Same car sold by different brands: Good or bad for consumers?

Cars like the Kia Sonet and Hyundai Venue offer different product experiences, however, the same can't be said for re-badged cars like the Maruti Baleno and the Toyota Glanza.

BHPian Livnletcarsliv recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

We are witnessing this phenomenon for quite some time now.

India example 1 - same car, same characteristics but different brand

  • Nissan Terrano vs Renault Duster
  • Nissan Micra vs Renault Pulse
  • Suzuki Baleno vs Toyota Glanza
  • Upcoming Suzuki Ciaz vs Toyota Belta

India example 2 - same car, different characteristics but different brand

  • Hyundai Venue vs Sonet
  • Hyundai Creta vs Seltos
  • Skoda Rapid vs VW Vento
  • Skoda Kushaq vs VW Taigun
  • VW Passat vs Audi A4 vs Audi A6 vs Skoda Superb
  • Toyota Camry vs Lexus ES
  • Urus vs Q8 vs Cayenne vs Bentayga

In example 2, I can understand the economics and business model of the same platform different brands. The product experience and customer experience - both are different here. It is in good books.

However in example 1 - I personally feel and think that it is exploiting the ignorance of a customer. The brands are making a fool out of the customer per se. It is in bad books.

What do you think?

Here's what BHPian Tapish had to say on the matter:

How is the same car in case 1 exploiting ignorance? I for one liked the Terrano's design but the Duster didn't appeal to me. For you, it may be different. If I was in the segment, maybe I would have bought the Toyota Urban Cruiser instead of the Brezza just for the grille design.

As far as the car is not positioned as something else totally, it cannot be called a case of ignorance/ cheating. I remember the Captur being referred to as the global Captur which was a different car altogether, that clearly was making a fool of the customer, not these.

Here's what BHPian porsche_guy had to say on the matter:

I think the examples you have taken in both cases don't seem to be the best ones. I guess the question you want to pose is if rebadging is unethical but platform sharing is not. This is a very complex and subjective answer and may not always be the same for everybody.

As an example, one might say the Terrano was merely a rebadged Duster which to an extent is true, however, I think the different styling and interior tweaks aren't something totally insignificant. As for the Glanza and Baleno, again, they are the same cars, however, one might prefer the Toyota version due to a better service experience of Toyota/ an extra year of warranty/slightly lower price etc.

I personally find no harm in rebadging as long as it's feasible for the OEMs involved. More variations just mean more choices to the customer and that can't be bad right?

Let's not make this another thread blaming the OEMs for everything. Nobody is shoving Glanzas or Balenos into people throats. And as you mentioned, the customers are ignorant, then what should the OEMs do? Hang a huge billboard outside the dealerships that the Glanza is just a rebadged Baleno?

Enough people on this forum have willingly and knowingly bought rebadged cars. The market simply decides if a rebadge is successful or not. It's that simple.

Here's what BHPian Hayek had to say on the matter:

Frankly, badge engineering or platform sharing (call it what you will) has been an intrinsic part of the auto industry for more than 3 decades. The current Tesla factory in Fremont California was originally built by NUMMI - a JV between GM and Toyota that helped introduce Japanese manufacturing practices to GM. There is a case study I have read nearly 2 decades ago on how the nearly identical Toyotas produced in the same plant got materially higher JD Power Initial Quality Scores and Resale Values than the Chevrolet equivalents. You may call it irrational, but automobiles are not purchased just based on excel.

Spreadsheet - they are about the identity of the car buyer, and for a buyer, a Nissan is very different from a Dacia (by the way the Duster is not even a real

Renault - it is a badge-engineered Dacia) and a Toyota very different from a Maruti.

Some errors in the first post though - while the Passat and the Superb are both built on the stretched version of the MQB platform, the A4 and A6 both have longitudinally mounted engines - and are different platforms (with some shared engines) from MQB.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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