The practice of “badge-sharing” involves multiple car manufacturers marketing the same car with their different badges and different model names on it; usually with only minor styling and interior changes (Not to be confused with platform sharing or joint venture production both of which becoming increasingly common to reduce costs). There are quite a few manufacturers that use this type of engineering/production and you might be surprised to see some of the featured examples below:
• Volkswagen Up, SEAT Mii & Skoda Citigo (Present) – The Volkswagen Up is one of the most popular small hatchbacks, especially for town and city driving but what you might not have realised is the same car is sold by Skoda as the Citigo and by SEAT as the Mii! Alongside the minor styling changes each manufacturer’s models offer different standard and optional equipment/features as well as being sold different price points so it’s well worth looking at all of the available options.
• Subaru Impreza Estate & Saab 9-2X (2005) – One of the most obscure badge-sharing examples is the Subaru Impreza Estate which was transformed by Saab into the 9-2X Estate. Although being quite unusual turning the sporty Subaru into a more “sensible” Saab it is actually surprisingly good looking and still retains the same turbocharged flat-four engine. If you’re interested in one you might have a hard time finding one as only 10,000 examples were produced.
• Toyota IQ & Aston Martin Cygnet (2011) – Possibly the most luxurious example of badge-sharing was when Aston Martin released the Cygnet in order to cut the average CO2 emissions across its model range with this tiny city car. Starting life as a small Toyota IQ, it was altered by Aston Martin with slight visual changes mainly focussing on the bumpers, badging and a retrim of the interior.
• Chrysler Ypsilon & Lancia Delta (2011) – Lancia is a car manufacturer that you might not have heard of in quite a few years; but did you know they have been on UK roads since 2011! Lancia released a new Delta hatchback for the European market which was then sold in the UK rebranded as the Chrysler Ypsilon thanks to the merger of Fiat and Chrysler. Later models produced by Chrysler for the UK market then also went on to be rebranded as Lancia’s in Europe.
• Chevrolet Spark & Vauxhall Viva (2009) – While Chevrolet isn’t a widely marketed brand in the UK their small Spark hatchback is also available from Vauxhall as the Viva as well as from Opel in Europe as the Karl. With the rebirth of the classic Viva model name by Vauxhall you’d have thought it would be a unique design but from the Spark there are only minor changes both inside and out.
Generally there are mixed opinions about badge sharing; often viewed as a lazy way to come up with newer models. However in reality it can be a positive to drivers allowing them in some cases to get what is nearly the same car at a cheaper price such as the Skoda Citigo vs the Volkswagen Up and to give the flexibility to choose the car based on different standard and optional features that may be available in each manufacturer’s model. So be sure to take a look at what different manufacturers offer as you may be pleasantly surprised!
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