It occurred to me the other day, as I saw yet another Toyobaru, that I never see any Scion FR-Ses. Being that I live in Northern California, I see plenty of Subaru BRZs (not surprising, given Subaru's popularity out here), but I never see the Scion variant - or, at least - not badged as such.
Yes, nearly every Scion FR-S I come across has been swapped to the Toyota GT-86 badging found everywhere else in the world but here. That led me to wonder about badging (and re-badging) as a whole - why do people do it?
Seeing as I have no scientific data to present, I'm simply going to pull the following out of thin air:
For FR-S owners, I'm guessing there are a few prevailing reasons. You have the folks who think the car should have been a Toyota (re-birth of the AE86 and all that) from the start and are determined to fix it on their own. There are also the grass-is-always-greener JDM folks who just love rebadging their Mazdas as Axelas and their Lexuses as Altezzas. I suspect that there's another class of people, however, who don't want to be associated with the Scion brand at all.
Yes, Scion, the bastard brand from Toyota, that until recently, would happily sell you a toaster on wheels, a coupe that desperately wanted to be liked by young people, and some other forgettable econoboxes driven mostly by people in their 50s. Why wouldn't people want to be associated with this brand?
I don't mean to unfairly single out Scion here. I've seen the same practice with people who own the same car I do - the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Plenty of owners on the forums swap out their slightly-slanted 'H' emblems for the winged "Genesis" (Bentley look-alike) emblems. While I suppose some argument can be made that KDM Genesis models often wear these emblems, I tend to believe most "re-badgers" don't want to be associated with Hyundai. While I rock the slightly-slanted 'H' on my car without a second thought, there are without a doubt a lot of people who still think of cheap cars like Hyundai Excels [gasp] when they see the 'H' badge. Are badge-swappers afraid of looking cheap and unsophisticated? Maybe. And so winged emblems abound, looking totally
out of place at home on a sport coupe.
I don't quite understand it. It doesn't make the car any less a Hyundai. It certainly doesn't make it any more a Bentley. And if anything I think it's just a move that imparts a feeling of insecurity on behalf of the owner. Clearly, I think it's wrong on many levels, but maybe I'm just an "unsophisticated" Hyundai owner who doesn't know any better.
To each their own I suppose. What do you think?