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Car Chat: US Auto Industry Badge Engineering - How/Why Did it Come About?


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"Many many [GM] dealers [in the '80s], almost all of them, were stand alone [not paired with other GM brands]"

Categorically untrue, if a list of 9500 Pontiac dealers thru the brands' history can be relied upon more than anecdotal info. The majority of Pontiac dealers were always paired with at least GMC, and almost as often with another brand, most commonly Buick. This goes back into the '20s.

GM marketshare peaked at 54%, it never hit 60%. I'd have to check- I think that was '62.
CORRECTION :: here’s numbers
’40 : 45%
’50 : 47%
’55 : 54%
’60 : 46%
’65 : 51%
’70 : 46%
’75 : 52%
’80 : 66%

THESE ARE DOMESTIC BRANDS ONLY - obviously by ‘70 and forward, imports were slicing the pie in smaller pieces.

Edited by balthazar
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Reedmans of Langhorn PA, around since the early 70s at least, (and their decor proved it when I was 18 and stopping in) had every core GM brand.

Olds was usually paired with Cadillac. 
Buick or Pontiac (or both) were usually paired with GMC. 
 

Going back further Buick also had Opel.

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End result, executives looked at their own bonuses and making money for themselves not about the image the brand was sold on or if badge engineering really made sense to sell auto's. Today, we are moving back in some ways to individual style for each brand to have them stand out. I am happy about that. GM still has a way to go, Toyota really needs to improve as do others who badge engineer their autos.

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2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Reedmans of Langhorn PA, around since the early 70s at least,

Their website states they started in 1954.

I list a Reedman in Bristol as a Pontiac dealer starting in 1948 and verified via a build sheet from '69.

I remember their radio ads decades ago.

Edited by balthazar
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