Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Putting your brand on other's cars

A few days back, I was having a cup of tea with a colleague and he was going on about how Naza cars are just rebadged foreign cars. In his words, "just rename and put the brand KIA". Thus according to him, they don't deserve the "national car" status and government protection.

To me there is nothing wrong with rebadged cars or producing your brand version of other car manufacturer. In fact it is not new and has been practised in the auto industry for a long time. Suzuki produces cars in India through Maruti Udyog, a joint venture with the Indian Goverment. The Suzuki Swit is sold there as the Maruti Swift. It is also sold as the Pontiac Firefly (Canada), Chevrolet Sprint (USA/Canada) and Geo Metro (USA/Canada).

Lotus has agreements with several car companies to produce own-brand versions. This includes the Lotus Cortina (Ford), Lotus Sunbeam (Chrysler) and Lotus Carlton (Vauxhall).

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