The subject of should models become brands has been relevant and important lately. I have had conversations with family and friends about the subject since some have texted me wondering why certain car manufacturers are doing certain business decisions. So, here is my take on should car models become brands.
In 2009, Dodge/Chrysler/Daimler/FCA split off the Ram pickup truck from Dodge and created their own brand from that model. That has been a very successful decision. Hyundai has split Genesis off into its own luxury brand, copying a page from Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti recipe, but also making a brand from a model. Chevrolet has rumored that they might consider making the Corvette a brand in itself. Manufacturers have split models into brands in the past, some have success and some were a failure.
Now, Ford wants to make a Mustang a brand, starting with the all-electric SUV, the Mach E. There is also a rumor that they want to make the Bronco a brand as well. Although, what doesn’t make sense is how they use the Raptor nameplate. They utilize that name for the F-150 Raptor, and Ranger Raptor, but apparently that name will not be utilized to distinguish a more powerful Bronco. A beefy Bronco is rumored to be called a Warthog. Confusing, but whatever.
What Ford should learn though, is they have almost been in this situation before. They had Mercury, that they closed because they couldn’t seem to explain to buyers why they should pay more for a car that is identical to the Ford equivalent. Lincoln almost had the same fate. Hopefully, they have learned from those experiences and don’t mess up a new Mustang or Bronco brand. Toyota and Subaru are also the same boat. They had the Toyota 86, the Subaru BRZ, and the Scion FRS all on the market at one time. And now they are almost doing the same thing, but instead of the Scion available, the Supra has taken that slot. We will have to see how this goes.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Nissan does this with their Z car. Especially with the launch of the new 400Z. The Z name is known by people both with and without automotive knowledge so that would be a good start for them.
What do you think? Should auto manufacturers start making separate brands from their successful models?
Growing up I really liked the BMW 3 series, specifically the sedan. I also liked the 5 series and while walking home from school everyday in 7th grade, which was around 2001, I would pass a BMW M5 that was parked in front of a local furniture store. A Volvo S60 was also parked there on the days the M5 wasn’t there and I’ll have another blog with reference to that in the future. But, the styling of the BMW with the four headlights, muscular and toned panels, and accurate proportions appealed to me as the utmost perfection in sedan design. It was also and incredible performing vehicle and as their slogan said back then, it was the “ultimate driving machine.”
I have mentioned a few cars, sedans specifically, that I grew up with a keen eye for. Knowing I probably couldn’t afford a BMW, which I couldn’t, I tried to reason with myself that maybe I could get my parents to buy me something that looked like it. The Mitsubishi Diamante was one of those cars. It has the four headlights up front, stylish body work, and great proportions.
The second car around 2001 that fit the bill was a Lincoln LS. Again, four headlights, luxurious yet sporty looking, and it had a complementing stance with proper ratios. Someone who attended the church my family went to had one, and it was always a delight pulling into the parking lot on Sunday morning and seeing that awesome silver sedan.
I was never able to convince my parents to get me any of those cars by the time I was able to drive. I was never able to save up to buy anything myself either. But, it these cars were iconic to me and to this day, I believe they fit my personality very well. They are still some of the most wonderfully designed cars in my opinion.
Donut Media did a video about what cars they believe are worth buying now to potentially cash in later when the cars become popular and valuable. Here is a link to that video. I agree with their choices, but I have 3 cars that I believe will increase in value and become very popular in about 5 to 10 years.
The first is a Volvo C30. My first real acquaintance with one was when a friend purchased an awesome white one. Since then, I have always had a soft spot for them. There is a niche market out there for hot hatches and an even smaller niche for Swede vehicles. But, the C30 T5 was a turbo car that looked phenomenal and can be purchased now for significantly less than retail. Depreciation is wonderful. On a side note, there is a Matchbox diecast of the Volvo C30 that is starting to creep up in value for a yet to be known reason. I have always said that car popularity and values correspond with one another, diecast to real life and vice versa.
Car two is an out of left field car that I don’t think many people, including enthusiasts, talk about at all. That car is a Suzuki Kizashi. These compact sedans can come with all-wheel drive and manual transmissions. How much better can it get? They are not too terribly expensive. Someday, someone will make this car cool. Maybe it will be me, but if it’s not, I’m calling it right now that one day this car will be popular.
The third and last car might not be one to reach huge popularity, but it sure is a car that should get more recognition. That car is a Hyundai Equus. I could see it someday being a car to rival the Lexus LS in used luxury status statements. Even new, the car is not as expensive compared to the cars Hyundai is competing against. Depreciation greatly helps the price and in some of the cars, you can get a refrigerator! That is a prime luxury feature that my wife wants. This car tops her list as a car to get sooner rather than later.
Those three cars are vehicles I believe will increase in both popularity and value in the next 5 to 10 years. There are no SUVs on this list but I wanted to get these 3 cars out in the open before I create another list. I have had these 3 on my mind for a few years now. Stay tuned for more lists of quirky, probably forgotten, and unpopular rides I think will become garage queens in the future.