Volkswagen Group is reportedly considering reviving the Scout name for North America. Following the merger of trucking subsidiary Traton and Navistar in 2020, VW found itself in possession of the farm-focused International Harvester. While the brand technically hasn’t existed since 1985, the German company effectively owns its intellectual property — including the Scout name — and is keen to leverage some of its nostalgia for an alleged sub-brand specializing in sport utility vehicles.
Low-end electric cars don’t get a lot of press these days, not with Silicon Valley upstarts and established OEMs rolling out mega-torque, high-zoot green vehicles at a steady clip. Yet the Hyundai Ioniq Electric has provided an alternative to the base Nissan Leaf since 2016, combining a usable-but-not-class-leading driving range with a relatively bargain basement price tag.
Joined by a super-efficient hybrid as well as a plug-in variant, the Ioniq lived in the shadow of competing nameplates its entire life. It’s bound to get more attention now, given that
Cadillac Hyundai is turning the model into a brand.
Yesterday’s attempt by Mitsubishi to generate excitement and anticipation among brand loyalists (are there any?) got your author thinking.
Thinking, as a movie character once said, is a thing a man should never do, but it happened just the same. These thoughts revolved around brands, loyalty, passion… and hate.
Come again? Yes, that’s the finding of J.D. Power’s latest Initial Quality Study, which examines consumer complaints over the first 90 days of vehicle ownership. As you can already see, there was plenty of disruption in the 2020 study.
Tesla, darling of both the tech and green crowds, finished dead last in the study, which ranks brands and individual models by problems experienced per 100 (PP100) vehicles. That finding comes with a caveat, however.
You’ll have to both forgive us and brace yourself at the same time, as this could get controversial. We’re about to delve into a serious problem that goes back quite a while. One that has its roots in many factors — some of them organic, others the result of those in power making bad decisions.
It’s something many of you probably ignored, pushed to the back of your mind as your attention turned instead to the mundane day-to-day goings-ons of your own life, not wanting to concern yourself with something you don’t believe involves you, and yet it’s something we can’t ignore anymore.
We’d caution both sides of this debate not to lash out at each other, and instead, listen, learn and understand.
Ready? Okay, here goes…
The 10 Auto Brands That Bounced Back Fastest After the Last American Auto Sales Collapse, and the Seven That Didn't
Sales fell 27 percent. Brands such as Chrysler, Infiniti, Jeep, and GMC were in torments; shedding volume as demand withered. Subaru showed signs of relative strength, however, as did the Toyota RAV4. Passenger car market share was on the rise and…
Wait a second — we’re clearly not talking about the frightening first quarter of 2020. Scan the auto sales reports from 11 years ago and aside from a few familiar patterns, the U.S. light vehicle market of 2008 and 2009 did not resemble the U.S. light vehicle market of 2020.
Year-over-year, 2009 volume plunged 27 percent in the United States as a global recession melted home equity, eliminated jobs, and sent some of the biggest automakers in the world into a tailspin. Over the course of two years, auto sales actually dropped 35 percent, a loss of 5.7 million units.
Yet by 2012, three years after the collapse and three years into a recovery that would eventually produce record annual volume, 17 major auto brands (more than 100,000 U.S. sales/year) were selling in greater levels than they had in 2008. Meanwhile, seven other auto brands had yet to fully bounce back.
Events of the last month (and the foreseeable future) will surely cause more than a few auto manufacturers to reevaluate their portfolios. Numbers for Q1, scheduled to be released this week but potentially delayed for understandable reasons, will surely be quite dismal.
Leaving one’s own personal views about the current economic shutdowns aside, do you think car companies might be forced (or choose to take the opportunity) to scrub a few underperforming models — or even entire brands?
“I’m a lawyer from Denver, Colorado, Mike… I probably can’t hit a thing.” – William Holden, The Bridges at Toko-Ri
Sometimes, things don’t work out the way you planned. Sometimes, despite erring on the side of caution and always treading the right path through life, fate deals a cruel blow. It’s just the way it is.
A man who did everything right can find himself dying in a muddy ditch, far from home. Other times, it’s an automotive brand laying in that ditch — a victim of circumstance, world events, changing societal trends, financial incompetence, or hasty cost-cutting. Whatever came before no longer matters.
Still, some deaths are worse than others. Which automotive demise was least charitable to the deceased?
The news that General Motors will exile Holden to the Island of Lost Brands overshadows changes set to occur elsewhere in the world, all part of the automaker’s plan to cut costs via a streamlined global footprint.
China, despite its current problems, is still seen as a market with great growth potential, but the same can’t be said for another Asian nation.
A car brand that emerged from a saddlery company in 1908 will disappear from the Australian and New Zealand markets, General Motors announced late Sunday.
Parent of the Holden brand since 1931, GM said production would cease by the end of 2020, spelling the end of a marque that once fielded the powerful rear-drive Commodore sedan and Ute — the ANZAC version of the El Camino.
The pending return of Hummer to the GM stable in the form of an electric pickup is such a perfectly 2020 thing, considering Ford’s recent decision to bestow the Mustang name on its upcoming EV crossover. However, the nameplate’s reported resurrection comes not in the form of a brand, but as a lone model bundled under an existing marque (GMC).
That’s something to think about. When Matthew Guy asked yesterday what defunct brand we’d most like to see return, no doubt most of you mentioned Viking or Marquette. Maybe Oakland or LaSalle. Geo, perhaps. Canadian readers probably yearn for a return of Acadian and Beaumont.
A few of you may have even mentioned Hummer.
Not Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, mind you, but Chrysler. The brand. The maker of such diverse nameplates as the 300, which debuted in 2004, or the Pacifica and its ilk. Or the — wait, no, that’s it.
It’s easy to poke fun at Chrysler The Brand these days, what with Jeep and Ram doing the heavy lifting in terms of sales. As Matthew Guy recently told you, Ram bench-pressed some exceptionally heavy stacks this past year, sailing to new sales heights on the strength of two full-size pickups and a new HD model. Chrysler, barely mentioned in FCA’s recent five-year product plan, sunk to its lowest standing in decades.
Get this brand a new product that’s not just a variant of an existing minivan.
There may still be a chance for a new Fifth Avenue. Carlos Tavares, CEO of France’s PSA Groupe and head of a future combined entity, claims the looming merger between his company and Fiat Chrysler will not leave dead brands scattered across the landscape.
There’ll still be a role for such flagging brands as, well, Fiat and Chrysler, the executive implied. It’s not hard to see how rumors of a brand cull could get started, considering this merger is all about finding efficiencies.
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- Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines. https://www.drive.com.au/reviews/2023-ineos-grenadier-review/
- Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.
- Inside Looking Out Chinese will take over EV market and Tesla will become the richest and largest car company in the world. Forget about Japanese.
- Joe These guys are asking way to much.. 40% raise, Medical for retired workers, 4 day work week. - Go work a regular job like as an accountant, or Insurance agent and see what you get when you retire! Why do I have to put money in a 401K and these guys get a pension and medical for life. Cars are already to expensive! However at the same time GM is bragging that they are going to be making billions on subscription services in the coming years. If we could all stop being so greedy the world would be a better place
- Tele Vision Let's not forget the massive used ICE car market that will exist - even after mandated EVs for all.