Originally Posted by Year's_End
They can't survive and grow as a company if they stick to the old notion that these badges force them to sell a limited product range. Even more so if that notion means that they can't or shouldn't sell more affordable, mass produced, high volume, cash cow models (like the BMW 1 Series, Audi A2 and A3, and Mercedes A-Class and B-Class).
Businesses have to continuously evolve to survive and flourish. Take Porsche, for example. Along the same lines, their old brand image meant that they shouldn't have made SUVs, yet look how beneficial that's been for the company; the overwhelming majority of Porsche sales are Cayennes.
I personally think the idea is unrealistic. And in the end, the more choices the buyer has, the better - period.
So I'll counter with Cadillac. In the late 1940's through the mid 1970's Cadillac was the premier car company of the United States and if not the world. There are very few members of this Forum that hasn't pissed all over the Cadillac ATS. The brand's reputation amongst younger buyers is crap, based off of long-past images and product of crappy re-badged Chevrolets of perceived poor quality. All from Cadillac's demise in the '80s of platform sharing with Chevy and other GM (non-Cadillac platforms). All in the good name of evolution, flourishment, survival, and cost cutting, and brand dilution, and cash cow models. Shall I even mention Saab?
I drove many mid-70's Cadillacs when they were new and older late '50s models (my Uncle collects them). While not being sports cars by any fashion, for what they were designed to be (luxury interstate cruisers and town cars), they were well built, fantastic cars, and far superior to anything on the road at the time. Lincoln too; go find a mid-60's Continental. Those cars were built to a level not even approached today. Read up on how the Continental engine was bench run-in at the factory before installation and how the entire car was track tested prior to shipment.
This too is what Mercedes in America meant 25 years ago. You call it progress and evoloution. We’ll just see.