: AMG-GT
    Truck A: F-150
    Truck B: Fiat Strada
    SUV: Tahoe

    Lineup under: Dodge

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Porsche + Taco and Tundra and Wrangler. Done.

    Really, if Porsche just added a 3 or 5 series sized Panamera it would have the ideal lineup IMO.

  • avatar

    Sedan: S550
    Small CUV: wrangler
    Midsize CUV: forerunner
    Large CUV: Suburban
    Sports: vette zr1
    Truck A: F-150
    Truck B: Ram 3500 diesel
    SUV: G550

    Lineup under: vw. (World wide dealer network, toyota brand second place)

  • avatar

    You said future proof yet there are no dedicated hybrids in your line up.

    Honestly I think you could create this list with the current Nissan lineup. They even have two trucks and two sport car models, plus multiple CUVs & SUVs to chose from, as well as actual cars.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Sedan: Toyota Camry. Hey, it sells.
    Small CUV: Kia Soul. Urban hip and quite functional.
    M/S CUV: Honda CRV. See the Camry.
    Large CUV: Honday Odyssey. What a minivan doesn’t fit in this category?
    Sports/Convertible: Mazda Miata (have to include it) but actually my preference would be the Chevrolet Corvette. Supercar looks and performance with a realistic price and greater reliability.
    Truck: Toyota Hilux. Has a built in market as a ‘technical’
    Truck: Ford F-150. Not my favourite but they also sell.
    SUV: Chevrolet Suburban.

    Not on your list but should be:
    Hatcback: VW Golf. As per James May the only vehicle that most global consumers really need.

    I would re-badge them all as Packards.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I forgot about the Soul! Good choice, I’d have that over a HR-V any day.

    • 0 avatar

      Corvette having greater reliability than the MX5??

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Greater reliability than other ‘supercars’. Revised the brand name. Packard in North and South America. Saab in Europe. Rover or Morris for the rest of the world.
        Debated 4Runner v Suburban. Tough call on that. On reflection would probably go with the 4Runner as the Suburban might be too large for many markets.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Brand–Ford. Selling the big trucks is important and I’ll need that brand loyalty.

    Sedan: Camry. Very successful, right-sized, gas and hybrid variants, newly redesigned. Curious if a Ford rebadge will break the spell with consumers.

    Small SUV: Honda HR-V. I guess. I hate this segment, but it sells.

    Midsize SUV: New RAV4. Putting a lot of eggs in one basket hoping Toyota’s success will continue with a Ford rebadge, but this one is redesigned and has gas and hybrid as well.

    Large CUV: Explorer. Old, outdated, but it sells a lot. Don’t risk that success by rebranding a more modern Pilot or Highlander.

    Sports/convertible: Mustang. Duh.

    Truck: F150. No brainer, it keeps the current company afloat as is.

    Other Truck: Tacoma. Trendy!

    SUV: Heart says 4Runner, logic says full-size. I think putting a Ford badge on the Chevy Tahoe/Burb would destroy the universe, so I might have to just keep the redesigned Expedition here and hope sales improve dramatically from the last generation.

    I’m assuming this is a North American lineup and not a global market one. This is also the lineup I think would sell, not necessarily the one I would want in my driveway.

    • 0 avatar

      Good list although the CX5 is superior to the RAV4 in most aspects. Customers have seemed to notice with sales up >20% in the first four months compared to last year.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I agree it’s vastly superior to the outgoing RAV (no idea about the new one) and it’s the one I would rather own. But Toyota moves a freakish number of RAVs and my list was about sales! sales! sales!

  • avatar

    I like my game better – give me a GTI built by toyota, priced by Nissan.

  • avatar

    The biggest problem is I need a small sedan too.. but that wasn’t permitted by the rules:( Therefore my “ideal lineup” is still flawed.

    Sedan: Hyundai Sonata
    Small CUV: Santa Fe Tuscon
    Midsize CUV: Mazda CX-9 (I thought it was large, but its classed as midsize)
    Large CUV: Toyota Sequoia (You can argue its an SUV and not CUV, but its definitely the large CUV buyer market)
    Sports: Corvette (They print money- huge volumes and huge margin)
    Truck A: Nissan Titan
    Truck B: Ford Superduty
    SUV: Wrangler Unlimited

    too many of you are looking for what you want. What I built above I think would sell under a single brand quite well and be quite profitable and sustainable.

    Brand I’d use? Mitsubishi. I know that sounds crazy, but it actually has a good global brand presence, and no preconceived notions of what fits in it.

  • avatar

    Sedan: Honda Civic
    Small CUV: Honda (Buick) Encore
    Mid-size CUV: Honda CR-V
    Large CUV: Honda (Acura) MDX
    Sports/Conv: Honda (Ford) Mustang
    Truck 1: Honda (Ford) F-Series (or perhaps call it H-Series)
    Truck 2: Honda (Toyota) Tacoma
    SUV: Honda (GMC) Yukon XL

    (If I could also add 2 more vehicles: Fit and Leaf)

  • avatar

    Sedan – Honda Civic (Yeah, it’s not a “big one” but still pretty big.)
    Small CUV – Mazda CX-3
    mid-size CUV – Mazda CX-5
    large CUV – Mazda CX-9
    sports/convertible – Toyota Supra (sports)/Chevy Corvette (Convertible) because I like to bend the rules, two cars because you have two categories in one.
    truck – Chevy Silverado with an honest to God V8
    another truck – Ford Transit (the big one)
    SUV – Cadillac Escalade

    Revive the Saturn name, go no haggle and yearly “family” picnics.

  • avatar

    I cannot.

    Can you stop treating the distinct terms “car” and “sedan” as though they’re freely interchangeable?

  • avatar

    BTSR: Doesn’t matter, as long as THEY ALL HAVE HELLCAT.
    Norm: Trifecta Tune all the things!
    BAFO: diesel pickups…mumble…chicken tax.

    sedan – Camcord. Pushed to wall: Accord SE or hybrid.
    small CUV – Toaster, er, Soul.
    mid-size CUV – Sportage
    large CUV – Explorer
    sports/convertible – Vette
    truck – Fiso
    another truck – Taco
    SUV – the Tahoe/Denali money minting machine
    Brand – Pontiac, because I’m old, and because excitement.

  • avatar

    sedan: Audi A4
    small CUV: Audi SQ3
    mid-sized CUV: Audi SQ5
    large CUV: Porsche Cayenne
    sports/convertible: Porsche Boxster/Cayman
    truck: Chevy Silverado
    other truck: Toyota Tacoma
    SUV: VW Atlas

    Agree with previous mention of hatchback: VW GTI

    Yes, most of them are performance cars… but if the future is all electric, might as well have fun with it…

  • avatar

    I’ll start with the idea of reinventing Acura just for the fun challenge.

    Sedan: Mercedes C-Class
    Small CUV: Lexus NX (but reprogram to crank up the boost on the non-hybrid version)
    Mid CUV: Acura MDX
    Large CUV: Mercedes GLS-Class
    Sports/convertible: BMW 2-Series
    Truck1: Ford Ranger (as currently produced elsewhere in the world)
    Truck2: Ford F-150
    SUV: Lincoln Navigator

    • 0 avatar

      I’d love to see big, heavy truck things like the F150 and Navigator as Acuras. Give Acura a Land Cruiser competitor that’s not an Isuzu.

      • 0 avatar

        Honda’s never done a proper truck. I think they’ve correctly seen it as outside their wheelhouse. But I swear there’s still a bunch of engineering culture at that company (the Type R and NSX are proof) and I’d love to see their “different” take on it. I think you’re right that the place to start would be a global-sized SUV positioned as a more modern alternative to the LX/Land Cruiser.

  • avatar

    For sales, pretty much Toyota with the Mustang swapped in for the 86. And while we are at it, the corporate 3.5 swapped in for the ghastly 2.3 EB (at least in Rustang tune).

  • avatar

    Double-down on lazy and sloppy reporting. What I expected.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Sedan – Alfa Guilia
    Small CUV – Ford Transit Connect Wagon
    Mid CUV – Volvo XC60
    Large CUV – Ford Flex
    Sports/Convertible – Fiat 124 Abarth
    Truck 1 – F150
    Truck 2 – Toyota Land Cruiser 70
    SUV – Oshkosh Joint Lightweight Tactical Vehicle… The sweet government contract on that bad boy and combined with all those F150 sales should subsidize the rest.

    And since you didn’t say the brand had to be living… All available for test drive at your local Auburn/Cord/Dusenberg showroom!

  • avatar

    Looking strictly at volume and profitability, I’d sell this line up under the Nissan brand…

    Sedan– Toyota Camry
    Small CUV– Honda CRV
    Midsize CUV– Chevy Traverse
    Large CUV– Mercedes GLS
    Sports/Convertible– Ford Mustang
    Truck– Chevy Silverado 1500
    Another truck– Ram 2500
    SUV– Lincoln Navigator

  • avatar

    Sedan ——– 4×2 F150 Supercrew
    Small SUV —- Bronco 2 door (aka Troller)
    Mid-sized CUV – Bronco 4 door (aka Troller)
    Large SUV—— Excursion
    Sports——— Raptor (F150 and Ranger)
    Convertible — Bronco (aka Troller)
    Truck———- F Series
    Truck (other) – Ranger

  • avatar

    I can’t drive 55 and I can’t play by your rules Herr Commandant [because the lineup sucks].

    Come on down to 28’s lot, we got everything from random time periods.

    The we might be somebody someday coupe: Buick Riv L67 (G-Body)
    The we are in middle management coupe: Lexus SC400.
    The we are serious coupe: Jag XKR (X100).
    The we pwned you: Porsche 993 Turbo.

    The we might be somebody someday sedan: BMW 540i (E39).
    The we are in middle management sedan: Holden Commodore.
    The we are serious sedan: Jag XJ8 (X308) LWB.
    The we pwned you sedan: Toyota Century.

    The we might be somebody someday wagon: Volvo 200 Wagon.
    The we are in middle management wagon: Audi A6 Avant.
    The we are serious wagon: Cadillac CTS-V Wagon.
    The we pwned you wagon: Bentley Arnage Wagon (one of a kind).

    The we might be somebody someday SUV: Jeep Cherokee (XJ)
    The we are in middle management SUV: Toyota 4Runner (N180)
    The we are serious SUV: Lexus LX450 (J80)
    The we pwned you SUV: Lamborghini LM002

    The we might be somebody someday CONV: Ford Mustang 3.7
    The we are in middle management CONV: Lex SC430
    The we are serious CONV: Chevrolet C7 Z06
    The we pwned you CONV: Rolls Royce Corniche

    The we have too many kids: Toyota Sienna
    The we want a woman’s car: Lex RX330
    The we are a valley girl car: BMW 325i (E46)
    The our family goes camping car: Chevy Suburban (GMT400)
    The our family is prepping car and has money: Ford Excursion Powerstroke 7.3.
    The our family is prepping car and is poor: Dodge Durango (DN).
    The our kids are spoiled car: Audi A3
    The our kids are really spoiled car: Mercedes CLA.
    The our kids are spoiled but we want them to survive car: Volvo S60

    • 0 avatar


      I’m amazed Corey required sedans, Ford doesn’t.

      If we are going to pick from all periods of time and space I’d respectfully request a late 70s Impala sedan with 350 4 barrel, posi, and handling package. Or the equivalent Delta 88 with Olds 350…

      • 0 avatar

        Should I buy this?

        • 0 avatar

          The Brougham us string with this one and clean with the Olds 350, but TMU, very niche, limited appeal. Not sure how to value it but 17,5 seems a tad steep.

          • 0 avatar

            That’s actually a Buick 350. On the Bonneville/Catalina the Olds 350 was the CA/High-altitude option while everyone else got the Buick V8 as the uplevel choice over the Pontiac 301 or Buick 231.

            Not a huge deal output wise (155/280 on the Buick vs 160/270 on the Olds) but there is a much greater aftermarket for the Oldsmobile V8s compared to the Buick stuff. The Buick V8 has a trouble spot with its oil pump integrated into the timing cover, but its not a difficult fix if needed.

            It’s sharp looking car, and it looks like to be in good & original shape but I agree that there isn’t a strong market for this type of car.

            I was thinking more like $13.5K on it.

          • 0 avatar

            Good stuff, didn’t know that ajla.

            13,5 feels more reasonable, but I feel as if you’re never going to get 13 out of it again unless Weimar style inflation really does come true here.

      • 0 avatar

        We can do that. Your job is your credit! Everyone is approved! /s

    • 0 avatar

      Ha ha

  • avatar

    I’m with 28 on this one, impossible to follow the rules.

    Brand: Plymouth (name and several low level vehicle name rights purchased from Sergio in a fire sale) and Oldsmobile purchased from GM. Plymouth is the mainline, Olds is the higher end, of course. Most rebadged vehicles would include brand-specific restyling,

    I’m also going to use some cars from other countries that are LHD and should be able to be modified enough to meet U.S. standards.

    sedan: rebadged Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 as Plymouth Cranbrook, Oldsmobile 88.

    Later, purchase the LX tooling from FCA when they’re finally done with it, possibly lengthen it for use as Olds 98.

    small CUV: rebadged Roewe RX5 (China) as the Plymouth Horizon

    mid-size CUV: rebadged Jeep Grand Commander (China) as Plymouth Espresso

    large CUV: rebadged Dodge Durango as Plymouth TrailDuster, Oldsmobile Bravada

    sports/convertible: rebadged Camaro as Oldsmobile Cutlass, convertible as Cutlass Supreme

    truck: rebadged Ram 1500-4500 as Plymouth PT-1500 through PT-4500.

    another truck: Rebadged Fiat Toro as Plymouth PT-500

    SUV: rebadged Beijing Auto BJ40 including the 4-door L, some modifications such as a different engine, redesigned rear door, enough styling changes to distance it from the Jeep and Hummer styling mimicking. Sold as Plymouth Sundance. Hardest to make North America-friendly, admittedly.

    To help be profitable, I would keep the Chinese-sourced vehicles produced there. The other rebadged vehicle’s production would be shared with their manufacturers, respectfully.

    I would keep the LX platform in production so long as it can be affordably made to pass crash tests.

    Entire line up also sold in China

    Disclaimer: You may be surprised this isn’t based on Ford products, but it was intentional, and it isn’t as though I think the above vehicles are necessarily better than their Ford competitors.

    Disclaimer 2: I admit I ignored the rules and so I hope Brother Corey is lenient with me with punishment.

    • 0 avatar

      I am gathering my pitchforks!

      • 0 avatar

        Fine! I thought of a way to play properly. And this time I will use Ford.

        entire line up as Ford has it planned, except:

        Import the Chinese Ford Escort as a dedicated cheap car, no aspirations of being anything more than a cheap economy car. Will offer safety and infotainment (a must for a lot of people), but no lux’ed up or performance versions. Sell on the retail market with a base price target of $10k. Happily sell to fleets all they’ll buy, rental or government or other businesses.

        After Continental is redesigned, introduce the Chinese Ford Taurus.

        I believe that the current Fiesta, Focus and Fusion are expensive to build, which is why they can’t make money in a shrinking sedan market. I bet that’s the reason Ford is looking for ways of reducing costs. Hopefully the cheap Escort and the lower-production-cost Taurus will be profitable.

        • 0 avatar

          Bro, you are a literal parody of a one-brand loyal homer.

          I can think of no on here or on any other automotive-oriented site that has such a Cialis 365/24/7 boner for all things for a single (largely pathetic) manufacturer as you.

          Ford is among to worst volume manufacturers of vehicles at present, and has been for a while, with a few decent vehicles that have kept the lights on, for 40+ years, with a wholly horrific dealer network in terms of customer treatment and corporate support of its vehicle buyers, to boot.

          It is so comical, that you even go so far as to proclaim the Ford Temp and worst generation of the Taurus as somehow competitive vehicles for their time, going so far as to suggest that they were segment leaders.

          You and NormSV-Area51 provide some of the best comedic relief around this place, and I really appreciate your contributions.

          I can hardly wait for you to regale us with romantic recaps of how you and your boyfriend had “the perfect day” driving to the countryside in a Ford Ecosport to have a picnic lunch in a meadow, with some baguettes, an assortment of soft French cheeses, some cured meats, and a couple’bottles of vino.

          I’m not kidding. I like you and your Fantastical Ford Fantasies that you paint in real time.

          • 0 avatar

            That must be why I built my dream current auto brands with 0 Fords. Most of their product isn’t compatible with the brands I chose to ressurect, and I decided to choose products that best fit my brand’s missions, and again, Ford just isn’t compatible.

            I used a respected full-size truck that sells well but from a company that would be most willing to share production with another automaker. My second choice is the Nissan Titan, however, it has an incomplete lineup compared to Ram.

            Plymouth would have a streamlined options list to save money. It would be positioned as a value brand. I thought of having Oldsmobile field a fully loaded version of the Ram, but decided against it. A full-size luxury truck with classic but modern styling inside and out would be so interesting, though. Hey, traditions are made to be broken, but again, I decided not to include it when I wrote that.

            Speaking of Oldsmobile, I want it to be positioned higher than Plymouth, but not competing with the German luxury brands. As time went on, assuming the company was profitable, I would begin collaborating with other automakers to develop new products, eventually coming up with true in-house-developed replacements for the above vehicles.

            I sprinkled in some cheap Chinese utility vehicles in to help keep profit high while keeping production costs low on just about every model, including the domestic-produced vehicles. There are so many Chinese brands that make CUVs, it would be wise to go there and decide exactly which ones to use. Those are mostly just examples of ones I don’t find offensive or unbecoming, style wise.

    • 0 avatar

      I take back the LX platform from Oldsmobile, I think I’d rather rebadge Genesis’ RWD sedans as the 88 and 98 respectively (possibly their upcoming utilities as well). Gotta make em look Oldsmobile-ish though.

  • avatar

    Meanwhile, a different QOTD suggestion:

    What lineup of vehicle styles should a manufacturer build for maximum profitability? How many platforms, engines, and drive systems are needed?

    I think you could build a full lineup with just two component sets (one for CUVs and cars and one for BOF stuff), three engines (two different size turbo fours and a turbo six), and two drive systems (a mild hybrid + CVT and a planetary-gear full hybrid system).

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Brand – Kia

    1. Sedan – Kia Stinger (best value performance sedan, 5 star safety rated, not 3 like the Mustang)

    2. Small CUV – Suzuki Vitara, long wheelbase

    3. Medium CUV – Izuzu MUX

    4. Large CUV – Toyota Landcruiser GXL V8 diesel

    5. Sports – Ferrari 812 Superfast

    6. Truck – Ford T6 Global Ranger

    7. Truck, other – Izuzu N Series

    8. SUV – Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series

    • 0 avatar

      What is an Izuzu? I’m sure its better than a Ford, whatever it is.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Probably on the best midsize wagons on the market today. It’s a great do all vehicle.

        You see John living in America you miss out on some really fine vehicles.

  • avatar
    Matias Seyboth

    Brand – AUDI
    sedan – Tesla Model 3
    large sedan – Audi A8
    small CUV – Jeep Renegade
    mid-size CUV – Jeep Compass
    large CUV – Porsche Cayenne
    sports – Audi RS6 wagon
    convertible – Porsche (any 718 or 911)
    truck – VW Amarok V8
    SUV – Range Rover

    missing the daily car

    daily car – Golf GTD 4×4

  • avatar

    The best brand to put the required hodgepodge under is Holden. They have sold cars from a huge variety of manufacturers with recycled model names.
    It’s kind of like Chevrolet in Europe (used to be) – the only real Chevy was the Corvette. All the rest were captive imports and miscellaneous odds and ends.

  • avatar

    Manufacturer: Audi

    Sedan: Genesis G80
    Small CUV: Mazda CX-4
    Mid-size CUV: Mazda Cx-8
    Large CUV: Volvo XC90
    Sports/convertible: Audi RS6 wagon
    Truck: F150
    Another truck: Ram 1500
    SUV: Toyota Landcruiser

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