Badge Engineering: Why do car models from different manufacturers appear the same?

You’re stuck in traffic, and the car in front of you has a familiar design; it seems like a certain Toyota owned by your neighbor, but on closer inspection, it has a Subaru badge. You completely forget about the car as traffic begins to flow, but when you slow down at a bump, you spot a Nissan with an Isuzu badge; now you’re curious, what’s going on? Are car owners going insane by changing their license plates? No, that is a concept known as badge engineering.

As the automotive industry evolves, some manufacturers are unable to keep up with the speed of developing new automobiles. It takes years and billions of dollars to develop a new automotive design that meets all of the global safety and emissions criteria.


Manufacturers approach each other and borrow cars for a charge in order to keep up with larger car manufacturers and remain relevant in the market. They rebrand the car and introduce it to the market under their own name. For example, if Company X makes very good SUVs and Company Z makes fantastic little Commuter cars, Company X can approach Z and create a contract where they will sell the commuters from Z under their name and provide their SUVs to Z for the same price. Company Z will not tarnish its image by producing subpar SUVs, and it will have dominated that market, as Company X did with the small commuter automotive market.

Some manufacturers also collaborate to design a car model and sell it separately in order to share the cost of production and design. This is fairly frequent for automobiles.

producers who are controlled by a larger corporation in order to increase earnings There are additional firms that have formed agreements to jointly produce vehicles, such as the. Some manufacturers, such as Mazda, benefit from vehicle manufacturing collaborations with other firms. For example, Mazda collaborated with Nissan to create the Vannete, which Mazda sells as the Bongo; they also collaborated to create the Mazda Familia, which is the Nissan AD.

Major automakers also collaborate while developing vehicles, albeit this is not necessarily badge engineering. For example, Toyota and BMW collaborated on the development of the 2020 Supra.

Market Targeted

Another type of badge engineering is when a manufacturer sells the same automobile under several names by only making minor aesthetic changes. For instance, Toyota used to market the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota Sprinter as two separate models even though they were essentially the same vehicle. The Probox and Success are currently sold by Toyota as separate models, despite the fact that they are identical but for minor exterior and interior differences.

Depending on what the maker wants to accomplish, this is done for a variety of reasons. Some manufacturers do it to have a wide range of options accessible, while others do it to preserve a certain brand model or to attempt some changes on a single model without harming the brand’s reputation.

Some automakers have divisions they utilize as their luxury line or for particular markets where the brand is not well-liked. In order to capitalize on Americans’ pride in purchasing automobiles built locally, Toyota established the now-defunct Scion brand to produce there what were essentially rebadged Toyotas.

The luxury line has had great success with the trend of having subsidiaries that sell or manufacture the same cars, with Toyota having Lexus, Nissan having Infiniti, and Honda having Acura. In order to reduce the expense of design, even Volkswagen employs Audi and Porsche as its luxury brands.

Each manufacturer’s luxury line typically consists of a basic car from the manufacturer with slight outward alterations and significant interior upgrades to make them more opulent.
So the next time your preferred vehicle brand resembles a less well-known brand, don’t be upset; it just means that the manufacturers are working together to stay afloat and offer you the best products from both of their production lines.

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