So, we are now up to eleven badge engineered cars. Any advance? Well yes. To the best of my knowledge, plus some subsequent with extensive supporting research, I believe I might have finally found the branding limit of one basic car model being stretched, almost beyond credibility, to more than a dozen different marques.
The car in question is another General Motors product, using GM’s first true global platform – the T-Car – which made its production debut in March 1973 as the Brazilian Chevrolet Chevette. Over the rear-wheel-drive T-Car platform’s subsequent 34-year career, the base car was spread across a mindboggling 15 different marques.
These differing makes included Chevrolet (Brazil and USA Chevette, Marajo and Chevy), Opel (Kadett and K-180), Vauxhall (Chevette), Bedford (Chevanne), Holden (Gemini), Pontiac (Acadian and T1000), Isuzu (Gemini and I-Mark), GMC (Chevette), Aymesa (Condor), Buick (Opel by Isuzu), Saehan (Bird), Daewoo (Maepsy and Max), GRP (Sedan), Lawin (Sedan) and Grumett (Color).
So there we have it, a staggering 15 individual vehicle marque names, spread across a wide range of almost 40 small, rear-drive saloon, hatchback, panel van, pick-up, estate and coupe models, all sharing the same DNA, with the most familiar derivative to us Brits being the 1975-1984 Vauxhall Chevette and its now disappeared Bedford Chevanne light commercial sibling.
Who would have thought that this harmless little B-segment car, first launched in Brazil, would have extended to create such a vast family tree, spread around the globe, some proudly wearing revered badges such as Chevrolet and Pontiac, with others from less familiar car brands like Saehan of South Korea and Aymesa of Ecuador, but all with one thing in common; the same basic underpinnings and body parts.
General Motors can be suitably proud of its successful T-Car platform, as no other passenger car has ever spread itself so far and wide across 15 separate marques as this one. Unless of course, you know differently?