Some Cars That Aren't the Same Name Everywhere
Car manufacturing has definitely moved to a global effort with so many companies crossing borders and oceans for design, labor and sales. What we often don't see is how cars that are a common site in the United States take form in other countries – and even sometimes appear on American soil disguised as a different brand.
And yes, your eyes are not deceiving you: that is a rebadged Land Rover Discovery with a Honda badge. It was produced as the Honda Crossroad for the Japanese SUV market from 1993 until 1998.
The Volkswagen Routan is a minivan that is available in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The Routan and the Dodge Grand Caravan are manufactured side by side in Windsor, Ontario. Volkswagen is not selling a 2013 version of the Rotan and is expected to replace the minivan with the Crossblue crossover concept by 2015.
The Honda Passport was followed by the more current Honda Pilot on 2003 and was the result of a partnership between Honda and Isuzu that resulted sales of the sibling Isuzu Rodeo and Honda Pilot for 10 years.
The worldwide best selling subcompact cutie, the Hyundai Accent, started as the Hyundai Excel and since 1993 has been known by many names - and sold as a few different brands - around the world. Here are a few:
Mitsubishi Heavy Works is a massive multi-national company with interests in engineering and electronics with billions of dollars in revenue from aviation and space engineering, marine vessels and structural engineering. The Mitsubishi car division is just a drop in the larger bucket and the company has been downsizing its worldwide production of cars over the last decade. But the executives of the Japan-based company still needs executive cars and so a relationship with Nissan has resulted in the Infiniti M sporting the Mitsubishi Proudia badge in Japan.
The American classic Caprice actually has very foreign based roots for its most modern iteration: the Chevrolet Caprice is actually the Australian Holden Caprice and is also currently sold as the Buick Park Avenue in China.
The Nissan Frontier is a good enough looking compact pickup truck. It has been rumored that employees at Nissan's Smyrna, Tennessee plant that also used to manufacture the rebadged Frontier as the Suzuki Equator called the Suzuki variant, "The Good Looking Frontier." That said, the Equator can now only be found in used car listings since Suzuki has stopped North American sales for all of its cars and the Nissan Frontier is alive and still in production.
First came the Daewoo Matiz in South Korea, a subcompact city car. The wee one finally landed on the shores of the United States this year and a will soon have an all-electric version, the first all-EV for General Motors since the demise of the EV1.
General Motors likes to have the Australian based Holden cars in the United States as Chevrolets and Buicks so the all-American and best selling Chevrolet Suburban was rebadged in Australia as the Holden Suburban. After 3 years of lagging sales of the full-sized SUV, GM changed the marque back to Chevrolet Suburban in 2002 and is still sold to the day to Australians as the Chevrolet Suburban.
After the dust settled from Fiat taking over the Chrysler brands, it was decided that the Dodge and Chrysler brands would no longer be sold in Europe and would instead be badged with Fiat and Lancia badges. That is how the well-selling Dodge Journey became the Fiat Freemont in Europe.
Samsung is not well known in the United States for making cars but it is actually the #3 car manufacturer in South Korea, behind Kia and Hyundai. Now primarily owned by the French manufacturer Renault, Samsung had a strong relationship with Nissan for years that resulted in the 4th generation Nissan Maxima to be badged as the Samsung SQ5 in South Korea from 1995 untill 1999. Note: Renault still is a major shareholder in Nissan and so Nissan developed engines are still a mainstay in Renault and Samsung vehicles.