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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nov 25: Starting a styling tradition

Quick, what car is this and please ignore the BMW insignia above the twin kidney shaped grilles, when you answer? Ok, so that was hardly a test, but even without those numerous clues, is there anyone, except your old, blind Aunt Maude, who wouldn't recognize this as the classic and traditional BMW front end? Brand recognition is key to helping establish a brand's identity in the market place. I drive around my neighbourhood and see all sorts of those recognizable twin kidneys and think, gee maybe that is a really good car. Surely all those people can't be wrong (another question for another time)?

Can you think of some others? Here is a hint.........

No question that the dominant three pointed star in that oblong grille is fronting a Mercedes Benz. Again brand recognition. Cadillac is another brand that has a distinctive brand end, which has similarities to their grilles going back to the '30's.

The big crest superimposed on their traditional egg crate grille, an example from 1969 is shown here........

This immediate brand recognition is one of the keys to a brand's success. People see your cars, no matter what the year and viola', instant recognition. Lately, some old brands have been struggling to get their house in order and to come up with something "special". Lincoln finally seems to have settled on their throwback design from the '30's......

........and after some false starts, they are making it a rather pleasing design. See the similarity with the old Zephyr front end from long ago?

Another brand struggling to come up with a new and readily identifiable corporate car face is Lexus. Their electric razor design might eventually work out, but for the time being it looks forced and stands out by being just plain strange and unattractive. Not the first time a company has gone over the top like this, in an effort to stand out.

Others though, have had immediate success with their front end designs. Take a look at this Mazda grille, which is being rolled out across all their lines. I really like this tulip look and it readily says "Mazda" or at least it will after it ingrains itself in our minds.

Some companies have cheated a bit and stolen from another company. Does Ford immediately come to mind? If not it should, take a look.........

I love their Aston Martin knock off grille (the lower pic is the Ford). I don't think that many folks will confuse a new Fusion or Fiesta with a $100k plus Aston sportscar, but hey, it looks great. Maybe not original, but great never the less. Obviously A-M didn't patent their grille, as Rolls Royce has with theirs.

In my opinion, two companies that are really struggling to start their own styling tradition are Hyundai and Subaru. Each one has tried different fronts, but now they seem to have settled on what they consider to be a pleasing and readily identifiable grille. What do you think.......

Do these two cars, which compete directly with one another, have a too close resemblance? And not just from the front view. My point is, wouldn't you think that two successful companies, with competent styling staffs, would end up with two cars, which are more differentiated than these two? I sure would. I'm guessing that neither of these front end designs will have staying power. Notice that I didn't identify the two models  -  can you?

Starting a styling tradition. Save this blog and come back and read it again in 2024. See which of the newer styles has morphed into a long term brand feature. Want to place any bets?

Until next time.......

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