Automakers are always trying to keep up with new trends and demands which means they have to constantly introduce new models and update current models to keep up with demand. Sometimes it’s much cheaper for a company to work with another company to share platforms with a few small differences between their models. It’s called badge engineering and it happens more often than you’d think! Here are a few of the weirdest partnerships between two automakers.
#5 - Saab and Subaru
This is one of the most well known partnerships between automakers but it’s still very odd. Saab and Subaru are quite different companies but they worked together to make the Saab 9-2x in 2005 for the North American market. The Saab 9-2x is essentially a rebadged Subaru Impreza Wagon with a few improvements. At the time, Saab was owned by GM which means this was technically a partnership between Subaru and GM. The two automakers never worked together again since GM sold Saab in 2010 and they’ve been on a hiatus since then.
#4 - Toyota & Aston martin
In 2012, the European Union imposed new fleet average emissions regulations, this put companies like Aston Martin in a very sticky situation. In order to comply they partnered up with Toyota and rebadged the Toyota IQ, a small city car that could do fifty miles to the gallon. The Aston Martin Cygnet was essentially the same car but with different styling and a more luxurious interior. However, one interesting thing did come out of this partnership; the V8 Cygnet with Recaro seats and fender flares.
#3 - Chevy and Toyota
Chevy and Toyota started a partnership in the form of a joint manufacturing plant; New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. or NUMMI. Thanks to this partnership, several Chevy’s made their way to Japan with Toyota badges like the Toyota Cavalier and the Toyota Voltz. NUMMI was dissolved in 2010 when Tesla inc. purchased it for $42 million.
#2 - Dodge & Mitsubishi
Dodge and Mitsubishi formed a joint venture in 1985 called Diamond-Star Motors in order for Dodge to rebadge fuel efficient Mitsubishi sedans in the height of the energy crisis. Dodge rebadged a handful of Mitsubishi cars such as the Galant, Starion and most notably, the 3000GT/Dodge Stealth.
#1 - Mazda and Ford
American automakers have a long history of working with Japanese automakers such as Chevy and Toyota, and Dodge and Mitsubishi. Ford worked close with Mazda and in fact had a 33% stake in Mazda for forty years until they cut ties in 2015. Throughout this time, several Mazda models used the Ford CD2 and CD3 platform including the Mazda CX-9, Mazda Tribute and the Mazda6.