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These are the worst examples of car badge engineering


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Picture: Synthetic engine

I’d like to nominate the collective-engineering badge that happened when GM killed off Saturn and Pontiac during the 2007-2008 financial crisis and subsequent bankruptcy.

The Saturn Outlook replaced the GMC Acadia (albeit the same car). Yes, GM actually improved a car to replace its nearly identical platform companion. The Saturn Vue ‘became’ a Buick – but GM never actually shipped it to anyone and instead remade it a the third day time was Chevrolet Captiva Sport and sold it to Hertz. The Pontiac G2, already a badge-engineered version of the Chevy Aveo, became an Aveo trim line in mid-2010. Also, future Saturns all became Buicks without regard for the fact. How will they fit into the lineup? Opel Insigna becomes Reign of Buick.

A lot of weird things happened when the clocks ran out of time on Saturn and Pontiac as SamTheGeek reminds us – Opels-turns-Saturn-turns-Buicks, after all. But the effectively revived Saturn Outlook as the mid-cycle refresh of the first-generation GMC Acadia was one of those oddities that I didn’t notice. Kyree has the details:

You’re right, and most people don’t notice it. The Saturn Outlook shares most of its shape with the GMC Acadia, but has some differences, like the wheel shape, taillight aperture, and wraparound rear windshield. In general, Saturn is more sophisticated.

The Saturn Outlook was discontinued with the rest of the Saturn brand in 2010. However, when GM decided to upgrade the remaining three Lambda crossovers for 2013, they decided that the Saturn’s shape was a better fit. with GMC’s new block, chisel theme… and should have quietly switched to using the Outlook tool. Even the rear cover, in its entirety, has been taken from Outlook for Acadia 2013.

Given what happened with the Saturn and Buick, I’m sure GM realized that it was more profitable to sell Opels that had been modified into Buicks than the Saturns and they fit pretty well into the lineup. Buick needed compact and midsize sedans, and Opels that fit the bill. Encore is a particularly good idea.

The Cascada, however, is an interesting indulgence in a world where such cars (including the late 200’s Convertible and Eos) are dying left and right.

Recommended by: SamTheGeeks, Kyree

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