Mercedes to Focus on Premium Luxury Vehicles Again

Mercedes-Benz has said it will cut back its entry-level offers to better prioritize premium vehicles with loftier margins. While this strategy has become relatively uncommon throughout the industry, even among some mainstream brands, Mercedes has historically been synonymous with high-end luxury cars. One wonders why it bothered chasing volume to begin with, especially since it doesn’t seem to have panned out for the company.

While executives had previously hinted at its revised strategy in interviews, Mercedes officially unveiled its plan to investors on Thursday. The German brand will focus investments on top-of-the-heap models like the S-Class at the expense of entry-level products that have failed to garner juicy profits.

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Abandoned History: The Current Buick Logo, Just One of Many (Part II)

There has been much speculation over the past week regarding General Motors’ trademark application for a new Buick logo. Likely related to a swath of new EVs on the horizon (but not yet confirmed), the news fired up the old Abandoned History thought box. Why not take a look at all of Buick’s past logos? We began yesterday in 1903, and pick up today in 1942.

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Abandoned History: The Current Buick Logo, Just One of Many (Part I)

According to a recently filed trademark application, Buick’s familiar tri-shield logo may be going the way of the dodo. It’s been suggested the potential logo change is in pursuit of a revised image, in preparation for the Brave New World of EVs that Buick will soon unleash upon millions of eager customers. However, given the company has been around for over 120 years this is far from the first time Buick has swapped its badge.

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Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges: Lexus to Drop Logo, Add Billboards

Well, at least on the rear of their vehicles. According to a recent interview with another industry outlet that rhymes with Rotor Blend, the Lexus brand will begin appending chrome-plated L E X U S billboards to the rumps of their vehicles instead of the famed round stylized ‘L’ logo, a badge which will continue to appear on steering wheels and enormous grilles.

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BMW Revives Historic Logo for M Division Vehicles

BMW is dusting off one of its older logos for select vehicles and a bevy of vintage colors to celebrate the M Division’s 50th anniversary. Those with a functional memory will recall that the brand streamlined its corporate iconography in 2020, making its already basic logo flatter and less colorful than ever before. It was a monumental achievement focused on helping the image come across better electronic screens that have been in existence since 1927, began supplanting printed office memos in the 1980s, and have evolved to support the kind of graphical clarity that now rivals your own eyes. The automaker also claimed the bare-bones logo stood for “openness and clarity” and would be used primarily for marketing and official communications — rather than occupying valuable hood real estate.

The new celebratory emblem — used during the 1970s and 80s on the occasional BMW Motorsport product — will be permitted to adorn the sheet metal, however. You simply have to purchase an M vehicle, ask for it to be adorned with the retro iconography, and then pay some extra money.

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New Communicators at Audi and Hyundai

Audi’s Emilie Cotter

Hyundai and Audi both filled high-level communications posts this week. Audi promoted Emilie Cotter, while at Hyundai Sarah Fullwood arrived devoid of automotive experience.

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Kia Reveals Its New Logo

Kia revealed its new logo and brand slogan while you were asleep last night, signifying the Korean automaker’s ambitions to become a leader in the industry by revamping nearly all facets of its business.

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Stacks of Gen-Z Won Incoming: Hyundai Ioniq EV Brand Endorsed by Famous K-pop Band

Finding the perfect celebrity endorsement occasionally means deciding which public persona aligns most closely with your corporate image — and figuring out how to lock down that commitment by waving a wad of cash beneath their nose.

The rest of the time it’s just a matter of hooking the biggest fish on your reel and dragging that thing into the boat to secure an all-important photograph together. Hyundai recently decided upon the later for its upcoming Ioniq sub-brand by tapping the K-Pop icon known as BTS.

While you’ve probably heard of the Ioniq liftback, you may not have known Hyundai plans to use the name to create an all-electric subsidiary mimicking exactly what the Genesis brand did for the automaker’s luxury vehicles. Odds are also good you’re not overly familiar with South Korea’s BTS, unless you’re a prepubescent girl or happen to share their taste in music and/or androgynous young men. But we can assure you that they are indeed international sensations — heartthrob material that Hyundai believes will make superb ambassadors for its upcoming EV brand.

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Rare Rides: The 1988 Chrysler Conquest - an American Sports Coupe

Quick badge swaps between Chrysler and Mitsubishi were common throughout the Eighties. Mostly a one-way affair, Chrysler rebranded Mitsubishi products as Colts, Plymouths, and Dodges. These captive imports generated revenue via Chrysler’s brand recognition while cheaply filling gaps in the domestic company’s lineup.

Today marks our first Chrysler-branded Mitsubishi, and it’s certainly the sportiest rebadge we’ve seen here. Presenting the Chrysler Conquest, from 1988.

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Going It Alone: One-brand-only Jeep Dealers Grow in Numbers

Slowly but surely, a phenomenon is spreading across the United States: standalone Jeep dealerships, as well as Fiat Chrysler dealers with Jeep showrooms.

Located where the buying public is most receptive, these types of stores could play a larger role in the brand’s future, especially as Jeep prepares to add three new models to its lineup next year.

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QOTD: Out With the Old, In With a Funky New Name?

In the cinematic classic National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1, screen legend Kathy Ireland’s character is asked, under intense police questioning, whether she knows the traitorous General Mortars.

“Well, I drive a Buick,” she responds.

See? This proves the name General Motors confuses people. All the more reason to throw out that dusty moniker and write a new script.

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Bronco Family: Two's Not Enough?

Like its Mustang stable mate, Ford’s returning Bronco finds itself with a brood. The Bronco is now a brand, comprised of the namesake, body-on-frame off-roader and the tag-along Bronco Sport — a retro-styled model based on the unibody Ford Escape.

That’s apparently just the start of it.

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Nissan Trademarks New Logo for Z Cars… and Itself

Everybody knows Nissan’s 370Z has overstayed its welcome. With over a decade of service beneath her belt, the old girl has done her part and now cries out desperately for retirement.

It’s not the car’s fault; Nissan simply hasn’t had anything to replace it with. As such, it’s had to keep sending the tired veteran back to the front. While a successor has been rumored to be in development for ages, little hard evidence turned up to prove its existence.

Meanwhile, the current Z continues to bleed sales. Nissan only managed to move 2,384 examples inside the United States last year — down from a similarly modest 3,468 in 2018. This year won’t be any better for the model, though we now finally have confirmation that Nissan is making moves on the next Z car — and it seems to support rumors that it will adhere to a retro-inspired look. Nissan has filed a trademark patent with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and the Z logo looks quite a bit like it did when we were still calling the marque Datsun.

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QOTD: Enticed by Two-wheeled Branding?

People who make more money and go on far more vacations than yours truly tell me it’s important to never drive. Lower your carbon footprint by hopping on a bike, they say. Yes, even in January — it’s popular and the people who do it, well, they love it!

While I’ve no qualms with pedalling on a nice warm day, toss in snow and ice and face-paralyzing cold and I’ll politely tell these cheerleaders, “No thanks, I’d sooner be dead.”

But what if ditching four wheels, crumple zones, 10 airbags, and a heater meant not having to give up on my beloved automotive brand?

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QOTD: You Knew This Was Coming…

Forgive us for this post, one which yet again delves into a vehicle that, for good or bad, came in like the proverbial wrecking ball. Busted up the joint. People are abuzz, and so is Adam, whose opinions on the Ford Mustang Mach-E flowed like water through a breached dam on Monday.

Again and again (and not just from Adam) a hypothetical scenario reared its head — what if the Mustang Mach-E emerged from behind the curtain wearing another badge?

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  • Carson D I hadn't seen a second-generation Courier with a Mazda engine before. I've seen a few with Ford engines. There was one at the Cox Driving Range that they used to collect golf balls. Golf would definitely be more entertaining to watch if they used moving targets.
  • Tassos ooops, Tim, you missed this one. Would make a lovely "Tim's used car of the day". It satisfies all the prerequisites except the wildly overpriced bit.
  • Tassos ASTON AND BOND BY A MILE. While Aston Martin sells a TINY FRACTION of what even the rarified Ferrari and Lambo sell, it is unbelievably well known. Credit the idiotic, but hugely successful and sometimes entertaining James Bond Movies.
  • Tassos 1988? Too young for me. It's all yours, Tim... BAHAHAHAHA!
  • Gray Awesome. Love these. But, if I had the money for a Fox-body, there is a clean '84 GT 350 here for little more than half the price.