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Brand Name Equity

msindallasmsindallas Posts: 190
edited March 14 in Chevrolet
Edited/reposted for discussion on suggestion from Kirstie_h...

Why don't the domestic manufacturers put any emphasis on a brand names or continue them?Examples: Cavalier and Beretta by Chevrolet. I remember looking at those cars when I was in school in the 90's, thinking someday I will get a job and buy one of these. When the time came, they are discontinued! What happened to the Escort, Taurus and Contour? Only brand name that comes to mind thinking of Chevrolet is a Corvette, which I cannot afford. My idea of sub-compact - a Chevette - gone! My standard for luxury at the time - a Buick Century Limited - discontinued!

In contrast, look at Camry, Corolla, Jetta, Passat, Accord, Civic - the models keep changing in size, looks and performance over the years, but the names are the same - for decades. This gives a confidence to the prospective buyer - this car has been around for a long time, must be good in popularity and reliability. In my psyche, when I think of a mid-side reliable family sedan, I think of Accord and Camry, go to their web sites, and only then look at what else they have to offer.

If they continue this process of discontinuing new models every few years, consumers get skeptical - if I buy the model today and it gets discontinued next year, will I be able to get service and maintenance? Will the resale value drop like a rock? How do I shop? Vehicles named as 150, 250, 300, 500, 600, 1500 - what do the numbers mean in automotive jargon?

Do you all think this is a problem for the domestics, or is it just me? Like many others, I want them to succeed, too, but this neglect is just one more slipping stone down the slope, IMHO. Comments, please.
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Comments

  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    In contrast, look at Camry, Corolla, Jetta, Passat, Accord, Civic - the models keep changing in size, looks and performance over the years, but the names are the same - for decades.

    These cars all started out as good (if not great) cars. They have built a reputation for quality. Domestic cars for the past 20 years have been crude, unrefined, and therefore not something you would want to build a reputation on. If course changing the names, to protect the guilty, didn't work because they still have the bad reputation.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    They might have a bad reputation but like the weather times have changed and for the most part the big 3 are competitive once again. ;) Sure it's going to still take time but I feel in a few years people will once again say hey let's stop by the GM, Ford, Chrysler dealership and let's look at them also. :)

    -Rocky
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    Right now I;d be hard pressed to name something that would make me drop by the Chrysler dealer, but your point is a good one.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Well your feeling about Chrysler, is mutual. ;)

    -Rocky
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,039
    something that would make me drop by the Chrysler dealer

    SWB minivan. ;)
  • lemonhaterlemonhater Posts: 110
    I also think that it is short sighted. A bad car reflects badly on the manufater not just the name of the car. When I think of the 88 tempo, I don’t blame the tempo. I blame Ford.

    If they had simple kept the old names the perhaps when the product improved then they might get some new customers over time.

    Instead what I think it does is it makes the marketing work harder than it has to. Now you need to inform the public about the new car and what the price of the new model and who is this model for.
  • lemonhaterlemonhater Posts: 110
    "Sure it's going to still take time but I feel in a few years people will once again say hey let's stop by the GM, Ford, Chrysler dealership and let's look at them also."

    Try a few decades. It will take the domestics just as long to regain popularity as it took them to lose it.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Try a few decades. It will take the domestics just as long to regain popularity as it took them to lose it.

    I sure hope you are wrong. :)

    -Rocky
  • lemonhaterlemonhater Posts: 110
    Don't think so. I am just 32, and every time I hear the name ford it brings back some not so good childhood memories(i.e. Roasting cause the air conditioning is out AGAIN!). That experence is enough to make me not consider them again.

    Back in the old days people used to talk about how good the Chevies and Fords were. Now it is Honda and Toyota. The only people that the domestics might impress will be thoose people who are teenagers now. And folks my age have got a whole lot of car buying years ahead. So decades.

    Detroit didn't lose the game in the 9th inning. Instead, either they made product that was subpar in quality(ticking off future customers and repeat buyers) OR product that was not competative (Not getting new customers). Geting out of the deathspirl is easy. Climbing again is hard.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    lemon, wouldn't you agree pal, that their products are a lot better than when you and I were kids. I'm 28 years old.

    My favorite cars back in the 80's and early 90's were the
    I-ROC Z-28, K.I.T.T. Trans-Am, Grand National, and in the early 90's it was the GMC Syclone and Typhoon. The only other cars I' liked were the Fox Body Mustang Convertibles, and Dodge Stealths and of course the ZR-1 Corvette. :shades:

    -Rocky
  • lemonhaterlemonhater Posts: 110
    Oh I loved the K.I.T.T. Trans am but the problem is the current products often lack history(consant renaming) and the folks that ran due to quality ain't comming back no matter how good it looks. They found quality elsewhere and it is ten times easier to keep a repeat customer than it is to lure a new one in. I for instance think fondly of toyota and would have bought a yaris if I could be confortable in it.

    American cars are often quite nicely styled. They sort of have the reputation of being cars where the paint job is the most expensive thing on the car.

    In addition the lower prices on the domestics rebates both hurt resale values and makes the car look like it is subpar even if it is not. (i.e. They have to give it away to get people to buy it.)

    In short it took them a long time to lose market share(the 70ies) and it is still going on today. I don't forsee any wild swing towards the domestics. There wasn't a wild swing towards the imports. it isn't just make competive products and the people will come, it is make them year in and year out.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    They found quality elsewhere and it is ten times easier to keep a repeat customer than it is to lure a new one in.

    GM, does have the highest repeat buyer percentage actually by quite a large margin than any other car company. So they aren't failing their. A honda owner is more likely to buy something else like a Toyota, next time vs. versa than GM, owners. ;)

    -Rocky
  • msindallasmsindallas Posts: 190
    Hi Rocky:
    May be GM has the highest % of repeat buyers, but thats not the point. In today's free economy (in the US) if they depend on nationalism and buyer loyalty (is it loyalty if you need to pay the customer $500?) rather than quality and technology/reliability, it is difficult for their market share to go up. Sure, a honda owner will buy a toyota and toyota owner will buy a hyundai, everyone is free to find the best value for him/herself - for the automaker, it is the overall market share that counts.

    As a customer I am not even trying to define/debate what quality is or should be. It looks like GM/Ford/DCX keep announcing - "Our cars are so bad we are ashamed of the labels we put on them, and we have built cars like that repeatedly". This mindset needs to change.

    Hi lemonhater:
    I agree with you - it's not the 9th innings. Imagine the Tempo of 1988 - lets assume it was not that good a car. Ford could have continued it - give it a new aerodynamic body in 91, a bigger and smoother engine in 94, redo the body style and suspension in 98, offer an optional hybrid drive system in 01, put goodies like Xenon headlamps and rain sensing wipers in 04 (I could go on), and it could have evolved into the best selling sedan in North America.

    Somebody in the other forum is claiming "The new Malibu will kick Camry's butt". Good thinking, I like the optimism, but for all I know, in 2 years GM will discontinue it (not too many sales) and come up with a new impalibu XXX. Building reliability takes time, a model has to be around a couple of decades with proven performance for that, IMO.

    I hope GM/Ford people are reading this thread. They could pick whichever car(s) is(are) their best selling ones, and stick to the model name for 15-20 years, evolving it. I will not claim any royalty or patent for this, I just want them to succeed. Best wishes, - MS.

    PS on the lighter side: I am not an English major and I don't sell cars, so please excuse my spelling/grammar.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,161
    Yeah, the Malibu has the same equity as Taurus, Corsica, Lumina, Impala, and Sebring.

    Rental fodder :sick: Has been since it won COY in 1997 "The car you new America could fleet build" .

    Over 60% go to fleets, and what was supposed to be the "Fleet SPECIAL" the last time around was at 40%. I don't know why we should be expecting anything different cause the same comments were muttered when the last Malibu made it to the Rental lots...

    Camry fleet average is around 12% and yet they sell twice as many as Chevy. :blush: I don;t think Toyota is worried about the Malibu making a dent in sales. They'll be fending off the real competition from the Altima, updated Accord and Mazda6 and the Fusion triplets instead. :shades:
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    the Malibu yet. This looks like it may be a very nice vehicle after all. Get out on the net and read all the reviews. I have yet to read one really bad one. This is a totally new car for Chevy. My bet is image is what GM needs to overcome now for this car.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Hi Rocky:
    May be GM has the highest % of repeat buyers, but thats not the point. In today's free economy (in the US) if they depend on nationalism and buyer loyalty (is it loyalty if you need to pay the customer $500?) rather than quality and technology/reliability, it is difficult for their market share to go up. Sure, a honda owner will buy a toyota and toyota owner will buy a hyundai, everyone is free to find the best value for him/herself - for the automaker, it is the overall market share that counts.

    As a customer I am not even trying to define/debate what quality is or should be. It looks like GM/Ford/DCX keep announcing - "Our cars are so bad we are ashamed of the labels we put on them, and we have built cars like that repeatedly". This mindset needs to change.


    Hi msindallas,

    5 month later and it appears Toyota, must be ashamed of their vehicles as well. :P Look at all the incentives they have been quietly offering lately. :D

    -Rocky
  • equity battle all makers are facing. Even Big-Boy Toyota, huh? I love it! :D

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    I think the main reason is that these cars,Cavailer and Beretta for example, didn't really have any brand equity to begin with.
    Toyota for example,spent years building equity into the Corolla and Camry. So, they survive.
    Sometime,you build a car that isn't quite right,like the Toyota Previa,so you want to start over and give a better car a new name. Like the Toyota Sienna.
    Some names are discontinued,esp in the domestics,because the eauity associated with those names isn't what the companies want.
    The Buick Century for example is considered a fuddy duddy's car.
    Not the image that Buick wants for its product today.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,039
    How valuable and important are core DNA features to a brand's image and to their success?

    This came up in the Subaru's fortunes sinking - can they turn it around? discussion today.

    In Subaru's case, the argument is that the Boxer engine and AWD are core to Subaru's brand and Subaru should do more to exploit those virtues. Others say the market has changed and Subaru should change its marketing strategy since AWD is now widely available, and typical shoppers don't know an inline 6 from a V6, much less a Boxer.

    What core DNA features do you associate with your favorite (or hated) car brand?
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,403
    What core DNA features do you associate with your favorite (or hated) car brand?

    Excellent question Steve. Some brands have readily identifiable core qualities others have none. Herewith a list of some that do and some comments on whether they are living up to them:

    Porsche excellent handling and racing technology in a small package with the motor behind the driver. Only the Cayenne has departed (and how!) from this formula and produced satisfactory sales.

    Ferrari cutting edge performance married with racing technology and gorgeous Italianate styling.

    Aston-Martin strong but not avant garde style with Olde English interoirs and good pewrformance and speed, limited production numbers.

    Bentley high performance combined with Olde English Style in a practical package.

    Rolls-Royce if you have to ask the price you can't afford it, meant to be chauffeur driven, convertibles, coupes excepted.

    Audi high-style and good performance married to all-weather handling and the best interiors in the business.

    Jaguarhigh style and affordable performance combined. Struggling to make the style higher and ignoring the affordable part.

    BMW performance and Teutonic style in practical cars.

    Mercedes-Benzprestige and over engineering with solid build for those who keep cars a long time. Daimler seems to have decided that there's no point in making a really solid luxury car in an era of fickle tastes and leased cars.

    Subaru boxer engines and AWD, so-so detailing and gas mileage.

    Cadillac the American Mercedes.

    Toyota superb practical engineering and good ergonomics combined with indifferent styling.

    Nissan, like Toyota only a little less well-built but cheaper to buy.

    Honda like Toyota only more ergonomic, better looking and more efficient.

    Volvo why waste money on styling when you can have the safest car on the road.

    I could go on but I'm getting tired.
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