Opinionated Rant: Automakers Think We’re Dumb
Yes; I’m talking about you BMW, Mitsubishi, and Nissan…by Robert Moore, on
Every Auto Show season I get the glory of attending various auto shows, and I always end up with my boxers in a bunch over lazy facelifts, stupid special editions, or retarded concepts. Earlier this year, I had more than I could complain about at the Chicago Auto Show alone thanks to the Chevy Redline Editions and the Nissan Midnight Editions alone. Now, come the end of the year, and both BMW and Nissan have managed stir up some aggressive feelings. First off, I want to talk about the “new” BMW i8 Coupe….
BMW…. The 2019 i8 Coupe isn’t New!!!
So, BMW decides it wants to attract more attention to i8, which has only been around a few years in production form. Of course, it was nothing more than a toned down version of the i8 Coupe prototype from 2013, which was nothing more than a lazy reinterpretation of the i8 Concept from 2011. But, we’ll talk more about that later. My point today is that BMW wants to call the 2019 i8 new when it has gone through nothing more than the laziest facelift I’ve ever seen. It’s even lazier than the lazy crap than Audi does with it’s A- and S-model line. What did BMW do to the i8… ugh… well, it changed the headlights and taillights. By that, I mean that it revised the LED strips inside them. Oh, and it got a new hood that’s really just a toned down and probably cheaper-to-make version of the hood on the 2018 model. The only other difference is the minor tweaking to the side skirts which, I have to admit, is nothing to write home about. BMW does sweeten the deal a little bit with 12 extra horsepower and two new, not-so attractive-colors but, in the end, it’s certainly not enough to make me want to buy a new i8. After all, why buy an i8 now when a new-gen model is already in the works for 2020?
Sorry BMW, but you’re not fooling anyone by saying the i8 coupe is “New.” Even still, that’s not as bad as the Tom Foolery that Nissan pulled off…..
It’s not a “New Nameplate” if You’ve Used it Before
Nissan, like BMW, got me excited with the use of the word “new.” A day before the L.A. Auto Show kicked off, Nissan announced – along with its Star Wars theme – an “all-new crossover utility vehicle” and that it’s the “first new nameplate launched in the last eight years.” With that said, I was hoping it would be an actual new model and would actually carry an all-new name. But, as a little piece of my inner logic expected, it’s actually just the Nissan Kicks for the U.S. market. And, for what it’s worth, it didn’t change a bit to become a U.S. model, so there’s nothing new about it except for the location of where it will be sold.
The Eclipse Name Will Make You Want an Ugly SUV
Now, I wouldn’t say the Eclipse Cross is hideous, but I wouldn’t call it gorgeous either. What irritates me more than anything, though, is that a brand as troubled as Mitsubishi would try to use what little heritage it has left to sell you a stupid SUV that you don’t want. See, Mitsubishi has some issues. It let the Eclipse die a slow painful death, let the Lancer die a slow painful death, killed off the EVO Program, and hasn’t brought anything worthy of our money to the market since. Now, because American’s are so star-spangled in love with SUVs because of relatively low gas prices, Mitsubishi thinks it can catch up the SUV train that left that station a year ago. But, it is doing so by slandering a name like the Eclipse. It even admitted that reputation the Eclipse name has in its recent press release:
“With a reputation of being fun to drive and advanced technology, the Eclipse sports car was one of Mitsubishi’s best-selling and iconic vehicles ever.”
First off, that doesn’t mean the name will make some crappy SUV sell like hotcakes, and second, if the Eclipse was one of the “best-selling and iconic vehicles ever” then why the hell did Mitsubishi let it die a painful death? Don’t get me wrong, the brand needs to do something – the same sausage different lengths (oops, I mean Outlander) strategy isn’t working well, and outside of those models, all the brand has is the Mirage that nobody wants, even in hatchback form, and the Lancer that dies at the end of 2017. Yeah, the brand needs models, but bringing another SUV to market, when your current models don’t sell, and ruining an iconic name in the process isn’t the way to go. I used to love Mitsubishi, but at this point, I’m just waiting for the brand to die. It’s basically on life support in the States and, if you gave me a chance, I’d pull the plug. The company really needs to pull it together and get back to the cars that matter. The SUV craze will die soon enough, and Mitsubishi is getting into the game way to late and hoping the Eclipse name will save it. Hell, it has even mentioned using the EVO badge for an SUV in the future. Sorry, Mitsubishi, you’re not a German brand – you don’t have the clout to pull that one off.
Okay, so my rant is pretty much over at this point. Maybe I’m just irritated, and maybe I’ve drunk a little too much coffee. But still, it’s like automakers really think we’re dumb. Call it new, and we won’t even compare the “new” model to the old.
What do you all think? Have I hit the nail on the head with my rambling or is my head up my ass? I’m sure it’s up my ass because, well, it usually is, but let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Nissan bring a new name to Los Angeles Auto Show.
Read our full review on the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.