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mustang84

Worst GM badge engineering job ever

13 posts in this topic

I was walking down the street here in Rome today when I stopped dead in my tracks. Normally I pass Pontiac vans without batting an eye, but seeing a Pontiac is rare here and something else caught my eye...a Chevrolet badge. It was essentially a Pontiac Trans Sport with Chevy bowties on it, they didn't even change the grille. I decided that someone must have done it themselves, that there's no way GM would just slap some bowties on a Pontiac and call it a day...maybe it was imported over here and the badges were missing?

But after doing a check online, sure enough...the Chevrolet Trans Sport exists.

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Yeah, the rebadging is pretty shameless overseas. It's either that, or try selling it as a Pontiac, which has no global presence at all.

If you think that's bad....

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Hey, Mustang, I hope you are having a great time...and stay away from those gypsies in the piazzas! :lol:

It's always fun to see our cars over there, though they are few and far between. I generally don't notice Ford or Chrysler products (they're invisible, you know) but I notice GMs.

Last time I was there (summer 2005), I noticed a deep burgundy mid 90s Sedan de Ville in impeccable condition to the east of Venice and an 1989 or 1990 Pontiac Bonneville in Trieste (snuggled up against what used to be Yugoslavia).

However, the closest analysis I ever did was of an (actual) Pontiac Trans Sport mini-van in Torino in 1998. I saw that it ran with a 2.3 Litre 4 cylinder and that it had this obnoxious long shift lever for the MANUAL transmission. It was an ugly light olive green with a beige interior.

Where are these GM cars that are SO modified built?

Keep us posted on how things are going for you!

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Oh, I've had plenty of offers to sell me cheap tripods, flimsy umbrellas, tiny magnetic things that make an annoying click, little light-up cubes, rugs, and knock-off sunglasses. I see the same people every day, and every day they try to sell me something...you'd think they'd get it by now? :scratchchin: The funniest thing I've seen so far is when the Polizia pulled up in their little Fiats near the Colosseum. The gypsies saw them and were all scattering to pick up their stuff, then they all scurried like a pack of mice as this dainty female police officer got out was chasing after them up a hill. Absolutely hilarious...I wish I had gotten a picture. :lol:

One of the scams is this extremely old looking lady that's hunched over with a cane and a cup with a couple coins in it that she clanks about once every 10 seconds (it's kind of funny when you see it in person). I thought she was legit until I checked some virtual tourist website and found out they're actually young, healthy women disguising themselves as crippled old ladies. So far, I haven't given money to anyone...the best thing I've found to do is just not make eye contact and keep walking.

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So far here, the only "American" cars I have seen are a late 90s Buick Park Avenue, a 1970 Eldorado, and an early 80s Oldsmobile Delta 88 that was in pretty pristine shape. I really like the look of the Fords and Opels here...GM is doing the right thing by bringing Opels to America as Saturns. Ford needs to do the same for Mercury. The Ford Mondeo and Opel Astra look really classy...I definitely have a new respect for European-American cars. Toyota has hardly any presence in Italy...and I've only seen one Lexus. Honda has practically no presence...I think I've seen a total of 4 Hondas since I've been here. Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Volkswagen, Opel, Ford, Peugeot, Citroen, Smart, MB, and BMW are the ones that dominate the road.

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If you think that's bad....

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Those appear to be Swedish plates...

Chevrolet Alero: in the brochure I have at home it even has the Olds logo :lol:

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Yeah... I've seen the Chebby Trans Sport in person too.

One of my uncle's in Slovakia has a legit Trans Sport.

He imported an early 90s one and installed custom VW

headlights and some sleeker fog lights.

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I came back from Brazil last week. Lots of scams there, too. Sitting on a beach in the north results in people trying to hock just about anthing. Get used to saying, "Nao, abridgo" a lot. Try to avoid eye contact. A dismissive wave of the hand works, too, if you are worried about your accent giving you away. (At least I tan easy, so I can blend in!)

In the north and Sao Paulo, Chevrolet is clearly the winner, followed by Fiat. Toyota and Honda are mercifully very rare, although I was dismayed to see a few very expensive Toyota trucks down there. GM may be winning the volume war, but I suspect (as usual) Toyota is being more profitable down there. How much money does GM make on a Corsa, for example?

In the south, things were a little different. The monied folks in Florianopolis love their Peugots, Citreons and Renaults - they were everywhere.

The only badge engineering I saw was a thinly disguised Blazer and the S-10, which looks like our last generation with a bad nose job. Their gas prices are horrendous, so not too many of those anyway.

GM is doing the right thing in Brazil by pushing Chevrolet only. Toyota is Toyota. Honda is Honda. No confusion. The bowtie is front and center.

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I visited Spain a couple of years ago, and remembered seeing a lot of GMs badged very oddly. I can't remember any specifics, but I think I remember seeing a few with different badges on different ends of the vehicle as well. While in Seville staying at our hotel we heard an accident, so we looked outside, and a Tahoe, which looked to have a GMC grille on the front, but had Chevy Tahoe badges in the back, had pulverized some little car at an intersection.

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GM is doing the right thing in Brazil by pushing Chevrolet only. No confusion. The bowtie is front and center.

Ditto in Uruguay. I was there in November 2005. There was a Chevrolet dealer by the Montevideo International Airport.

Where'd you go in Brazil? I was there once...in Rio. Stunning city but my hair stood up on its ends at all times...it FEELS to dangerous. Uruguay and Argentina, by contrast, are so peaceful and more like standard issue European cities that I didn't feel as uptight.

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I was in Rio two years ago. It helps a lot if you go with a native. In many countries you can become a target if you are a tourist; nothing sinister, it's just that they know you have money.

This time around, we went to Sao Paulo, Joao Passoa, Salvador, Florianopolis and back to Sao Paulo again. My Portuguese is not great, so my other half does virtually all the talking, which is better anyway.

We bumped into a bunch of Canadian tourists in Florianopolis. They were on an Italian cultural tour. Florianopolis is very, very European. The Canadians complained of a couple situations where the local restaurant/tourist place took advantage of them because of their language/ignorance. But that happens everywhere.

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Guest YellowJacket894

Yeah, the rebadging is pretty shameless overseas. It's either that, or try selling it as a Pontiac, which has no global presence at all.

If you think that's bad....

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Ford Taurus, much?

Wait . . . a peek-a-boo Chevy logo? :blink:

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Yeah, the rebadging is pretty shameless overseas. It's either that, or try selling it as a Pontiac, which has no global presence at all.

If you think that's bad....

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Wow, that's just bad.

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