Badge-engineering is one of the best ways to illustrate the microeconomics concept of economies of scale. Simply put, the average cost of each unit goes down as quantity goes up. Selling the rights to a car or even to a component like a chassis or an engine can save automakers a substantial amount money in the long run.
Some badge-engineered cars are developed jointly from the earliest days of the project, while others were launched as an afterthought spawned by a complex network of business deals. A look at history shows American and Japanese automakers have mastered the art of badge-engineering, but European manufacturers have also churned out their fair share of carbon copies over the years.
What do you think is the best badge-engineered car? How about the worst?
Alfa Romeo A15n / Saviem SG2
Alfa Romeo Arna / Nissan Cherry
Citroën Axel / Oltcit Club
Citroën C35 / Fiat 242
Dacia 1300 / Renault 12
Fiat 124 / Premiere 118NE
Fiat Uno / Innocenti Mille
Ford Courier / Mazda Proceed
Ford Maverick / Nissan Patrol
Holden Drover / Suzuki SJ 410
Honda Ballade / Triumph Acclaim
Honda Crossroad / Land Rover Discovery
Kia Elan / Lotus Elan
Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen / Peugeot P4
Škoda Pickup / Volkswagen Caddy
Toyota Hilux / Volkswagen Taro