Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Badge Engineering for Honda and Isuzu

The other day I saw an Isuzu Oasis minivan in my work parking lot. Wow--hadn't noticed one of those for awhile. I had to think about it, but then I remembered where that car came from. It was a rebadged Honda Odyssey. See the 1996 Oasis, left.

And why did Isuzu have a Honda minivan for sale? Well, back in the mid 1990's before the CR-X and Pilot were household names, Honda didn't have an SUV to offer. However, Isuzu, which was in business and doing fine in the U.S. at the time, did have the popular Rodeo. Add Honda Passport badges, and voila--problem solved. There were a few other vehicles involved in the deal too, but those were the major ones. See the Honda Passport, below.

This kind of badge engineering has gone on for years, and it makes sense, for example, if Ford needs a subcompact car to let Kia build it (Aspire) or Dodge wants a little car and Mitsubishi makes it (Colt). It's still going on today with Daewoo-built Chevys--although GM owns part of Daewoo now.

The secret is, though, to make the car you borrow at least as good as the ones you usually sell--then you're fine.

No comments: