Revival of Old Nameplates

If you are between the ages of 25-50 and currently looking for a new car, you would have probably noticed an interesting trend that is currently happening in the Automotive Industry. I will drop some hints and see if you can catch on?

1) Honda Passport (1993-2002, 2019 – Present)

2) Chevrolet Blazer (1969-2005, 2019 – Present)

3) Ford Ranger (1983-2012, 2019 – Present)

4) Lincoln Aviator (2002-05, 2019 – Present)

5) Jeep Gladiator (1962-88, 2020 – Present)

Did you happen to catch it? The trend is manufacturers are bringing back their once discontinued nameplates to a generation of new buyers.  Chances are as a child your parents either had one of these cars or you must remember seeing them in commercials. At the time, these nameplates were discontinued because of a lack of demand, changing consumer taste, or shift in the production cycle. However, manufacturers are now reviving these iconic nameplates because they understand that nostalgia sells!

Manufacturers are doing this because it is easier for consumers to familiarize themselves with an existing name rather with a new name. This also saves costs for the marketing team as they can avoid expensive ad campaigns that familiarize consumers with a new name. Not to mention coming up with a unique car every time is a difficult and arduous process and ensuring that the name easily translates into multiple languages.

The second reason manufacturers are using an old nameplate because Hollywood has seen quite a bit of success using this technique. Think about movies like “Ghostbusters”, “Charlie’s Angels”, “The Lion King”, or “Ocean’s 8”. These movies enjoyed a tremendous amount of success in their revival so the manufacturing companies figured this can be profitable for their bottom line as well. Thus, with the use of an old nameplate, they are hoping to attract the previous fan-base to explore the redesigned model. This is especially important now as more and more millennials are getting around that age where they are ready to buy their first new car. If manufacturers can sell a nameplate that existed in their childhood the new buyer is more like to have positive memories associated with the car.

Lastly, manufacturers are very selective in terms of which nameplate they want to revive. They want to ensure that the nameplate had a good reputation in its previous era as well as enjoyed good reliability. Ford will never think about reviving the name Pinto as the car was prone to catching fires and that led to casualties or GM bring back the name Aztek given the poor sales performance and controversial styling elements. Lastly, manufacturers are very selective in terms of which nameplate the want to revive. They want to ensure that the nameplate had a good reputation in its previous era as well as enjoyed good reliability. Ford will never think about reviving the name Pinto as the car was prone to catching fires and that led to casualties or GM bring back the name Aztek given the poor sales performance and controversial styling elements.

Some revivals that I am excited for in the upcoming months:

1) Ford Bronco

2) GMC Hummer

3) Land Rover Defender

How about you? What is your opinion on manufactures reusing the existing nameplate from yesteryears? Which nameplate would you like to see make a comeback?

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