It’s not uncommon for an automotive brand to try and change things up once in a while. Whether it’s due to stagnant sales or an effort to keep up with modern trends, carmakers will sometimes attempt to “reinvent themselves” and generate more enthusiasm for their product offerings. Here are five automakers who are in the midst of these so-called “reinventions.”
Remember the cute, sassy Beetle which was reborn in 1998? It certainly made a splash among women, but male car buyers avoided it like a pink-hued plague. Now, VW is trying to change that with its reintroduction of the Beetle in 2012. The new version is much less bubbly, but still boasts a 177 horsepower engine and a lot of bells and whistles. Volkswagen is hoping that guys will give it a chance. But we’re still not sure that the auto insurance reps won’t be snickering on the phone when a guy with a deep voice tries to get his VW beetle insured.
In past decades, you didn’t buy a Cadillac until you had gray hair and an AARP card. Over the past several years, the U.S. luxury brand has been trying to appeal to a younger target market. It’s doing this by producing nontraditional Cadillacs, like the CTS Coupe, a two-door spitfire with a 3.6-litre V6 engine. This Caddy is full of stylish curves and lines, and it still gives customers the amenities they expect from a Cadillac.
The luxury arm of Ford has been consistently losing market share to foreign competitors like BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes Benz. Lincoln apparently thinks that brand perception has a lot to do with it, so the carmaker has tasked a new boutique ad firm with rebranding its image. The automaker is hoping that its MKS full-size sedan and MKT crossover (along with a new MKZ mid-size sedan to debut in 2012) will appeal to individuals who want to buy American without sacrificing luxury.
Remember when people thought the name Hyundai was Korean for “ultra-cheap sardine-can car?” The South Korean automaker is changing that perception with its 2012 Elantra. Sure, it gets 40 miles per gallon on average, but it does so while treating its occupants to attractive styling and a bevy of creature comforts, like a six-speed automatic transmission and heated rear seats. It’s not dirt cheap anymore, but the Elantra is still a great value for the money.
The longtime flagbearer for the American auto industry wants to change the perception of compact cars. That’s why it has been rolling out the Chevy Cruze and Aveo, both of which have lots of features you would normally find in larger vehicles. With Cruze sales numbers rivaling those of the Toyota Camry last year, it appears that Chevy has accomplished its goal. But the carmaker isn’t resting on its laurels: in 2012, the Chevrolet Spark will try and grab market share from minicar product makers like Cooper and Smart.