Tag: Branding

By on November 19, 2019

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? (Read More…)

By on November 15, 2019

At a private event in Rome this week, Ferrari introduced its newest model — the Roma. Described by Ferrari Commercial Director Enrico Galliera as an automobile for “people who would like to drive a sports car, or a Ferrari, but are a little bit afraid of Ferrari and sportscars,” it boasts one of the worst marketing taglines imaginable.

It also has a key fob that’s embarrassing to carry around — assuming shame is an emotion still within your repertoire.

While high-performance exotics aren’t widely known for being tasteful, Ferrari has always had a thin veneer of respectability brands like Lamborghini lacked. Owning one gave off the impression that you might have a mild appreciation for brand heritage or some interest in motorsport. At the very least, the prevailing prejudices would presume you were a probably a car snob with strong opinions and nuanced tastes.

Unfortunately, the Roma (Rome) and its gaudy key are helping to dissipate that formerly effective illusion.  (Read More…)

By on October 16, 2019

volvo cars

Volvo Cars’ new electric crossover has a name, and it just happens to be something people hate doing. The XC40 is the brand’s new EV, crafted out of the compact XC40 crossover and helped in its mission by the model’s versatile modular platform. To make it work, Volvo first carried out some alterations. See details here.

“Recharge” isn’t just the name applied to the brand’s new EV ⁠— it’s a new sub-brand under which all upcoming EVs and plug-in hybrids will reside. An invitation to confusion or buried psychological disdain? Possibly. (Read More…)

By on September 4, 2019

lincoln navigator grille badge lincoln logo

My father has historically been a Ford man. Despite numerous forays into Chevrolet, Chrysler, Volkswagen and Toyota, he has always returned to the Blue Oval when the time came to purchase a keeper. Other nameplates came and went, receiving slightly less attention, but there was always at least one well-maintained Ford in the garage. As a result, I became familiar with dealerships using the suffix “Ford Lincoln Mercury” at a very young age.

For me, it was an opportunity to ogle the fancier sedans my father claimed didn’t make financial sense. “It’s the same car,” he would always say. “This one just costs more.”

When you’re eight and have nothing to distract yourself with other than the swizzle sticks you stole from the coffee area, fatherly advice has a way of sinking in. I’ve often wondered why automakers would even dare place their premium offerings so close to their less-expensive models. But times have changed.  (Read More…)

By on August 22, 2019

VW logo, Image: Volkswagen

The blue oval. The three-pointed star. The roundel. The four rings. When it comes to cars, some logos are more identifiable than others, but Volkswagen’s glistening chrome emblem ranks near the top of the easy recognition chart.

It’s classic, simple, and maybe a little dusty. Which is why VW plans to change it.

While reports arose last year of a looming, “colorful” change to the highly visible logo, we now have a better idea of what to expect when the automaker shows its new face in Frankfurt next month. (Read More…)

By on August 8, 2019

While Lotus Cars’ world premiere of the Evija hypercar was easily the biggest announcement made by the company in the past ten years, another major announcement slipped in beneath the radar this week. Apparently, Lotus has a new logo.

Whilst browsing the brand’s latest press releases, we noticed it had uploaded some new photos of the Evija and a gaggle of snapshots from its new partnership with the Norwich City Football Club. Despite European soccer sponsorships holding this author’s interest about as well as a sieve holds water, something looked a little off about the Lotus emblem emblazoned on the Evora and Exige models parked outside of the renamed “Lotus Training Centre.”

Why Lotus decided to bury its new branding announcement deep within a press release about its favorite sports club is anybody’s guess. Perhaps it felt the changes to the logo weren’t extreme enough to warrant a separate announcement.  (Read More…)

By on July 1, 2019

While Mazda’s vehicles are often praised for being handsome and playing host to desirable driving dynamics, the latter half of that arrangement has become less important in recent years. Remember the last time you saw a Zoom-Zoom ad? Neither do we.

That’s because Mazda isn’t the same brand anymore. While some of its budget-minded performance chops remain intact (MX-5), the prevailing shift has been toward luxury — which is kind of a nebulous concept these days. In the most general sense, it means Mazda is pushing for higher-margin vehicles and fancier showrooms. But it’s not a guaranteed strategy for winning… or losing, for that matter.  (Read More…)

By on June 27, 2019

Throughout the 1980s, and into the middle of the nineties, Honda reassured themselves that the sports utility vehicle craze was just a fad. The company spent years refusing to develop their own SUVs of any caliber, and instead turned to other companies (eventually) to fill gaps in the model lineup.

Honda did rebadging work to various extents, and then sold the borrowed SUVs around the world. Today’s Rare Ride is one such offering, though it’s more obscure then all of its stablemates down at Honda Rebadge Corral. Let’s check out a Honda Crossroad, from 1993.  (Read More…)

By on May 23, 2019

Everyone’s heard of Yugo — the Yugoslavian brand that tried to shift cheap cars on North American shores in the late Eighties and early Nineties. Their terrible overall quality and general disposable nature means there are very few left today in any sort of presentable condition for Rare Rides. Today’s red beauty is an exception, and it may just be the rarest of the breed.

Let’s check out the super sporty GVX version, from 1988.

(Read More…)

By on May 22, 2019

Today’s Rare Ride is a sporting luxury coupe with a complex rotary engine. It’s a car which was destined for America, but never quite made it.

It is, of course, the Eunos Cosmo. By Mazda.

(Read More…)

By on April 24, 2019

They used to be commonplace, but the last decade or so has seen this automotive phenomenon fade from memory. Today we talk special branded editions, and how it’s time for them to make a comeback.

(Read More…)

By on February 26, 2019

Image: VW

There’s a reason for the use of upper-case letters — the Volkswagen Jetta is still a car model sold in China, and a quite popular one at that, while JETTA is a new brand aimed at entry-level consumers in that mega market.

VW is an incredibly big deal in the world’s most car-hungry country, eating up a considerable share of China’s mainstream vehicle segments. The brand sold 3.11 million vehicles in China last year. However, its presence at the bottom end of the market isn’t quite as strong, and there remains many millions of Chinese who haven’t adopted the new way of life and picked up a car. That’s what JETTA’s for. (Read More…)

By on January 9, 2019

General Motors Renaissance Center

The automaker says it isn’t in the cards, but an analyst at Morgan Stanley says he’s hearing investor support for the idea. After all, what better way to signal your company’s shift towards forward-thinking electric and autonomous mobility than a fancy rebranding?

General … Mobility? (Read More…)

By on December 12, 2018

Imagine you’re an American auto executive in the 1980s, looking on in desperation as all the youthful and wealthy customers head almost solely to BMW showrooms for their sports-oriented sedans and coupes.

Now imagine you work at Ford, and you’ve decided to do something about it. By the way, you’re Bob Lutz right now.

It’s Merkur time.

(Read More…)

By on November 3, 2018

Image: GM

Not to be outdone by Ford Motor Company’s Bay Area bikeshare program, General Motors has unveiled two new, two-wheeled vehicles that are sure to get any Camaro ZL1 owner’s pulse racing. We’ve poked fun at the Blue Oval’s non-car efforts of late, but entering the pedal-powered field is serious stuff for companies — stagnating new vehicles sales calls for a myriad of alternative revenue solutions. Just wait till Fiat Chrysler launches a RAMbike.

At least with GM’s latest mobility effort, a motor comes attached. What isn’t attached, however, is a brand name. GM needs help with that. (Read More…)

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