How Many Platforms Do We Need?

With new pictures appearing of the Mazda 2 which looks superb, the debate on the forums, are either, “I want one”, or it’s just a re-badged Fiesta. So the question rises about the importance of brand and why would you want to buy any model, that is pretty much the same as another except for a different badge and a few trims differences.

The Fiesta is deemed to be the best  in its class, yet the Mazda2 can’t claim that crown because of the small differences inside, that  distinguish the 2. But there is a strong fold of people who don’t want to be the same as everyone else and so do not want to buy the bestselling model in its class, i.e. a Fiesta, for no other reason that they want to be different. This is where motor manufacturers can share the cost of development, or buy someone else’s platforms to create a vehicle, knowing that their customer base will buy.

Same Vehicle But Different Badge

Sometimes, a manufacturer group, will badge the same chassis and sometimes complete body into different brands. Take the “VW up”, “Skoda Citigo” and  “Seat Mii”  the small city hatch. There is no shame by the Volkswagen group to show the same body style in 3 of the brands they own, which also reduces their overall co2 manufacturer emissions  score. It is believed that Aston Martin re-badge the Toyota iQ which it buys in to keep its overall Co2 emissions figures low, then resells as the Cygnet.

Whether you think it is a good idea or not, what is apparent, is that it works. For many, it is the small things that determine the reason for buying  and the need to be different, otherwise everyone would buy the best models in their class. It’s also true, that even though platforms are the same, even small changes in design can show up as a completely different version and many are blissfully unaware, what their chosen hatchback is based upon.

Get Release Time Right

What we don’t like is radical, remember the Ford Sierra that many  would then adopt the jelly shape for decades after. at the time of its release, right after the very successful Cortina. So maybe it does make sense to take a basic shape and platform, we like and then adapt it, to suit the branding and demographic it is aimed at.

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