I think the phrase “brand blurring” is relevant here. We are used to seeing large corporations swallowing up smaller companies – in the world of computers both Apple and Microsoft are regulars in this area. But perhaps the most high profile is the car industry.
Back in the ‘good old days’ the British car industry was British owned and run, produced diverse models (and then went to the wall). In stepped the likes of Ford and BMW who picked up the corpses and either revived the mark – as with Mini in BMW’s case, or killed it off – names like Triumph, Wolsley, Singer, Hillman and Riley (although BMW have mentioned a possible re-use of this brand) to name but a few have disappeared into the big manufacturers vaults possibly never to reappear. To be fair most of the manufacturers have been sympathetic to past car ‘marks’ and haven’t abused their names too much (although BMW are pushing it in my view with the Mini).
Ford on the other hand appear to be using their previous link to Aston Martin in what cannot in my view be considered a good way. Aston’s are well known for their characteristic grill shape – it has been the same since the 1950’s (think of the classic Bond car). so why have Ford now decided that their cars look better with the front grill of an Aston Martin? I cannot believe for a minute that it will sell more Fords – but it can only devalue the Aston brand in my view. Perhaps the current owners of Aston will have something to say?
I may be missing something – but I don’t remember Ford ever having grills shaped like this – or am I wrong?