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AutoBlog: REPORT: More Europeans prefer to go shaved for the discrete look

19 posts in this topic

Filed under: Car Buying, Europe

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Don't be surprised if you pull in to a drive-through overseas for a Royale with Cheese, only to find yourself guessing what the S-Class in front of you has underhood. Because, you know, it's the little things: according to a report in The New York Times, European car buyers tend to have the nameplates removed from their vehicles in far greater numbers than those of us on the western shores of the Atlantic.

Although many European automakers don't even offer the factory nameplate-delete option in North America (one exception being Porsche), in their home markets, many customers prefer not to advertise, for example, which engine is under the hood. And it's not for some sort of sleeper effect to burn flashier cars at traffic lights, either: European buyers of German cars in particular (which tend to offer a wide range of engines in each model class) prefer to keep the specifics to themselves, regardless of what they've got sitting in the engine compartment.

Audi, for example, reports that a quarter of its buyers go for the badge-delete option, predominantly among top-end models in European markets. (Intriguingly, however, while forging the path between our hotel and the convention center for the recent Frankfurt show, we noticed almost every Audi on the road was equipped with the S-Line package for the faux-super-sedan look.) Conversely, American buyers tend to add badges - how many stock Mercedes and BMWs have you seen sporting AMG and M badges that didn't belong there? Meanwhile, in the Persian Gulf, they dunk 'em in chrome or gold plating. It's a case study in automotive sociology if we've ever seen one.

[source: The New York Times]

REPORT: More Europeans prefer to go shaved for the discrete look originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 11 Oct 2009 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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I was surprised that that article had over 110 comments (at the time I read it).

What say you, C&Gers? Debadged or no?

Personally, I prefer leaving the factory badges on, especially if it's a limited production model. Part of the package.

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I first noticed this phenomenon on my first trip across the pond to London back in '99.

I'm not sure if I'd debadge a car, other than removing dealer badges.

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Kind of interesting in a psychological way. It seems Europeans don't crave 'affirmation' when it comes to their cars, whereas North Americans want everyone to know what they're driving, and by extension, how much they paid.

Myself, I like the debaged look. It looks clean, and by preference, I don't like to be ostentatious.

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I shaved the Passat's trunklid, leaving only the VW badge. Looks cleaner that way.

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I leave the badge on the car; it distracts from the dings and scratches. :P

Following that to its logical conclusion, I figure that's why I see so many older cars plastered with bumper stickers.

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I was surprised that that article had over 110 comments (at the time I read it).

What say you, C&Gers? Debadged or no?

Personally, I prefer leaving the factory badges on, especially if it's a limited production model. Part of the package.

Yeah, I would be reluctant to remove the badging, say, on a 1 of 56 Pacific Slate Blue G8 GXP. But I do like the clean look without badges, aside from a arrowhead on the front and back.

OTOH, on most other late model cars I drive, I have been not really inclined to pull them off... and debadging it certainly not a new idea for me... its been the thing to do to hot rods for decades.

I suppose that it comes down to the modern badging is usually so much more subtle (and durable) than the old stuff.

Dealer badges are a no-no for me... I'll refuse the sale if they put it on. Even my owner-bought cars didn't have dealer badges. Of course, if I got a vintage car with an old vintage potmetal badge, I would be more inclined to keep it.

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Saturn S-Series didn't have model, engine, etc badges, just front, side, and sometimes rear brand badges, and "Saturn" embossed in the rear bumper cover. Shaving any of those requires filling in recesses.

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The Regal only has a hood ornament and the Buick script in the grille. Someone actually asked me if it was a Grand National already. Of course, I liked that.

So, of course, I go shaved all the way.

It can get annoying. The first try at ridding myself of a certain white sports car, which didn't say "fire" or "bird" anywhere on the car, 9/10 inquires always asked the same question: "is it a Trans Am?" I clearly stated in the ad it had a 3.8L V6. I think that's why it's still sitting out there. If that certain white sports car was a Trans Am, I'd already be finding ways to pull strings to get the LS1 in the Regal.

Edited by whiteknight
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See, that's the dilemma. Shaving usually makes it look bigger, and I always thought Europeans favored smaller cars.
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See, that's the dilemma. Shaving usually makes it look bigger, and I always thought Europeans favored smaller cars.

I think a lot of Europeans are secretive Americans. That's why they make fun of us so much, they're insecure, Ameriphobic, probably jealous, and are so deep in the Patriotic closet, they're finding next year's Christmas presents.

Edited by whiteknight
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Well, I imgine people with bigger/gas engines get more grief in Europe than they get here. Also, they don't offer nice expensive cars with $h!ty engines on this side of the pond.

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Look at it this way, if you have an Mercedes Benz S190, you'd want it shaved so you don't get laughed at. If you have an S600, you want it shaved so the greenies don't get you.

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Look at it this way, if you have an Mercedes Benz S190, you'd want it shaved so you don't get laughed at. If you have an S600, you want it shaved so the greenies don't get you.

That will certainly help my HUMMER?

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Look at it this way, if you have an Mercedes Benz S190, you'd want it shaved so you don't get laughed at. If you have an S600, you want it shaved so the greenies don't get you.

S190?

Seems the smallest of this generation is the S280...

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S190?

Seems the smallest of this generation is the S280...

Ya, I think a small 6 like the 2.8 has been smallest S class engine for several generations and several decades..

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I shaved some pretty massive & intricate badging off the B-59: hood, grille, trunk & model names. Hood jewelry is 22" wide- would go headlight-to-headlight on a 3-series. :P

Am considering installing rocker-mounted marque names, and one model script will go into the interior.

On most modern cars, the badging is more plentiful on much smaller vehicles.... a LOT of the factory badging can easily come off, IMO. On the other hand, the general stylistic generica without badging will confuse most onlookers, good or bad.

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