A few days ago, I wondered which marque offered the most badge engineered cars in its range. So, shall we make an effort to investigate this?
Naturally, I will have to go back to Fiat first. What do you think the result will be? Well, Fiat didn’t really do as bad as I thought. They have eleven models, some of which I have not seen before. The Spider (I’ve seen that) is a kind of badge-engineered car as it shares components with the Mazda MX-5. It is saved by the fact it has its own carrosserie.
GM and then PSA share the Doblo. Obviously badge-engineered cars bought by Fiat are the Talento (a Renault Trafic), and the Fullback (Mitsubishi L200). The Qubo is a joint-venture car with PSA (Bipper and Nemo). Gone from the range are the Freemont and the Sedici (a long time ago now, I note) Four and half out of eleven.
Opel have a rather large range (go and see for yourself here) which I filleted down to about thirteen basic models. You can still get an OPC and a Cascada, by the way.
The Vivaro van is based on the Renault Trafic. It will cease production and be based on a PSA product in future. The Movano is based on the Renault Master. That’s two cars. Two out of thirteen.
Peugeot have about ten cars. Obvious badge-engineered vehicles are the iOn (shared with Mitsibishi and Citroen), the 108 (shared with Toyota and Citroen), the Rifter is shared with Citroen and Opel, the Traveller is shared with Citroen and Toyota (can anyone name them without asking Mrs Google?). That’s 4 of 10 cars or forty percent.
Naturally, we will find Citroen in a corresponding position: they have 11 models. There’s the electric C-Zero (shared with Mitsubishi and Peugeot), the Mehari (more or less a a Bolloré Bluesummer), the Berlingo is a Rifter, the Spacetourer is shared with Peugeot and Toyota. The Jumpy is a commercial version of the Spacetourer.
It doesn’t really count as a separate line. Citroen’s range of cars is really low rent, I find. There’s no saloon, no halo model, just a lot of hatchbacks and the odd Mehari joint venture. It’s interesting there is no Citroen version of the 508. Badge-engineer rating: 4 out of 11. Or it might be 4 of 10, depending on what you call a separate line. Forty percent, then.
Renault have 14 models and unlike Citroen have the mighty and mightily groovy Espace to add some backbone to the range. As with all the others, most of the badge-sharing is done at the commercial end of the spectrum. I was really hoping to find a loser brand with re-labelled passenger cars but nobody has really flunked this test.
The Alaskan is a badge-swapped Nissan Navarra; the Master, Trafic and Kangoo are shared with others. And to some extent the Twingo is a half a badge-engineered car. Did you know there is a Twingo GT. That’s 4 and half out of 15. To their credit, nobody shares the Twizy or Zoe. Thirty percent, shall we say?
A special medal goes to Ford. They haven’t got any models bought in from anyone else. Isn’t that a turn up for the note books? They have about fifteen models and if you look at the commercial/van side it is pretty diverse. The lone Mondeo saloon is the showroom stands out as the last old-school grown-up car.
Finally, let’s go to Mitsubishi. Seven models, none bought in. Not bad.
So, the badge-engineering prize so far goes to PSA as a whole. They share models among the brands and also have a few brought in from outside. I expect Opel will gain some new PSA commercials in the near future, upping their b.e. quotient to near PSA levels very soon, especially as older Opel specialties like the Cascada and OPC die off.
Readers are invited to search out and find other badge-engineering sinners. I feel that if the body work is not the same (sheet metal) we can call it a separate car. Different bumpers do not add up to a different car.