I have a strange need to create trios. It’s similar to the way you have a red player and a blue player that rival each other and create a binary, then some more modern third player jumps in as the underdog story. Here are all the trios that I currently split the US Market into.

*Note that I see each unit in each Trio as one of the following:

  • Red Player/Sport Brand - Focus on driving the car. Uses “driver-focused design” as primary brand elements.
  • Blue Player/Comfort Brand - Focus on being in the car. Uses “luxury and craftsmanship” as primary brand elements.
  • Green or Yellow Player/Balanced Brand - Splits the difference between the sport and comfort brands. Uses “value and/or creativity” as primary brand elements.

Hyper Exotic Trio

Koenigsegg (Balanced), Bugatti (Comfort), Pagani (Sport)

Super Exotic Trio

Ferrari (Comfort), Lamborghini (Sport), McLaren (Balanced)

Comfort Exotic Trio / British Three

Rolls Royce (Comfort), Bentley (Balanced), Aston Martin (Sport)


Near-Exotic Trio

Porsche (Balanced), Maserati (Comfort), [Lotus (Sport)]

Tech Companies

Tesla, “Coming Soon”, “Coming Later”


Full Luxury Trio / German Three

Mercedes (Comfort), BMW (Sport), Audi (Balanced)

Sport Luxury Trio

Jaguar (Comfort), Alfa Romeo (Sport), Cadillac (Balanced)

Comfort Luxury Trio

Lexus (Comfort), Infiniti (Sport), Genesis (Balanced)


Upscale Trio / FWD Luxury Trio

Volvo (Balanced), Lincoln (Comfort), Acura (Sport)

Premium Compact Trio / Toy Car Trio

MINI (Balanced), Fiat (Sport), smart (Comfort)

American Split Brands / Divided Trimline Extenders

Jeep-Ram-Chrysler (Balanced), GMC-Buick (Comfort), “Missing Ford Brands (Sport)“


Japanese Trio I

Toyota (Comfort), Honda (Sport), Nissan (Balanced)

The American Trio

Ford (Balanced), Chevrolet (Sport), Dodge (Comfort)

Japanese Trio II

Subaru (Comfort), Mazda (Sport), Mitsubishi (Balanced)

NOT Japanese or American / Alternative Commodity Brands

Volkswagen (Balanced), Hyundai (Comfort), Kia (Sport)


I also line up the brands by their tier player versions and create an evolutionary connection. This means, in my mind, Dodge lovers would progress up to Mercedes-AMG owners and end as Bugatti lovers. Your Mazda and Honda buyers become Alfa Romeo and BMW buyers and end up wanting Lamborghinis and Paganis. Then your balanced buyers go from Volkswagens and Chevys, up to Volvo and Porsches, and end up feeling at home with McLarens and Koenigseggs.

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This is also the way I measure brands and whether or not they are succeeding at being what they NEED to be for their market segment. So since Lotus isn’t a complete brand all the BMW buyers end up with Porsche and may end up with McLarens instead of Lambos due to the switch in market position. Since Tesla is all alone, it gets to grab all players looking around its tier.

Welcome to my mind.