Friday, September 24, 2004

Badge Engineering

Badge Engineering

A co-worker of mine seems to share my taste in cars which are a bit quirky. We currently both own Subarus and both have Colt Vistas in our deep, dark pasts. Since I've known him, he has owned only cars from two different auto makers. Saab, which certainly does things its own way and has stuck to its hatchback ideals even in larger cars, or Subaru, a company that has held firmly to the horizontally opposed engine layout similar to classic Volkswagens or most Porsches but no other popular auto makers that I know of, and which continues to be a foul weather alternative to a driving a 4wd truck.Apparently GM, which I understand has come to own controlling interest in both of these companies, also sees these two companies as being alike in their uniqueness since they have recently been cross bred to spawn the Saab 9-2, or "Saabaru" as it is often called.

My fear, however, is that they are taking a page from Ford/Mercury's book of tricks. I came to work yesterday and saw a brand new "Saabaru" in the parking lot. It was Jack's loaner car for the day. I had noticed on the 9-2 commercials I had seen that the car really did look like an Impreza wagon. It was even more apparent to see it in person. It looked like someone had taken a sawzall and MIG welder to a Saab and a Subaru and grafted the Nordic nose onto the Japanese body (making me wonder if somewhere a Saab is running around with a Subaru Snout).

It couldn't be more appropriate, though that I arrived right behind a Silver Subaru 2.5RS wagon plastered stem to stern with stickers identifying it as a loaner car. Jack had a different loaner today. By his account, it was basically identical to the previous day's Saab, from the engine, to the ride to the handling and the dimensions. The Saab had some extra amenities, but they were definitely different trim levels of the same car.

I have to wonder, are a Saab badge and a few extra amenities worth the extra $10,000?


Post a Comment

<< Home