Marqued for death
While at Honda's Accord Coupe press conference this morning, I was struck by the way some car companies stick with names and while others seem to build them up and then kill them.
For example, the Honda Accord and Civic have been around seemingly forever. Granted, most of these iterations were fairly successful cars, save for rampant rusting prevalent on some early 70's models. However, I can't understand why Ford killed the Taurus or Dodge walked away from the Neon, for example.
I realize that both the Taurus and Neon had their ups and downs -- seldom were they standouts in CR's testing -- and the Neon had terminal reliability issues. But still, why not keep the branding going? I mean, Ford sold about a gillion Taurus sedans and wagons. And while it wasn't exactly the most exciting car, lots of people kept coming back to it.
Car companies sometimes have to kill a marque. For example, regardless of the engineering or marketing talent at Ford, there was nothing they could do to resurrect and change the image of the Pinto. And Chevrolet was right in dropping the Vega. (I know this because I learned to drive a manual transmission in a '74 Vega -- some stout clutches GM made back then.) These were truly awful cars.
It just seems to me that car companies make their jobs much harder by constantly reinventing brands and identities. Last year, Lincoln crowned the new Zephyr. Now it's the MKZ (albeit with a new V6 and other assorted changes). What will next year bring? More new names? I guess it keeps the marketing and PR people busy...
Posted by Mike Quincy, Consumer Reports 9:30 AM 1 Comments | Add a Comment
These name changes should tell people the basic problem with our American companies and managers. There is no loyalty, they go where the stock option is biggest. They are so arrogant that they would not even ask advice from the little but more experience workers.So in turn the workers are not loyal to the company. In the USA the companies run by MBAs and inexperience, respectless people, do not know how to respect tradition like in europe. Where Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, and Toyota,Honda, even Hyundai,will defend their name and brand and hone it to perfection, american managers simply change the badge of a car to swindle the public to make them believe they got a better product. Look at Ford Pinto, when gas mileage was important in the 1970s, they simply badge the car with Ford Pinto MPG, to give the public the feeling that this car has a high gas mileage like japanese cars...this is pure and simple cheating,and could only happened because of bankrupt mentality and irresponsible people who use their papers to gain power. Why can't GM hone and perfect the Fiero? Why can't caddilac hone the cimarron? cause these cars like Bob Lutz mentioned about buick, it is damaged brand, designed in a hurry to rob the poor american buyers and promoted with such a lie by marketing shamelessly begging for patriotism, but in fact robbing the good american people.
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